In a dynamic environment with hundreds (or thousands) of engineers at their workstations pulling and releasing software licenses, software monitoring is the key to obtaining a clear picture of what is happening within the organization’s network regarding software assets. OpenLM is already pioneering engineering software license monitoring, taking the burden off the shoulders of system administrators and providing them with the necessary data in an easy-to-use interface, EasyAdmin. Now we are taking software asset transparency to the next level with Personal Dashboard, the graphical user interface of End-User Services.
Raising awareness among engineers of how software is used
We believe that sharing information within an organization network benefits the whole company, especially when it comes to engineering software licenses. Up until now, only system admins could have an overview of the organization’s software assets, but now, with Personal Dashboard, we are providing that information to the end user as well: the engineer.
Built on data collected by the OpenLM Agents deployed on the company’s workstations, the OpenLM Personal Dashboard brings three major benefits to the end user:
It gives the engineer an overview of the organization’s license repository.
It provides a better understanding of how engineering software licenses are used.
It provides detailed information about who is using which license.
Full transparency on license usage
With the OpenLM Agent installed on the end-user workstation, OpenLM basically creates a network of agents that send license consumption data to a central database for license managers to analyze and make optimization decisions. However, this data has previously been visible only to one person responsible for license management. We believe that license usage transparency generates a much better work environment, so we are giving the power of information to engineers by sharing the information with the end user to use this data and take action based on it.
To do that, Personal Dashboard (which basically is the graphical user interface of the End-User Service of OpenLM) shares the information collected by the network of Agents deployed on the company network seen in real-time and shares it with the engineer in a Web-based, easy-to-understand user interface.
Let the engineer take action based on available software licenses and project needs
The engineer can use the data presented in his or her Personal Dashboard in many ways to take action. We will just list three:
1) License repository and actual license usage: Engineers have access to a Web-based interface that shows the license repository of the company and the actual license usage. They can decide which software to pull to start working by checking the available resources.
2) Connecting the people: When an engineer queries a software license from the license manager, the result may sometimes be a denial. In this case, the Personal Dashboard will give the engineer the information he needs – who is using the software license he or she needs – and by clicking on the username, the engineer gets the contact details of the user and decides on the communication channel to reach out to that specific user to release the license.
3) Recently Closed shows which software license was pulled from them automatically because of an idle session. As you may already know, OpenLM automatically harvests idle licenses based on criteria set by the license manager. This automation is absolutely stunning, as OpenLM Agent will automatically close (ArcGIS, AutoCAD, SolidWorks, MATLAB) software and save the document the engineer has been working on. Alternatively, it can suspend the application, depending on the license manager service in use. With the Resume button, we now empower the engineer to continue work where he or she left off.
We are just getting started as more exciting features will be added in time.
a vulnerability was identified within the LightTPD component version 1.4.49 of the OpenLM Server on version 5.6 and below. You can find more details about the vulnerability on the Tenable portal: https://www.tenable.com/plugins/nessus/119607
SAM tools automate many of the tasks required to maintain compliance with engineering software licenses, thereby controlling software spending. At the core of compliance and cost optimization is license usage, which, in theory, can be tracked just by monitoring the executable file of the engineering software (the most basic method). But don’t fall for this theoretical trap, because in the engineering world the executable file shows only a fraction of the data you need to get the full picture on license usage. Read on to understand why.
While tracking the executable files provides a certain stream of data and may seem enough in the case of named or node-locked licenses, things get very complicated with the network licenses prevalent among organizations working with engineering applications. Therefore, claiming that simply monitoring the executable file on the end-user workstation SAM tools can give you all the needed information is invalid. The reality is that this method misses out on key data layers, because these tools are limited to just a certain level of data stream and are unable to see the complete picture. There are many reasons why, but we will list only three.
A SAM tool tracking the executable file doesn’t know
which license level and/or feature the end user has pulled on their workstation;
which license manager has provided the end-user workstation with an engineering application license;
which license pool provided the engineer with the license in a multiple-pool environment.
