10 Things That Not Everyone Knows About OpenLM

The primary focus of most of our users is on license usage monitoring and reporting to optimize their license-to-user ratios and all this is included in the base product. However, OpenLM has 10 extensions that further enhance the functionality of the product. These extensions are optional software modules and may be purchased if and when needed.

The 10 OpenLM extensions are described briefly below:

OpenLM Reporting Hub

With the OpenLM Reporting Hub, you can sync the OpenLM database to a database dedicated for reporting purposes.

OpenLM Directory Synchronization

The extension lets you import information such as user names and groups from Windows Active Directory.  

OpenLM Active Agent

The OpenLM Active Agent is our license harvesting tool. You can intervene in idle user sessions and either close the session after saving any work or suspend the user’s screen. In both cases, the license is released and returned to the pool.

OpenLM Actual Usage

Get information beyond just license checkout and release times. Know who pulled the license and didn’t use it.

OpenLM Roles and Permissions

The roles and permissions extension lets you allocate OpenLM functionality to different administrators.  

OpenLM Group Usage

Report on usage by groups defined in OpenLM or based on Active Directory OU’s and work groups.

OpenLM License Allocation Manager

Configure options files the easy way without having to open a text editor and work out what’s written there

OpenLM Project Usage

You can get users of engineering software to select the project they are working on when pulling a license.

OpenLM Alerts

You can set up alerts for a variety of license status and license usage conditions.  

OpenLM External DB Support

Lets you use an alternative external database instead of the standard OpenLM database.

Read more at https://www.openlm.com/openlm-extensions/. If you are not certain how an extension can benefit your organization, please contact our sales team who will be happy to explain further. You get a free 30-day trial to test it out before you decide!

License File Parsing Trends

There are many people involved in the administration of engineering software licenses that want more information about the licenses they have in the organization and how they are being used. The floating or concurrent licensing model is that favored most by those involved in the management, procurement and administration of engineering software, because it gives them a means by which they can efficiently share their expensive software licenses between several  users, under the assumption that not everyone needs to use the software at the same time. The downside is that efficient sharing requires monitoring and management and if not done right, new problems can be introduced such as license unavailability and the cost saving advantage of the concurrent license model can be reduced.

Those who have the budget to invest in a purpose-built licence analysis and management tool invariably look to OpenLM’s fully-fledged enterprise software system by which user organizations of engineering software can monitor, report and manage the software licenses they have and get access to advanced software license administration functions.

There are others however who have more modest needs; they are neither trying to cut the organization’s engineering software budget nor take up battle to try and reach ideal license : user ratios. They just want a ‘quick and dirty’ method of reading the logs or license files of the engineering software they have purchased. So for the casual users like these, OpenLM took a subset of its enterprise license parsing and analysis product and launched the All License Parser, a free license and log file parser on the web. Some users of the All License Parser later graduate to OpenLM Core, with or without its extensions, but that is another story. This article is focused on the parser and what people are doing with it.

Whether it comes from compliance concerns or economic considerations, when the demand for an orderly picture of floating licenses arrives in the IT manager’s or license manager’s inbox, they start to look for the best way to get the report out to their manager. People that might have considered investigating the format of the license and log files with their own parsing efforts have been saved the effort because now they can just upload the file through the All License Parser and get instant results.

The All License Parser collects anonymous information from the files uploaded by the users. This allows the user to compare his own organization’s usage with benchmark data collected from other organization that use the same engineering software. It also gives us a chance to analyze the data and convert it to valuable information. This is the purpose of this article – to share with you the findings and trends we have identified, after having collected this data for about a year.

Most people upload one or more of the files (license, log, debug..) from the license manager that controls the checking out of licenses, because these contain most of the required information in one place. There are also files that are specific to one vendor daemon but these proved less attractive for the users. The trends we noted were:

The most common license manager by far, which the All License Parser users wanted to parse was Flexnet Publisher by Flexera, not exactly a surprise considering that this is the leading license management product on the market. Reprise RLM, Dassault Systemes, LS-DYNA, Sentinel, LM-X were noted too, in much smaller numbers.

