Softline Group Northern Europe // Trustworthy data // Publisher onboarding

Publisher onboarding

Publisher onboarding is not just logging into the portal of a specific vendor, integrating the (contract) information in that portal into an ITAM tool and calculating the delta to see if you are compliant or not. Publisher onboarding is the whole process of interpreting, registering, and modelling license entitlements into an ITAM tool. Its goal is to gain an accurate and complete register of all its entitlements, so an organisation can manage the vendor at all times.

Many organisations have a hard time deciding what information is relevant to manage a publisher, how to decide what level of detail is required (and needed) in the ITAM tool, when to onboard what software publisher at what speed, and let alone, what is needed so the ITAM can manage to implement mitigating actions coming from the reports.

How to plan publisher onboarding

Organisations find it difficult to decide what information is relevant to manage a specific vendor. And even when this is clear, a new struggle arises: How to decide what level of detail is required within the ITAM tool to get the information an organisation need? What will it take to make sure information is correct, up-to-date, and keep it maintainable? 

Careful planning of the onboarding process helps organisations set clear goals and reach them:  

  • Determine which software vendors would be candidate for onboarding;
  • Define the amount of vendors that organisations can actively manage in the BAU;
  • Prioritise, based on time and resources available to manage these software vendors BAU;
  • Determine the ambition and therefore scope for onboarding.

You can read more about planning the onboarding in these expert Tips of the Week:#50: Prepare for Onboarding: Make well-informed decisions, and  #51: Onboarding a software Publisher – Compose the flight plan.  

The 6 steps of Softline's publisher onboarding

Softline developed a 6-step approach to vendor onboarding. With this approach, organisations go through the whole onboarding process – from determining which vendors to onboard, through the actual data entry and configuration phase, to the end deliverable based on the data from the tool. 

Step 1: Quick Scan

Determine the level of detail based on needs & scope and best practices of Softline.

Step 2: Intake

Agreed scope & set up of the onboarding.

Step 3: Input

 Registration of all licenses and contracts, including custom metrics, etc.

Step 4: Inspection

Inspecting all data from an expert point of view.

Step 5: Introduction

Presentation & handover.

Step 6: Intelligence

Presenting final report, including advice on compliance, risks and improvements

Publisher onboarding workshop

The Publisher Onboarding Workshop will help to define an overview of what publishers could be in scope, understand compelling arguments for onboarding, manage expectations and identify possible changes and general risks. After this workshop, the Publisher Quick Scan around the specific software publishers an organisation would like to onboard will be performed. 

Publisher quick scan

The Publisher Quick Scan is based on the needs and requirements for the publisher as seen by the organisation, scope and activities, and Softline's best practices. It defines publisher dossier contents, analyses the current situation regarding a publisher (compliance, risk, information, context). It helps organisations to see what input will be required and, finally, it will provide all the necessary data for the actual onboarding.

Publisher onboarding


Publisher onboarding is the whole process of interpreting, registering, and modelling license entitlements into an ITAM tool. 


But, how can you plan publisher onboarding?

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