The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

Maximise Software Cost Savings By Applying Product Use Rights (Part 3/5)

This article series has been contributed by John Emmitt at ManageSoft.

Software Asset Management (SAM) is a complex process that enables organizations to gain control of their software estate from both a license compliance and financial standpoint.

But, where do these cost savings come from? Reharvesting unused licenses and recycling licenses from retired hardware are techniques that yield significant savings. Another approach that is often overlooked is the application of product use rights (PUR) to reduce initial license purchase, true-up and renewal costs.

Part 3 – License Reharvesting & Recycling

License reharvesting and recycling both involve reclaiming and reallocating unused software licenses. In the former case—reharvesting—licenses are simply not being used by certain people or groups within the organization, and/or there are computers in storage that contain installed software.

If there are users in another part of the organization who need access to this software, then the applications must be uninstalled from the one set of machines and re-installed on the other. Application metering can be used to track usage and find candidates for reharvesting. Many IT asset management tools provide application metering capabilities. Wiping software from computers in storage also frees up licenses for reallocation and reduces the organization’s audit or true-up liability.

John Emmitt, ManageSoft

John Emmitt, ManageSoft

License recycling is the process of reclaiming licenses from retired hardware. Many organizations have a three or four year hardware refresh cycle, so one quarter to one third of the machines are retired each year. Frequently, software licenses that could be reused instead go out the door with the retired hardware. If only 10% of the software licenses on retired hardware could be reclaimed, then 2.5 to 3% of the software spend could be saved by recycling.

Reharvesting and recycling are important elements of an optimized software asset management program. Software purchase and renewal costs can be reduced by 5 to 10% or more in the first year of implementation of a program that includes these strategies.

Read Part Four – Sample Scenario

Photo Credit

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.


  1. Jeff Kelsey says:

    A word of caution: Some EULAs do not permit software to be uninstalled

    and reinstalled on another user’s machine. Others state that if software has been on a machine longer than a specified period (i.e. 90

    days), it can’t be removed and reinstalled elsewhere. Be sure to read your EULA carefully before reharvesting and reallocating


  2. John Emmitt says:


    Yes, you are absolutely right and users must read and understand their EULAs.

    Usually, the 90-day move restriction means that the software must stay on a given machine for 90 days before it can be moved to another

    machine (so, its a 90 day minimum). This can be problematic in virtualized server environments, where Virtual Machines can easily be

    moved from one physical server to another. MS has loosened their 90-day move restriction somewhat.

Leave a Comment