  1. The most massive use by far was made by people in the US. The UK, Canada and Germany were next in line but all of them together didn’t reach much more than half that of the US.
  2. Files were uploaded from no less than 66 countries worldwide  covering the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa, stretching to Jordan, Bangladesh, Lithuania and New Zealand.
  3. The majority of users uploaded a few different versions of their files and over 7% of them repeated the process 10 times or more.
  4. The most popular engineering applications in use were Autodesk (led the field), Solidworks, Ansys, Mathworks, Schlumberger, PTC, ArcGIS and Siemens PLM. IBM Rational, Mentor Graphics, Abaqus, Pallisade, Scandpower Petroleum, Vendorcast and dozens more apps in smaller numbers were identified too.

Summary

Organizations are using engineering software in every corner of the globe, under a concurrent licensing agreement and their use of the All-License Parser shows that they have a thirst for information that is not otherwise easy to  come by. Users have parsed thousands of license, log and debug files in the last year using the free All License Parser. Judging by the number of users that open an account (free or paid) and repeatedly use the tool, the interest in parsing license files is growing.

The Actual Numbers from our Sample

15 Most Uploaded File Types

 

File Type Number of Uploads
FLEXlm log 2969
FLEXlm license 1143
FLEXlm lmutil 145
Reprise License Manager license 51
Dassault Systemes License log 47
OpenLM License 54
LS-DYNA log 30
Sentinel RMS log 53
Reprise License Manager log 29
LM-X license 14
LM-X log 24
LS-DYNA license 2
Sentinel SuperPro log 1
Sentinel RMS license 1
Dassault Systemes License 5

 

The 15 Most Uploaded Vendors

 

File (Vendor / Product) Number of Uploads
Adskflex (AutoDesk) 1229
SW_D (Solidworks) 351
Ansyslmd (ANSYS) 330
MLM (MathWorks) 254
Slbsls (Schlumberger) 172
Ptc_d (PTC) 138
ARCGIS (ArcGIS) 198
Ugslmd (Siemens PLM) 143
Ibmratl (IBM Rational) 62
Mgcld (Mentor Graphics) 70
ABAQUSLM (ABAQUS) 61
Palisade (Palisade) 74
Scplmd (Scandpower Petroleum ) 43
Vector (VectorCAST) 45
LMCOMSOL (Comsol) 56

 

All 66 Countries That Used the All License Parser

 

Country Number of Users
US United States                  400
GB United Kingdom                 95
CA Canada                         71
DE Germany                        67
IN India                          32
AU Australia                      30
IL Israel 26
FR France                         24
NL Netherlands                    23
JP Japan                          17
CH Switzerland                    17
ES Spain                          16
KR Korea Republic of              16
RU Russian Federation             15
SE Sweden                         15
IT Italy                          12
PL Poland                         11
TW Taiwan; Republic of China (ROC) 11
BE Belgium                        11
UA Ukraine 11
ID Indonesia                      10
AT Austria                        8
BR Brazil                         8
SG Singapore                      7
NO Norway                         7
CN China                          6
CO Colombia                       6
HK Hong Kong                      6
IR Iran (ISLAMIC Republic Of)     6
FI Finland                        5
HR Croatia (LOCAL Name: Hrvatska) 5
CZ Czech Republic                 5
TR Turkey                         4
PT Portugal                       4
IE Ireland                        4
BG Bulgaria                       4
LT Lithuania                      4
EU European Union                 4
ZA South Africa                   4
AR Argentina                      3
DK Denmark                        3
SI Slovenia                       3
TH Thailand                       3
TN Tunisia                        3
VN Viet Nam                       2
AE United Arab Emirates           2
CL Chile                          2
NG Nigeria                        2
MY Malaysia                       2
SA Saudi Arabia                   2
KZ Kazakhstan                     2
DZ Algeria                        2
BA Bosnia and Herzegowina         2
RO Romania                        2
MX Mexico                         1
JO Jordan                         1
VE Venezuela                      1
BO Bolivia                        1
EG Egypt                          1
LB Lebanon                        1
HU Hungary                        1
IS Iceland                        1
CR Costa Rica                     1
BD Bangladesh                     1
NZ New Zealand                    1
PH Philippines                    1

 

Top 10 Reasons Organizations Don’t Manage Their Software Engineering Licenses

Background

Engineering applications are invariably the most expensive software on your workers’ desktops. Compared to a few hundred dollars for a typical office application, engineering software starts at $5K at the low end and can reach as high as $500K a seat. A typical cost of engineering software licenses is $50K per engineer, excluding annual maintenance.