As you can see, the executable file is blind to almost all the relevant data you need to monitor actual license usage; therefore, you are missing out on balancing cost, opportunities, and performance. Let us explain with real-life scenarios using engineering software at organizations.
By monitoring the .exe file, the SAM tool misses out on license consumption
Let’s take Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop engineering application, for example. ArcGIS Desktop is available in three license levels: Basic, Standard, and Advanced. The license levels share the same core applications and user interface, but each license level provides additional GIS functionality and comes at a different price. The problem is that the Esri business model is built around one executable file, argics.exe, regardless of the license level the end user consumes when starting the engineering application. In other words, by tracking the executable file, you can tell that the engineering software is running, but you are missing out on information about the license consumed. That means that without a monitoring solution such as OpenLM, the organization’s engineering license usage (and therefore the license cost) is out of control (in the case of floating licenses).
But there is more. Esri provides apps and extensions for its ArcGIS Desktop suite to streamline engineers’ work. Some of these extensions are free, but others require a license. To start working on the project he or she was assigned to, the engineer launches the ArcGIS software and pulls additional extensions, so in the end he or she consumed three licenses at the same time (the ArcGIS app, CityEngine, and UrbanSuite, for example). Yet again, the executable file sees that the engineering application is running, but it doesn’t know that extensions (and therefore licenses) were loaded into the app; hence, licenses were consumed. That’s alarming!
We have used ArcGIS as an example, but the same goes for MATLABS’s or Bentley’s engineering applications just to name a couple. Since it is built around one executable file, the SAM tool completely misses out on license consumption. The best engineering license monitoring solutions give you an accurate insight into what’s going on within your organization’s network at a glance in an easy-to-understand manner. You need to know exactly what’s going on and who is using what and where. That’s what the OpenLM solution provides.
In an engineering environment, it is rare to have just one license manager providing end-user workstations with concurrent software licenses. Add to that a team consisting of hundreds of engineers spread across the globe. So, when an engineer pulls a license, you need to know exactly which license server has provided the end user with that license; otherwise, you may run into compliance issues, which could cost the company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance fines.
So, you need to know whether it was taken from the license server of the headquarters – let’s say, London – or if it was from a server located in Beijing. This is highly important information you need immediately because of the engineering license agreements you have with the vendor: some licenses are limited to a specific location, such as the UK, China, or the US, so when an engineer from China pulls a license from the UK pool, you then have a compliance problem.
The .exe-tracking method doesn’t provide answers, because it doesn’t have information about the location of the license server. It checks only whether the engineering software is running, and that’s it. By comparison, the OpenLM solution gives you precise data about which license manager served who and allows admins to set rules based on the license agreement’s geographical locations (and many more options) in order to avoid compliance fines.
By tracking just the .exe file, you don’t know exactly what’s happening
In an engineering environment you need to understand what is happening and react accordingly in an instant. Take the denials issue, for example. As we mentioned above, in the majority of cases, the organization is using floating licenses to optimize their license costs and realize value from their software assets. To do that, organizations often turn to license models called multiple pools. For example, the Flexera network license management system employs license files to track client license inventory. The license file is an account of purchased licensed features, each with respective attributes such as the licensing model, the number of licenses, expiration date, etc. Licenses for equivalent features may be bought separately, thus forming separate “pools” in the license file, each pool determining specific attributes.
So, in some cases, when an engineer runs the software application ArcGIS, he or she might get a denial, meaning that he or she couldn’t get a license from the license pool. This raises questions, which the SAM tool must help you to answer the following questions:
Did the engineer get a denial because there were no licenses?
Did he or she get a denial because he or she tried to access a license from the wrong allocation pool?
If you track just the executable file, you will likely see the issue; however, a SAM tool won’t be able to provide you with an answer, because it doesn’t have access to this data layer. So, even though you are monitoring the engineering application, you are left without answers unless you turn to monitoring tools such as OpenLM. The OpenLM system can report license usage levels of multiple pool licenses very well; it locates features that appear in multiple pools and provides all the data you need in an easy-to-use dashboard. Want to learn more about the OpenLM solution? Head to our website or reach out to us via email.
