Using K2 for Software License Compliance, Security, and Cost reduction

Three critically important topics to any IT Asset Manager are software license compliance, security, and hardware/software cost reduction. Our customers have proven that K2 is extremely effective at addressing these important issues in one common, well-integrated interface. Following are some examples of their experiences.

Scott Lemm, a K2 administrator formerly at University of Michigan and more recently in several corporate settings, reported the following cost savings from his years of using K2 KeyAuditor & KeyServer both in academic and corporate settings.

Scott says: “I have saved clients millions of dollars annually by mining usage metrics and utilizing them to eliminate software waste, improve operational efficiency, forecast needs, negotiate more favorable terms, and avoid costly liability risks.”

Software License Compliance

K2 is the only Software Asset Management (SAM) tool that reaches beyond auditing, inventory and usage tracking, and also includes robust compliance enforcement for every major desktop license type: site licenses, node-locked (per-device), concurrent-use, leased licenses, and custom limits & restrictions. Plus many user-authenticated models.

K2 offers its services seamlessly on global and local networks of any size to Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix, virtual computers, and virtualized applications.


Security Application Watch – Scott reported that by using K2, he is able to identify, disable, and continue to monitor and report on rogue applications that exhibit patterns of security violations and illegal download activity.

Secure Access to Sensitive Applications and Data – A common use for K2, especially in corporate and government organizations, is to restrict access to sensitive applications (and the data that can be retrieved by those applications) through secure log-on supported by K2 – KeyAuditor & KeyServer.

Software & Hardware Cost Reduction

Software License Consolidation – By using active software license management (for lab, floating, and low-use management) the University of Michigan was able to save $325,000 annually by reorganizing software licenses based on metrics of actual usage.

Adobe License Trending – Usage metrics on Adobe software informed the University of Michigan that licensing every 3 to 4 years would be more cost effective than annual licensing and maintenance – leading to additional savings of $250,000 annually.

New License Contract Negotiations – Several expensive ($1k per desktop) application licenses were renegotiated based on the use of K2 to manage, control, and report software usage. Savings in the first year was $2 million, subsequent years varied between $200k and $700k depending on the application(s). Renegotiations included favorable terms (annual vs. perpetual), favorable licensing (concurrent use vs. node-locked), risk mitigation (K2 reports vs. vendor audits), and general contract cost reductions.

Microsoft Office Usage Metrics – Scott identified usage metrics of Microsoft Office within his environment, leading to a reduction of open (student access) licenses by 60%.

Duplicate Application Capabilities – Michigan’s IT staff identified applications in the environment with similar capabilities leading to the creation and management of a “Software Capability Roadmap”. Applications with similar functionality were validated for value and consolidated where appropriate – leading to first year savings of $780,000 and ongoing savings of $320,000 annually.

Hardware Budget Forecasting – The University uses accurate hardware inventories from K2 to determine OS and Application capabilities and forcast long-term upgrade and maintenance efforts for existing computers.

Software Budget Forecasting – They also use accurate software usage metrics to determine true application requirements vs. “wants” and forecast long-term upgrade and maintenance efforts for existing applications.

The Intangibles

Scott made an important point in an on-line discussion. He wrote: “The use of K2 helps build trust between an organization and a software vendor. For good reason software vendors fear piracy and lost profits due to unmanaged environments. With K2 I have negotiated previously unacceptable license terms because I can guarantee compliance and offer usage metrics to support vendor marketing efforts.

Corporate Example

In 2009, Scott deployed K2 into a corporate environment of 10,000 computers on a global network. In the course of just four months, using K2 – KeyAuditor & KeyServer, Scott delivered software cost reductions of greater than $1-million. Here is how he did it.

Using Sassafras K2, Scott reported…

  • Less than 10% of Microsoft Office users utilize Pro tools. Scott was able to use this information to reduce their Microsoft Office costs by $450,000 by licensing the Standard edition at their next EA negotiation.
  • Seven applications had over 1,200 unused installations. Scott was able to harvest the unused software for savings over $220,000.
  • The same seven applications had over 2,200 rarely used installations. The company decided to install application kiosks for savings over $260,000.
  • Two applications licensed for over 8,000 users showed concurrent use of less than 10 at any one time. Scott’s organization renegotiated licensing terms to move to floating license for savings over $125,000.

In roughly four months, with a quick deployment of the K2 – KeyAuditor & KeyServer SAM tool, Scott was able to identify and generate $1,055,000 in real cost reductions.

Scott Lemm of TechTeam Global is an ITAM consultant with a fierce passion for asset management and technology stewardship with over a decade of experience in total lifecycle management. Efficient at marrying organizational processes with industry frameworks Scott’s average savings consistently exceeds client expectations. Scott has been invited by IAITAM, CAUCUS, IBSMA, ITFMA, EDUCAUSE, and MHEC to speak on ITAM topics. Volunteer efforts include active participation in ISO/IEC 19770-3 and representing the State of Michigan in public sector contract negotiations. Scott has a BBA in Entrepreneurialism from Eastern Michigan University. His “healthy disregard for the impossible” leaves no ITAM challenge unturned.

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