On that basis, if we take for example an organization with 100 engineers using industry-standard engineering software, we are looking at a purchase price of some $5M plus maintenance of $1M every year. Moreover, a company with 100 engineers is a pretty small one! When we are dealing with organizations that employ many thousands of engineers, it becomes big money!

Some engineering software vendors such as DSLS incorporate their own license management software to handle the application checkout process, while others use dedicated third party license managers; among the most common license managers are FLEXlm (Flexera Flexnet Publisher) and Sentinel RMS. Either way, these license managers are designed to serve the software vendor and not the user organization.

Cost to the Engineering Software User Organization

Having a resource that costs such a large sum of money, which is not managed tightly, can result in overspending and wastage of valuable budgets. Going back to our example company with its 100 engineers, $5M purchase costs and $1M annual maintenance fees, if it was discovered that it has licenses that are paid for but not being used, it could save wasted budgets immediately by cancelling the maintenance on unused licenses, freeing budgets without impeding projects in any way. If on the other hand the company is doing well and recruits more engineers, knowing of licenses that are available will allow it to support the growth by first using the licenses available and then purchasing only those they need.

Despite the clear benefits of managing engineering software license inventory well, a variety of reasons are given as to why this doesn’t happen. The list we have compiled below comprises the ten most common reasons we hear from license admins and IT managers.

The Top 10 Reasons Given

“No Budget”

Ironically this is one of the top reasons given by license admins for not doing more to be on top of the corporate licensing strategy. It’s not surprising there’s no budget left when you are paying for resources that are not in use. When you start managing your expensive software assets, you will save money and free up your choked budget!

“We’ve Written our Own Scripts”

This is common claim in many organizations. Sometimes it’s the software manager and in other cases a developer in the IT department that was called on to help with the task. At first sight this might seem to be a solution, but cannot compete with professional software built for the purpose and under continuous development, which gives you the most accurate and updated information available. The ‘home-grown’ solution falls following changes in the engineering software license allocation methods, changes in the licensing model and the fact that often no-one is available any more to maintain the scripts. The result is inaccurate and partial information and dependency on a developer to continuously update the scripts; the “savings” can cost the organization a fortune.

“This Might Reveal Erroneous Purchase Decisions”

Yes, this is possible, even likely, after installing a license monitoring system. Licenses get purchased without any justification while other departments had the same license and they were not being utilized. Sometimes workers have since left and their licenses are no longer used, while new licenses are purchased for new workers. However, the truth is that without software license monitoring tools that can give you the full picture it is almost impossible to be in command. As license admin, the quicker you can re-establish control over the licenses in your organization, the quicker you will have satisfactory answers to management questions and audits, be able to show you now have valuable usage information available that you could not have known before and you won’t have to look over your shoulder and cover up for past mistakes.

“The Software Vendor Provides This”

This is a common misconception. Software vendors build in capabilities to ensure that customers cannot use their software beyond what is in their licensing agreement. These capabilities are primarily focused on controlling whether a license may be ‘pulled’ or not. Vendors don’t have a strong interest in collecting usage statistics for the benefit of their customers. Their core business is in producing engineering software, not license administration, and it stands to reason that helping you to save money on their licensing model is not a top priority for any vendor.

“It’s Small Money Compared to our HR Costs”

This might be correct but it is not a justifiable reason to pass up on knowing how much your software licenses are being used. We have seen for example in energy companies that when oil prices are high, the cost of engineering software is not a primary consideration but with the drop in crude oil market prices, profits are hit and now these companies are managing their huge software assets with a greater sense of urgency. Interestingly in such organizations, when we analyse the license availability we see that even before they cancel unused licenses, they still suffer from license denials due to poor management of the licenses and a lack of control over the software resources. They were therefore losing out not just from spending more than they needed on their engineering software licenses but also from reduced efficiency of their engineering teams.

