License Compliance

Private Defense Contractor

"There was a real breakdown in how we managed software. Hearing from Autodesk opened our eyes to how inefficient and ineffective our process was. We realized that by allowing uncontrolled software on our systems, we were opening our network to vulnerabilities—and we have a lot of proprietary and confidential government data on our system."
—Company President, Private Defense Contractor

A defense contractor institutes a rigorous software asset management program to manage it's Autodesk software licenses.

Remedying Noncompliance
Defense contractor institutes rigorous software asset management (SAM) program after discovering its noncompliance with licensing agreements.

Discovering Noncompliance
When the president of a family-owned defense contractor received a call from a member of the Autodesk license compliance team, he was sur­prised. “I had no idea we weren’t in compliance,” he notes. “We never had any intent to do anything dishonest or illegal. To be honest, software asset management wasn’t really on my radar.”

At Autodesk’s request, the company ran auditing software to locate all installations of Autodesk soft­ware. “We discovered that every single machine we had in the company had an unauthorized Autodesk product on it,” says the company’s president. “In many cases, we didn’t have our authorized copies installed—we weren’t even using the software we’d bought.”

After some digging, the president realized that many of the company’s employees copied software from their desktops to laptops if they were travel­ing, or downloaded trial versions or pirated software when they got a file from a partner or client that they couldn’t open. “There was a real breakdown in how we managed software,” says the company’s president. “Hearing from Autodesk opened our eyes to how inefficient and ineffective our process was. We realized that by allowing uncontrolled software on our systems, we were opening our network to vulnerabilities—and we have a lot of proprietary and confidential government data on our system."

A defense contractor institutes a rigorous software asset management program to manage it's Autodesk software licenses.

Instituting SAM Best Practices
Immediately, the defense contractor put SAM front and center, documenting the company’s new commitment to software asset management. The company then created a new position of software asset manager, detailing the job description and reporting structure. Finally, the company estab­lished a software policy that outlines specific procedures for using software and required employ­ees to sign it.

With these pillars of SAM in place, the defense contractor conducted a detailed audit of all of its software, not just Autodesk titles, using a combina­tion of manual methods and third-party auditing software. Now the company will conduct these soft­ware inventories regularly to make sure it’s always meeting the conditions of its licensing agreements.

Licensing Changes
Supporting its new SAM processes, the company has changed its licensing agreements with Autodesk to better fit the way it works. Instead of purchasing standalone licenses, the company now has network licenses that users check out when they need them. In addition, Autodesk titles are on Autodesk Subscription, so everyone has access to the latest versions of Autodesk software.

Offering Advice
When asked what advice he would give to other companies struggling with software asset manage­ment, the company’s president says, “Get a handle on your software management. If you’d asked me before Autodesk called us, I would have said we had no problem. At the bare minimum, do a self-assessment not out of fear of being penalized, but to better manage your company and be more efficient in what you’re doing. It’s much better to know your problems than to be told what they are.”

Strategic SAM
By addressing its licensing and software asset management problems, the defense contractor has begun to approach its software assets strategically. Through a needs assessment, the company is work­ing to understand just which software applications employees need—and which the company can jettison. “We realized that we weren’t working as efficiently as we could have,” says the company’s president. “By getting a handle on SAM, our people are ultimately more productive because they have managed, standardized tools at their disposal. We’re also vastly decreasing our security risks and legal exposure.”

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Defense Contractor (pdf - 206Kb)