What is new this week? We at OpenLM are very happy to announce the release of the OpenLM Cloud v21.9 and OpenLM on-premise v5.6.8
Upon the request of our valued customers, we commit to deliver continuous development and updates to our software.
The latest version adds exciting new features, as well as fixes to some previously reported issues by our customers. The following is an overview of the exciting new features available with versions 21.9 and 5.6.8
The main new features:
OpenLM Cloud – Support for OKTA IDP
By implementing the OKTA Authentication method upon the request from our customers, we facilitate appropriate levels of access and security according to the latest state-of-art industry standards:
“Additional Key” field in the License Procurement report
A new column with important information has been added in the License Procurement report – “Additional Key”. This is a relevant feature for the DSLS to be able to identify licenses and their expiration date for different pools of the same license which are assigned to different territories.
Feature Usage Per User/Group table report – export it to CSV at your convenience
Manipulate your data as you know the best! Now you can export the Feature Usage Per User or the Feature Usage Per Group in CSV format. You get the data you need in your own preferred way!
Monitor Office 365 and Autodesk Cloud behind Proxy
Organizations worldwide aim to comply with state-of-art tendencies related to security matters. We also do so and care about offering solutions for our customers to feel safe and compliant. Now we made it possible to monitor Office 365 and Autodesk Cloud, albeit secured via proxy.
New feature – License Files window – View & Download
With the privileges of an administrator, you now have access to a large spectrum of data and actions:
List of license files:
License Server name
License Server type
Date received in OpenLM
Content of the license file
Filter license files by License Server name
Download license file
OpenLM Server v5.6.8 Maintenance Release -What is new?
“Export to CSV” possibility for Feature Usage Per User and Feature Usage Per Group reports
Added column “Additional Key” to License Procurement Report
Users are being removed from groups after deployment of the Options file from OpenLM
The server does not recognize DSLS Feature due to extreme long feature name
For more information read/check out the release Here.
Despite the meliorations in the v5.6, we recommend that all users of OpenLM versions make a step towards embracing the latest version 21.
Please contact our support department whenever you feel ready!
Investing in engineering software license monitoring solutions may seem like a tough decision at first glance, but when you do the math, your first reaction might well be: why didn’t I implement this before? For example, you can easily save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, with minimal investment, and bring transparency in terms of license usage within an organization and a boost in productivity and performance. We at OpenLM bring you real-life scenarios based on our clients’ or prospects’ requests, so check out below how a company can save $600,000 per year by implementing the OpenLM solution.
Every company manager is looking to optimize both budget and assets, so when we designed the OpenLM solution, we took into consideration both of these key factors. With OpenLM, you optimize engineering time utilization, cut down on license costs, and reduce license administration spending, as well. Let us show you how, based on a real-life example.
Calculating the budget
The organization has 700 engineers using software from two vendors. So, when calculating the yearly budget, we need to keep in mind the following costs:
License procurement: to keep licensing costs low, we purchase 100 licenses from Vendor 1 and a further 100 from Vendor 2. We then make a calculation based on half of the engineers using one piece of software while the second half use the other engineering application.
Work hours per engineer: in our case, we calculate $150 per hour, which includes associated costs.
License management: we assume this to be $100,000 per year.
License maintenance cost: that’s usually $1,000 per year.
Give the engineer what he or she needs when needed: software licenses
Calculating for one engineer working 40 hours per week, we get 2,080 hours/year/person. Now, multiply that by 700, and you get a stunning 1,456,000 working hours per year for the engineers only. To make our calculations simpler, let’s eliminate the additional costs we have included in the hourly wage of the engineer and take just $100 per hour. In this case, the total yearly wage of your engineers will be $145,600,000. That’s quite of a lump sum for any organization.
