Saving Money Through License Optimization 

Licenses for unified communications platforms are fundamental to assuring effective collaboration in any organization, but keeping on top of a licensing estate can be tricky. 

Companies can easily slip into inefficient habits like not reusing the licenses of employees that have left, or buying new ones despite already having spares. 

Being cost-effective with licenses is likely not the number one concern of UC engineers, who often struggle to keep their head above water handling moves, adds, changes, and deletes (MACDs). 

These MACDs are typically the primary reason for utilizing a UC service management platform. However, licensing management is an additional beneficial feature that simplifies the role of the UC team even further – and could ultimately save money for a business. 

From the perspective of Akkadian Labs, this predominately focuses on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) licenses. Cisco’s own tools for managing licenses are not the most dynamic, meaning some can slip through the net. 

“Saving on licensing is either not having to buy a new license for someone or being able to recapture an old license,” according to Akkadian’s Director of Marketing David Levy. 

“When a UC engineer is working directly in the Cisco UC platform, cancelling an application does not cancel the license for that person, but working in a service management tool does.  

“That is one of the benefits of working with a service management platform; they are licensing aware and will automatically recapture a license if a UC engineer deletes someone.” 

Three Pain Points 

Akkadian has broken down UC Licensing struggles into three key areas: 

  • Inefficient usage of device-based license (DBL): This is when every device in a shared area has its own license, despite the fact they could all be grouped as one user with one license 
  • Neglected devices: These are devices that still have a license assigned to them despite the fact they’re broken or no longer used 
  • Underutilized user-based licenses (UBL): These are licenses that are already assigned to a user but are not maxed out with applications. Often, an organization will assign a new license to this user for a new application, which is unnecessary

UC service management platforms like Akkadian Provisioning Manager have capabilities to help tackle these challenges. 

Licensing Pools can help aggregate DBLs for devices that are not directly connected to an individual user. For example, 100 devices with DBLs can be merged into just 10 UBLs. 

Elsewhere, an auto-delete feature is invaluable for ensuring that orphaned devices are not retaining licenses unnecessarily. This function can be configured to automatically retrieve a license if the device it’s attached to has not been used for a specified period of time.  

Because of how service management platforms work, these features can also be used across multiple clusters. 

Licensing optimization may not be the number one use case for service management platforms. Still, it’s undoubtedly another useful arrow in the quiver which can save enterprises money in the long term.  

“If a business has an environment that hasn’t been looked at in a long time, there could be a lot of savings,” Levy added. 

“A company can have licenses out there that they’ve paid for but haven’t used in years! A service management tool like Akkadian Provisioning Manager will definitely help them avoid buying new ones in the future and spending money unnecessarily.”  



This post originally appeared on Service Management - Enterprise - Channel News - UC Today.