Licence Dashboard – a case study

Longcroft School first welcomed young people in September 1949. In the intervening years the school has gone from strength-to-strength, including the achievement of performing arts specialist college status in 2001.

Longcroft aims to develop excellence in all, always looking ahead, working in partnership with families and investing in the future. It was this desire to invest in the future which led Longcroft School to take a look at its software estate.

With software taking up an ever-increasing share of the school’s ICT budget, it had become even more important to manage, control and protect software assets. There was also the pressure from software vendors to remain compliant with the terms of their software licence agreements.

It was clear to Longcroft School, therefore, that what they needed was to have a greater understanding of their software licence position and to be able to track exactly what software they had deployed. Not only would this enable them to avoid unnecessary expenditure, it would also mean that they could safely say they were compliant!

Having reviewed a number of diff erent products and solutions, Longcroft School decided to use Licence Dashboard Schools Edition. Longcroft School felt this edition and the product’s functionality would deliver a cost effective solution, which would fully align with the school’s ICT objectives and financial commitments. As experienced by most schools, managing software licences can be an extremely daunting task – one which schools are not particularly prepared for or trained to administer.

Longcroft School did not always have all the relevant information available prior to making a purchasing decision. This meant that the school could be subjected to the following risks:

Purchasing incorrect licences
Not purchasing enough licences
Purchasing too many licences

With this in mind, the school wanted to ensure that all past purchases were added to a comprehensive licence inventory, thereby establishing a true and fair representation of the school’s licence position.

To do this, the school employed the services of Software Asset Management specialists, Phoenix Software, to record and file all software licence evidence. Thereafter, Phoenix Software also verified the organisation’s compliance position by implementing Licence Dashboard and Dashboard Discovery.

Dashboard Discovery is designed to find hardware and installed software deployed across the network and is primarily used during the verification and compliance stages of a Software Asset Management (SAM) programme. This application connects seamlessly with Licence Dashboard and together, from a single interface, provides Longcroft School with complete visibility of its compliance status.

Without this comprehensive licence management tool, the function of managing Longcroft School’s licences would have essentially become a manual process, one which would be prone to error, complacency and eventually lead to regression.

Most schools end up using a number of spreadsheets to manage and track their entitlement. These documents become difficult to summarise, however, and make it almost impossible for Head Teachers and other staff to make informed decisions.

Using Licence Dashboard removes this complexity and makes it simple for staff to manage, control and protect one of the school’s most expensive ICT resources – software.

Longcroft School can now automatically control the entire lifecycle of its software assets from purchase, to upgrade and beyond. The school can now easily report on the following:

What software it is allowed to install
Determine how many licences have been allocated
Verify how many licences are still available
Be alerted to any maintenance renewals which are due

With its easy to-use interface, users such as network managers, business administrators, head teachers and all other authorised members of staff can gain access to software inventory, licence inventory and purchasing information at any time.

Using this information can ensure that all purchases of software are correctly specified and procured using the most cost effective agreements, while ensuring that all licence evidence is correctly recorded and loss of entitlement is significantly reduced.