When it comes to working with engineering software using floating/network licenses, in real-life you must include the time spent on obtaining a license for the software the engineer wants to use during his work hours. By this, we mean the time spent on communication with IT admins or colleagues asking them for a software license, which goes by the minutes, but when you look at the yearly picture, this can accumulate to hours. This is the time lost due to a missing engineering software application management tool. Therefore, we calculate for 8 hours, or 0.38 percent of the total hours per year, so the total actually worked hours is reduced to 2,072 per year.
Save $560,000 by implementing an engineering software monitoring system
When transformed to dollars, this means you as an organization pay 5,600 hours per year, or $560,000, money which you can save by implementing an engineering software application solution such as OpenLM. With OpenLM on board, your engineers can pull the license they need from the license pool, as it helps you identify license hogs and eliminate idle time. The OpenLM solution even gives system administration the power to save the engineers’ work and close the app remotely if they see a drop in activity, according to a threshold you set within the company network.
So far, we have taken into consideration just the optimization of your human resources, which brings a total saving of $560,000 per year. That’s indirect saving, so let’s talk about the direct savings OpenLM enables the moment you install it on your system.
Cut down on additional costs
There are two direct costs you can reduce with the OpenLM solution: license maintenance and license management.
Considering the organization has 200 licenses, we calculate in a $1,000 maintenance fee per year for each, so the total IT asset cost per year for these two pieces of engineering software is $200,000 per annum for network license contracts. That’s an investment you have, let’s say, at the beginning of the year, with a certain usage scenario in mind.
However, the reality is always different, as is license usage. Without a proper license monitoring tool that gives you accurate reports covering activity and usage, plus accurate “true denials,” the 200 licenses will remain a fixed cost until you put the actual license usage under the loop and start analyzing the overall license usage per year.
That’s what OpenLM provides: reporting accurate engineering license usage in an easy-to-understand user interface with heatmaps and pie charts. As we are working with thousands of customers, we at OpenLM have observed that in most cases the required number of licenses for supporting high-quality of service is much lower than the actual number of purchased licenses. Please observe the image below, depicting a realistic dispersion of license utilization. When we say “high-quality of service,” we mean that the engineer gets what he wants, aka a software license. However, the truth is that license vendors do not provide real-time license usage information or advise against inefficient license allocation schemes. At times, software vendors even benefit from excessive license usage and charge software customers excessively.
So, to continue with our example, paying the license maintenance for 200 licenses without actually monitoring the real license usage benefits the vendor, not the organization, because the latter relinquishes control to the software provider. With OpenLM, you get full control over your engineering license usage, which, in most cases, means a direct saving of at least 15 percent of license maintenance cost. In other words, with OpenLM you save $30,000 per year, money which you don’t have to pay the vendor at the next license renewal date, as the OpenLM dashboard will give you an estimate of how many licenses you actually need to purchase to achieve 95 percent quality of service.
License management cost savings
Another important cost saving comes from the automation OpenLM provides out of the box for license management. Typically, we see a person (or more) in charge of license management, who, without a license monitoring system to hand, has to perform maintenance tasks manually and waste their time by commuting from one office to another. Just a quick example here: without a proper monitoring system installed on the license server, the person in charge of license management won’t know that a server is down until an engineer knocks on his door informing him about the issue. If that person had had the information before the engineer had walked into his office, then the organization would have saved both time and money on fixing the licensing issue.
With OpenLM, you have a complete monitoring system out of the box that automates license management tasks, saving precious time and money for the organization. So, returning to our example, we estimate license management cost at $100,000 per year. However, with OpenLM deployed on the organization’s network, you get a direct saving of 25 percent, or $25,000 per year.
So, to summarize, the total saving you make by simply using an engineering license monitoring tool within the organization we used as an example is more than $600,000 per year, out of which $55,000 is direct saving. That’s way more than the amount you pay for a solution, such as OpenLM.
