Best Practices for Managing Software License Documents

Managing, or at least storing, software license documentation is often overlooked. Having a spreadsheet or report illustrating your supposed effective license position does not mean you’re compliant. Related documentation, be that licenses, agreements or contracts, are needed to support your entitlements. Having a process around storing and managing software license documentation is a ‘best practice’ of any SAM program.

The first step that will assist your organization in properly managing software license documents is having a management system in place. Whether your organization is managing 50 or 5000 software license, an Excel spreadsheet just won’t cut it. There are various details and complexities that come with managing licenses and these simply cannot be handled through an Excel spreadsheet. A software asset management system like Vizor is the best way to get all the functionality you will need and have a central storage place for licenses. Storing software license documentation alongside your entitlement details may save hours of frustrated email inbox and file share searching should you be audited.

Once your organization has a system and process in place, understanding which documentation is needed for each license entitlement is important. The documentation required as proof of purchase varies between different software vendors, so it is a good idea to get familiar with them. For instance, some vendors may want to see financial documents or invoices on top of regular contracts and license certificates, so that information is useful to organize and store.

In addition to the physical ones, be sure not to forget about digital documentation. This aspect is growing with the rise of cloud computing and is not to be overlooked. Accountability of cloud subscriptions is now a part of software asset management, and digital receipts and invoices should also be stored alongside traditional license documentation. Keeping cloud purchase confirmations in your inbox is not enough, so keep these in whichever system you are using to manage software licenses.

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