How Can Software License Management Solve Your Customers’ Digital Transformation Pain Points?

Centralized management allows MSPs to track usage and eliminate unneeded licenses, potentially saving customers thousands of dollars – or more – each year.

Software license management

Managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) have an opportunity to meet a significant demand in their markets: software license management. As businesses and organizations transition to more digitalized processes and keep their employees connected wherever they work, they add new applications and licenses to provide their teams with the necessary functionality. However, they can quickly lose sight of what their employees are using (or not using).

For example, a 2021 survey by Flexera found that 57 percent of government agencies don’t know which software licenses they’ve purchased and have more licenses than necessary for some projects. Furthermore, that survey revealed that organizations lack visibility into software that’s reached its end of life or may have security vulnerabilities.

Software License Dongles: A Practical Solution

MSPs and VARs can help clients maintain visibility and control over their software licenses with centralized management via dongle servers.

Mike Majewski, CEO of SEH Technology, explains that USB dongle servers connect devices to the network, allowing users to access necessary on-premises software applications, like powerful video editing, forensics, and health diagnostics solutions as if they were connected locally. They also allow users to access operational technology (OT) data with proprietary systems and IoT devices.

“With dongle servers, you don’t have to load software directly onto a laptop. It lets you use software over the network, “Majewski says. “It’s a practical way to streamline license management and strengthen security.”

Dongle Servers and the Home Office

Majewski points out that dongle servers make sense, with more businesses and organizations settling on a hybrid model that allows some employees to work from home and in the office. Organizations can manage software centrally, allowing users to focus on their core responsibilities rather than requiring them to intervene with software loaded onto their computers and devices that need security patches or updates.

“Using a dongle server also protects software from manipulation on the end device,” Majewski comments. “Because the software is managed centrally, users can’t modify it, and if a hacker gets a user’s login information, the attack surface is small. This model of connecting employees to the network helps keep data secure and the organization compliant with regulations and industry standards. “He adds that if a laptop with an expensive software license is lost or stolen, the company may not be able to recover that cost. However, with a dongle server, the company can change the login, deny the bad actor access, and provide the authorized user with new hardware to keep working.
Additionally, with modern IT environments relying more on virtual machines (VMs) and cloud-based systems, dongle servers can give users secure access and seamless integration with the systems and applications they need to do their jobs.

3 Things to Remember When Evaluating Software License Management Solutions

When you’re evaluating options to solve challenges with software license management, get answers to these questions:

  • What’s the workload for IT administrators? Complex processes will limit visibility and increase the company’s likelihood of losing track of what’s running on which device and whether the software is secure and updated. Furthermore, if software is loaded onto individual devices, the IT team will have to address each employee’s system individually.
  • Can the company see whether all licenses are necessary? Centralized management allows IT teams to track usage and eliminate unneeded licenses, potentially saving thousands of dollars – or more – each year.
  • What are the most practical devices for the business to invest in? Loading software onto a device can require robust computing power and memory. Creating a thin client environment with centralized software management can help organizations control their IT hardware budgets.

It’s Time for a Change

With recent adjustments to how and where people work, changes to the technology landscape – and continuing digital transformation – your clients need a better way to manage, protect, and track their digital assets. Help your clients build a strategy that includes centralized management, robust security, regulatory compliance, and support for both on-premises and cloud licenses. Understanding all your options, including dongle servers for network access to critical software, can help you develop the optimal solution for your clients.