FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)
Each purchase record in FlexNet Manager Suite typically corresponds to one line item from a purchase order in your enterprise purchasing system. You may record purchases that relate to either hardware asset management, or software asset management:
  • For hardware purchases, hardware maintenance, and the like, you may link the purchase to your asset record in FlexNet Manager Suite. (For example, see the Purchases Tab in the hardware asset properties.) These kinds of purchases are visible in the All Purchases page (see All Purchases), but not in the other lists in the Procurement > Purchases group.
  • For software asset management (SAM), related purchases of several different types offer automation to help with your license compliance calculations. These include purchase of license entitlements, maintenance (or support or Software Assurance) for the licensed entitlements, upgrades, subscription licenses, and the like. Only SAM-related purchases can appear in any of the specialized lists in the Procurement > Purchases group.
To perform license compliance calculations, FlexNet Manager Suite derives license entitlements from appropriate purchase records and compares them with the corresponding application installation records. Related information, such as a recognized Stock Keeping Unit identifier (SKU) or a publisher's purchase program covering this purchase, helps to define product use rights, which are important in determining the license compliance position. For example:
  • A purchase under a volume purchasing agreement may include upgrade or downgrade rights, whereas retail licenses (which Microsoft calls FPP, or fully packaged product) do not include those rights.
  • A SKU may specify that 12 months of maintenance coverage is included in a license purchase. Small differences between SKUs may have major impacts on license consumption, affecting the license type, maintenance details, downgrade rights, and so on. Best practice is to record the publisher's SKU when ordering, and to include this SKU data in imports from your purchasing system to FlexNet Manager Suite. Attempting to find SKU information later from the Internet to 'fill in the blanks' may introduce significant errors to calculations of license consumption.
SKUs may be recognized from the downloaded Product Use Rights Library, or others are recognized after you have processed them once. SKUs are not the only path to automation: where SKUs are not available, FlexNet Manager Suite first attempts to find an existing license Name that matches the purchase Description, and failing that a matching application Name. It proposes actions based on the best information available, and you specify your desired level of control in the Purchases tab of the System Settings page (navigate to the system menu ( in the top right corner)). Thereafter:
  • Recommendations, along with unprocessed purchases for which no recommendations were possible, are listed in the Unprocessed Purchases page (see Unprocessed Purchases and, importantly, its subtopics).
  • If you chose to defer processing of some of the purchases from the above page, they move to the Deferred Purchases page, where you can recover them to work on later (see Deferred Purchases). This is a useful technique to keep your Unprocessed Purchases list to a minimum so that you can easily see and manage incoming data.
  • Purchases that have been automatically processed, along with those you managed through the purchase processing wizard in the Unprocessed Purchases page, are listed in the Processed Purchases page (see Processed Purchases).
Tip: Purchases that you manually link to a license (through the property pages of either the purchase or the license) are not visible in any of the above pages. Find these manually-edited purchases in the All Purchases page.

Best practice summary

In view of the above, these best practices emerge:
  • Persuade your order processing team to incorporate the publisher's SKU in each purchase order line for software or maintenance.
  • Where the SKU is unavailable, place the order for the software as listed in the Application Recognition Library (visible in the All Applications Page page), including the exact application name.
  • Configure the acceptable levels of automation in the Purchases tab of the System Settings page, starting conservatively and allowing more automation as confidence grows.
  • Arrange for import of purchase records from the line items in your corporate purchase order system. You might do this with a Business Adapter for automated and repeated imports, or manage it through spreadsheet imports (see Purchase Order Upload). Remember to keep each purchase record to one kind of item (contrasted with the original purchase order, which may have contained multiple order lines — each purchase order line maps to a single purchase record in FlexNet Manager Suite). Of course, a purchase may be for multiples of the same item, such as 50 copies of Microsoft Office 365.
  • Regularly check for recommendations or unprocessed purchases in the Unprocessed Purchases page, keeping this list to a minimum either by managing purchase processing through the wizard in that page, or by deferring those you cannot work on immediately. (Conversely, don't forget to revisit the Deferred Purchases page, as these purchases are not yet contributing to your compliance position.) Remember that the listing is updated (you may need to refresh) after each purchase import, or after editing the properties of any purchase in the list; and that recommendations may change after each compliance calculation (normally scheduled overnight).

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1