What is it
The Organization Structure is a core functionality in Snow License Manager that can be setup and defined to have computer- and user objects automatically be allocated to different parts of an organization tree based on manual input and/or automatically. This will enable managing licenses and reporting within a set structure.
Why it’s important
The Organization structure should be setup according to software legal constraints and business reporting needs.
The Organization Structure enables analysis of data into different parts of the Organization or areas of the business such as physical locations, environments, cost centers and/or departments.
A correctly set up organization structure will help to achieve your business goals by enabling reporting with actionable data within the structure. This includes compliance, usage, cost generation and allocation, risk avoidance and monitoring and thus support in how to prioritize actions and activities.
How to create a structure
The Organization Structure functionality is available in SnowMACC (Snow Management And Configuration Center) and can be created manually and/or automatically. Best practice is to have no more than 4 layers in the structure as more levels adds complexity of reporting and maintenance. It might also make it more difficult to manage while potentially not providing any additional value. However, there could be scenarios where more layers are needed, the recommendation is to assess the needs thoroughly. Additional nodes can also be added later.
Below is an example structure from SnowMACC built in 3 levels.
Organization name is used as an identifier to enable import of a structure and/or nodes. The structure can also be created manually based on user input.
If imported, the naming-format will be according to data source, for example Active Directory or Finance system. There is a possibility to also enter a “friendly name” as the format in organization name might consist of abbreviations or hard to interpret. The friendly name is what’s displayed in Snow License Manager.
Legal checkbox (marked with red arrows) will enable an organization node ownership of software and hardware assets, to reflect contractual restrictions or ownership in Snow License Manager.
How to assign objects within the structure
To start getting value, objects such as computers, users and devices needs to be assigned correctly within the structure. If not assigned, all objects will automatically allocate to the top-level (ROOT). The assignment can be done manually and/or automatically.
Auto connect rules can be created in SnowMACC. The rule options depend on the object type. For computer objects there are several identifier options such as Host name or IP Address. The rules can be created with one- or more definitions in combination to achieve correct assignment.
These rules will then automatically assign computers, devices, and users to the appropriate organization node.
In some cases, identifiers are not enough to distinguish correct node using auto connect rules.There are other options besides auto connect rules to populate the organization structure, such as using the import service in the Web configurator tool. More information about the Web Configurator can be found in the User Guide for Snow Management and Configuration Center.
License ownership and allocation
After the organization structure is setup it will be possible to specify license ownership by legal organization, when adding licenses in Snow License Manager. This option will be available under the license purchase tab.
If the license has the assignment type organization there is a possibility to automatically allocate licenses under the license assignment tab. The auto allocate is dependent on the legal organization when assigning licenses.
In this example the legal organization is XYZ Company (Top-level) which enables automatic allocation within the entire structure.
In below example the legal organization is set to Denmark which enables automatic allocation only within the Denmark structure.
Licenses can also be allocated manually by adding nodes from the drop-down list
Allocation can be used for internal compliance, charge back purposes, and identification of installation and usage by organization.
Setting up and maintaining an organization structure to support visibility of legal constraints and business reporting requires planning and testing. Below are some questions to start
What is the purpose of the structure?
Who are the stakeholders and what information do they need?
What is the source (AD, Finance system, geographical, custom)?
What environments are being inventoried and how to handle?
What environments are not being inventoried and how/if to handle?
What are the possible licensing challenges within the different environments, how to handle?
The organization structure setup is vital for success in terms of business and management reporting, achieving a structure to support these needs can be complex. It is recommended to involve Snow Professional Services or preferred partner to start map out the needs and foundation.
If needed, Snow Professional Services can also support in creation of the structure and sharing best practice.