Understanding a Baseline Review

25 Mar 2016

What is a baseline review? How can you achieve an ELP?


One of the key steps on the road to reaching an optimized software license position is undertaking a baseline review to enable you to achieve an Effective License Position (ELP) for a specific software vendor and its products.

Typically, many organizations utilize the services of an external partner to undertake this task for them. But, whether it is carried out internally or externally there are 2 ways to approach obtaining the information required. The first is manually, which is not ideal for larger IT estates. The second requires the use of an automated discovery and inventory tool.


Generating an ELP

It is important to understand from the outset that where a partner is undertaking this task that the project is a collaborative service that will only be successful if you understand the need for your technical, commercial/procurement functions to work together closely with the partner. The project is a 5 stage process:

  1. Initiation – is where the team is established that will be made up of the external consultants from the partner and your representatives. You will need to appoint a single point of contact for the partner for the duration of the engagement. The key tasks that need to be executed and timescales are discussed and agreed together with frequency and methods of reviewing progress.
  2. Asset discovery and inventory – is where a third party tool is deployed to provide a hardware and software inventory. As and if there are any inventory gaps, these will be addressed using a mix of supplementary scripts and/or manual declarations.
  3. Entitlement discovery – can begin at any stage and is the process of collecting all proof of entitlement for the vendor and products in the scope of the project. The demands of this work should not be underestimated, especially in cases where an organization has a poor record of their entitlement. Once obtained, there is a contract interpretation phase to review all contractual terms and conditions to create a baseline entitlement.
  4. ELP generation – is where the deployment and usage data is reconciled against the entitlement data to produce an ELP. This will typically be a spreadsheet for the particular vendor covered in the project.
  5. Presentation – is where the final ELP is presented to you in a close-down review meeting.


ELP & Baseline Review: Ensure you’re Correctly Licensed

Understanding what software is deployed across your business, where and if you are using it, how you are using it, and if you are using it in accordance to the license grant are all critical elements of managing software within your business. Only once these elements have been addressed, can a reconciliation exercise be performed to provide an ELP giving you a baseline of your IT estate.

If you would like help in establishing a baseline position for a particular vendor or need to produce an ELP, get in touch with Certero today.

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