Have you wondered how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the engineering license management in the past year? Or how the pandemic affected the software asset management (SAM) industry overall? We can agree that we all did. So, we thought about this a lot and we believe that the best way to find answers to all your questions is by speaking with key players of the SAM industry. This is why – building on the success of last year’s online conference of engineering software license management – we are organizing a second edition entitled “New Times. New Solutions” on October 13, 2021.
Software Asset Managers, CAD admin, IT managers, and anyone who has some connection with the management of engineering software is invited to this virtual meeting place. This year, we are looking for answers to timely questions on where engineering license management is heading, and also uncover the latest trends and innovations in the SAM industry.
The Engineering Software License Management Conference is the only meeting place in the world dedicated to licensing professionals, so reserve your seat today! During the October 13 event, you will be able to:
– speak with industry experts, and exchange ideas and resources on engineering software license management;
– learn more about how to stay compliant and increase productivity within your organization;
– listen and engage with industry experts to receive valuable information about how to reduce licensing costs;
– and, last but not least, learn from experts from large companies, learn from their experiences, and get advice and best practices you can apply in your organization.
We are honored to have OpenLM’s CEO Oren Gabay, Evan Orgel from ServiceNow as Keynote Speaker, Stefan Ritter and Jonas Meder from Secoptena, Daniel Sinacki from BorgWarner Inc. and Brian McElyea of Dynetics (a Leidos company) as speakers among many other industry experts at the second online conference dedicated to engineering application license management professionals.
The full agenda of the “New Times. New Solutions” conference is available on OpenLM’s website. We set the bar high last year, and we were so happy to see the positive feedback we got following our first conference. This year, we are raising the bar much higher with the second edition, and we are so eager to see you there! Click on the “Register now” button, and reserve your seat now!
Most organizations rely on expensive engineering software applications in their daily workflow. As with every company asset, the proper management of these high-value, software application licenses requires integration with an asset-management tool; otherwise, companies risk losing control of their finances. Unexpected licensing costs may accrue due to excessive license usage, or underused software applications further increase company expenses.
Detailed information and data on these high-value engineering applications is essential for every company, as it offers management visibility, transparency, awareness, clarity, and forecasting power. The more mature the level of a company’s IT asset management, the greater the benefits. As IT organizations progress from level to level up the maturity curve, each step will yield incremental savings, resulting in lower costs, decreased risk, and increased business alignment, as market research company Gartner points out in a report on IT Asset Management Maturity.
Companies working with high-value engineering applications are investing in software asset management (SAM) for several reasons:
to gain financial control;
to ensure compliance, which means they are fully licensed and compliant at any given time an auditor pops in;
to optimize resources;
to efficiently manage human resources;
to attain a stronger negotiating position with the software vendor when renewing software license contracts.
To achieve these goals, companies need tools that support an effective software asset-management program, and this is why we at OpenLM work hard to provide the right tools, such as the Reporting Hub, to our customers.
The OpenLM service increases visibility levels for the management and administration of software licenses across the company, and achieves higher levels of operational productivity, because it gives users the most accurate and clean data to analyze. With exact data on usage data at hand, decision-makers are in the driving seat when negotiating better prices and better deals for the company with the software vendor.
So what is the OpenLM Reporting Hub?
The Reporting Hub is a powerful extension of the OpenLM service. It is the non-plus ultra of data, because it represents a visual gateway into every data point OpenLM measures. In other words, it is the most comprehensive, customizable, and easy-to-understand visualization of everything that happened with the software assets a company holds within a defined period of time. If you want the data to work for you, then this is the tool you need. Here is what the Reporting Hub extension offers OpenLM users.
Visibility through interactive, custom charts and graphs
Coupled with a powerful business intelligence (BI) tool – for example Power BI from Microsoft, although it works with any BI tool – the OpenLM Reporting Hub extension gives users access to a customizable visual report. With just a few clicks you have all the data you need, structured with the measures-dimensions structure in mind, the current industry standard for BI-friendly databases, where dimensions range from calendars to workstations, and measures from raw usage duration to unused tables.
