The ITAM Review

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Process of the Month – Named User Verification Process


Named User Licenses are typically not cheap

This is another area of Software Asset Management that often gets over-looked; namely the updating and maintaining of data concerning named user licenses.  This could be viewed as another déjà vu moment; insofar as the core of the process involves comparing two sets of data from different systems and arriving at a series of business decisions.  It is important to manage Named User Licenses for two primary reasons:

  1. To stay the right side of license terms and conditions
  2. Named User Licenses are typically not cheap; so there is value to be had in managing their deployment effectively

Named User Verification Process

Primary Objective

  1. To maintain and correct (where required) Named User License information within the SAM Framework

Secondary Objective

  1. To ensure that the rights of transfer and other license terms and conditions are adhered to, and also understood by the company.


  1. N/A

Function Step Overview

1.10 The HR Department are tasked with providing the latest possible HR data for further manipulation.
1.20 The next step involves filtering the HR data down to those staff who might be using Named User Licenses.  For titles such as MSDN/Visual Studio, developers in the IT department would be an obvious choice; but for those members of staff who are using SAP (as an example) the boundaries are not so clear – guidance should be on offer from either the IT department or from Product Champions.
1.30 The SAM Manager is required to capture the names of those staff members who have been allocated Named Used licenses for subsequent comparison.  Vendor portals can be helpful in this instance; equally a SAM Manager could be storing such data in their SAM Suite.
1.40 At this point the SAM Manager is required to compare the latest list of staff with the names of staff who have been allocated a Named User License.  Four Reports should be forthcoming from this:

  1. New Named User Report – for those staff who might appear to be using named user software, but don’t appear to have a license allocated to their name.
  2. Changed Role Report – Again, if a member of staff has changed their role, and is perhaps gaining greater functionality out of a package than when the license was bought for them, then certain software will require a new license for that user.
  3. Changed Cost Center/Country Report – The SAM Manager will be required to analyse whether an existing Named User License covers the move that a member of staff has made, or whether a new purchase might have to be made.
  4. Left Company Report – The SAM Manager will be keen to get this report, so that if members of staff have left, then there is potential for the recycling/Transfer of Named User Licenses.
1.50 At this step, the SAM Manager takes reports 2 and 3, and subject to being allowed to by the license, updates or changes any fields pertaining to the use of those licenses in the license portal.
1.60 At this step, any ex-staff are purged from the license portal, and licenses can be starred for recycling at a later date.A third option exists for the SAM Manager, and that is to acquire new Licenses if he appears to have more users using the software than he has records/entitlement for.

Terms and conditions should always be followed in regards to transfer of Named User Licenses as these will vary from vendor to vendor.  For those managers who look after staff who frequently leave, or are continually flouting the license terms and conditions, it might be worth generating a report around how staff movements and flux are causing the company to spend money.

Other Process of the Month Articles:

Upcoming Process of the Month Articles:

  • Platform Identity Process
  • Software Request Process
  • Software Removal Process
  • Process Review Process

Image Credit

The process kit by Rory Canavan is available from

About Rory Canavan

With a technical background in business and systems analysis, Rory has a wide range of first-hand experience advising numerous companies and organisations on the best practices and principles pertaining to software asset management.

This experience has been gained in both military and civil organisations, including the Royal Navy, Compaq, HP, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and several software vendors


  1. Vicky Makhija says:

    Named user licenses are difficult to manage however if the correct processes are in place it can be effectively managed. Authorised user licenses in IBM or named user licenses like in case of Microsoft should managed while license allocation of license to users and can be managed at the deployment verification at a specific interval. User list vs the software used / deployed at times also has to be shared with the principal vendor.

  2. Ben Sweetser says:

    Another thing to consider in all this that perhaps I have missed as I read through is is whether or not the Named User License *can* be transferred or if it has a limited number of transfers. Nothing like an additional wrench in the works to make it even more complicated. These are hopefully few and far between.

  3. Rory Canavan says:

    Useful points from Vicky (thank you). Ben, you’re right – some license terms and conditions exclude transfer; perhaps I should have embellished the first sentence of the final paragraph.

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