As 2024 looms around the corner, procurement and budget management teams in businesses all over the world are making an inventory of their software assets, licenses and subscriptions as well as their associated contracts and agreements in order to ensure the smoothest – and most cost-effective – software renewal process possible.

With such a wide range of license types – each coming with its own terms and conditions, it pays to be prepared before your next contact with the software vendor. Here are 5 steps to help you get a handle on your software renewals:

1. Assess and define ownership

With organizations owning so many different software assets and licenses, it’s easy to get lost on who owns what. Because of this, the first step towards successful software renewals starts with clearly defining which business unit owns which asset, and who is ultimately going to make the final renewal decision. 

2. Review your software contracts

Technology is ever changing and the software contracts and terms that you initially agreed to are prone to change just as well. Make sure that your legal team inspects the terms of service and conditions of the software vendors you have bought from, including their SLA. When the renewal date arrives, you want to make sure that you have the full picture on available options, costs, and any hidden expenses.

3. Know your state laws for perpetual renewals

In the case of evergreen or perpetual contracts such as SaaS subscriptions, you probably already know that these tend to automatically renew after the initial term expires. Understanding your state laws regarding such contracts is crucial. Any changes to the renewal date and terms and conditions could affect you – sometimes negatively. For example, the state of California requires businesses that sell licenses to notify customers 15 days prior to the renewal date with an option to cancel the subscription. Such a condition may be entirely different in your state. When dealing with enterprise software licenses such nuances can impact the overall cost of your renewals.

4. Store all your contracts in one place

Unless you have a delegated SLO or some other person who deals strictly with all contract details, managing software agreements can get chaotic fast – if you don’t have a proper process in place. That’s why we recommend that you have one single shared storage drive so you can pull up information at a moment’s notice. You might want to customize your documents to include details such as the software category, the contract start date, the next due date, the number of seats, contract value, who is the owner, the vendor, and their contact information, and any additional notes regarding the contract.

5. Track the actual usage of your licenses

When it comes to license management and software renewal, nothing can prepare you better than knowing how your licenses are actually being used. The license manager offered by software vendors sometimes offers some kind of reporting capability, however, they are severely limited or restricted to only short periods of time. In such cases, consider investing in a software license management solution that tracks usage and other statistics over time. A proper Software Licensing Management (SLM) tool will give you the crucial data and the reports which, in turn, will give you the licensing insights necessary to see the big picture of how your licenses are being used – and what you actually need to renew.

Get a handle on your software renewals with OpenLM

OpenLM’s SLM offering is one of the best in the market, offering the best value for money along with advanced license monitoring and management capabilities. Chosen by over 1000+ Fortune 500 corporations around the world, we give you every tool necessary to stay on top of your license utilization, making your software renewal process a breeze. Many of our customers see a 10% to 20% reduction in their license costs in the first month alone. Explore our products or take a look at many of the case studies on how OpenLM helped companies save money around the world.

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