For example, with just a few clicks, OpenLM Reporting Hub users can immediately spot license hogs or employees with too much idle time. When working with raw data, it requires too many working hours just to assemble the final report that highlights the issue. As a Reporting Hub user, the power of business intelligence gives users the option of layering the different dimensions together. Simply put, you get aggregated, ready-to-use data in just a few minutes that builds on the OpenLM database, without the hassle of manually filtering through the raw data.
A complete list of applicable measures and dimensions is available from OpenLM’s knowledge base. It’s basically an endless drill-down into all the available data using simple drag and drop.
Transparency in license usage through custom filters
When it comes to data transparency, the Reporting Hub extension goes the extra mile: using Power BI allows endless customization of reports, with accurate and automatically updated data points of the custom query. It is your data, and you therefore have the right to have a clear view of what is happening within the company, which helps raise the awareness of decision-makers when identifying tasks, workflows, and other areas where applications could be used more efficiently.
OpenLM Reporting Hub options
OpenLM provides three options to make data work for you using the power of the Reporting Hub:
Simply receive the end report – in case you don’t want to deal with data manipulation, don’t have time for it, or you want just a report. OpenLM will allow you to schedule a report on a daily basis; a sample report such as, for example, license utilization.
Manage your own reports using your custom specifications on-premises.
Manage custom reports in the cloud.
The latter two options require professional services (OpenLM support), but the final result is the custom report you need. It connects directly to the hosted reporting database on the OpenLM systems, which eliminates the hassle of any type of maintenance. It is a direct link to the reporting database and, when connected to a BI tool, will give you a customized, visual, easy-to-understand report based on real data. This database provides aggregated, calculated data points ready for you to query.
What SAM can do with the OpenLM Reporting Hub data
As you can see, the OpenLM Reporting Hub is a powerful tool for leveling up the IT asset-management maturity of the organization: it gives you a more finely tuned exploration of the data on license usage, always displaying accurate and fresh information in an easy-to-understand format. Out of the box, the company is able to analyze global trends and drill down into the details by department and user level to evaluate and prepare new vendor agreements. Within just a few weeks of reviewing the newly acquired data, the company is able to detect previously unknown underutilized software and usage patterns.
We at OpenLM strive to deliver all the data you need so SAM managers can make informed decisions and design effective processes to achieve company-specific goals and objectives, while taking into account corporate policies, standards, and procedures modeled according to proven industry best practices. The Reporting Hub is in essence a tool that gives decision-makers control over the company’s software assets, with consistency and accuracy in mind. It puts decision-makers in the driving seat.
For more information about OpenLM’s Reporting Hub, head to our website, download the OpenLM software, and test it for yourself. Or get in touch with one of our sales team to get a customized version of the OpenLM service.
In order to meet our customer’s needs and challenges, unburden the management of the multiple processes, and offering the opportunity to extend the value OpenLM brings, we made the next step in transforming our software into a cross-platform one.
As a result, we are delighted to announce that OpenLM v21 is available on Linux!
By delivering our software asset management tool for Linux, we mark an important milestone for all of our customers. This will make OpenLM an unequivocally unified platform for monitoring and managing the licenses across an organization.
The OpenLM Server & Identity Service is available for the most common Linux distributions with the respective package:
Debian/Ubuntu (deb packaging)
RHEL/CentOS/Red Hat/Fedora (rpm packaging)
and more with a Tar.Gz archive
The OpenLM Server & Identity Service can be deployed using any existing Linux configuration management tool.
All the components will be centralized in the /opt folder, except for the Agent which will use a user-slice service. All the other components will run using the same OpenLM, self-configured by the package manager. Furthermore, all the components use the service layer provided by systemd, consequently, they are fully manageable as other system services with the .service file.
Each package contains the right list of dependencies and usually uses dotnet sdk and powershell core (Server and Identity Service configuration) to be fully cross-platform.
Implement OpenLM on Linux
Contact our sales department firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance in receiving the packages & licensing. Read more about the OpenLM version 21 here.
Notify me about future articles
You have successfully subscribed to our blog notifications
There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.