“If I bring in a License Management System, I’ll Put Myself out of a Job”

Job security is a real concern in the modern work environment but not justified in this case. Being involved in hundreds of such projects over the last few years, we have seen how the person managing the licensing is empowered by having the tools to make accurate decisions about license requirements, based on analytical data, thus contributing to his standing in the organization and gaining him respect. Taking the lead and staying on top of the wave is far better than trying to cover up for past mistakes.  

“No-one Has Complained Yet”

This is an oft-repeated claim, typical of organizations having a cultural preference for the “quiet life” over continuous improvement of operations. However, company cultures change, old managers get replaced by those with a more dynamic approach and the quiet life of the past is no guarantee that an unexpected demand for information about license inventory and license usage will not one day arrive from your boss. “Be prepared’ is an adage that can never harm you and gives you the upper hand if and when needed.

“We Are Considering Switching to a Subscription Model”.

Vendors of engineering software have been active over the past year in trying to convince their customers to move from a floating licensing model to a cloud-based, named or subscription-based licensing model. While the shift from floating to subscription is easy, we have seen in many organizations that it can cost you a lot more over time. The change might be something you will be forced to do in the future but we recommend staying with the floating license model as long as you can and during that time, you can monitor and manage the concurrent licenses, avoid wasting money and get the most out of them through informed management. Furthermore, it will give you the information you need to make the right decision if and when you change the licensing model.

“We don’t have the Manpower to Manage It”.

The fear of not having the human resources to properly manage software licenses is common and is part of a general limitation many organizations place on themselves by looking at the short-term expense without offsetting it against the benefits they will receive in the long term. Administration of your engineering software licenses may require a more intensive effort at the beginning to set up your administrative and reporting procedures but the work required becomes less over time. In our experience, the more time dedicated to this role, the more the organization profits, and proactive management of software for engineering applications always proves to be a positive move, ultimately saving money and removing constraints on engineering projects. Organizations that have difficulty acquiring the budgets for initial HR investment always have the option of outsourcing the work with limited hours at the beginning and gradually increasing the allocation as the benefits become more apparent and executive ‘buy-in’ can be obtained.

“It’s Hard to Stop Maintenance on Software After so Many Years”.

This is an understandable fear but it is based on an illusion. It’s not the same issue as cancelling insurance or freeing an investment. Software is a liability and not an asset, it continuously costs you money so if it’s not in use, drop it! You can add back licenses or their maintenance anytime, if and when you need them.

Summary

The above-listed reasons are those we most commonly come across in our day-to-day interaction with license admins, IT managers and even senior stakeholders like directors of engineering, when they explain their avoidance of proactive administration of expensive engineering software licenses. However, as you can see, all are based on just a partial view of the whole picture. Seeing the full picture, becoming proactive and breaking the chains holding you down will push you and your organization forward to more productive projects while having greater insight and reducing licensing costs.

Not true for your organization? If you’ve got another good reason for not administering your engineering software licenses with a ‘strong hand’? Let us know. We’d love to hear your ideas and comments!

Do you need a license usage information API?

openlm-logoapi

It turns out that many people don’t know about the OpenLM free API, and that includes a good many OpenLM customers too!

OpenLM provides a software interface to the data produced by the OpenLM system. It is actually an essential part of OpenLM Core; it’s what we use ourselves to get the data out to the OpenLM screens. That’s good news for users because it is always as up-to-date as the latest version of OpenLM.

The OpenLM API lets you extract inventory and usage information on license servers, applications and licensed features – concurrent data, actual usage, licensing terms, project and group usage and information on hosts, not to mention denials, all through a simple program call.

Read more about the OpenLM API and see how the German software vendor DeskCenter used it to integrate OpenLM into their system. Oh, and if I didn’t mention it already, it’s free!

Neil Leigh,

OpenLM Marketing Manager

 

OpenLM Goes Live with LMH

OpenLM has kicked off 2017 with the launch of a new and unique license manager hosting service called LMH or ‘License Manager Hosted’.

The new service offers many benefits to organizations who use software that requires a license manager like Flexera Software’s® FlexNet®. First of all they don’t need to install a thing on their network and secondly, all the maintenance of the license manager is done by us. That includes software upgrades, configuration and backups.

And that’s not all! OpenLM’s LMH comes complete with OpenLM Cloud, OpenLM’s license app monitoring and optimization tool, that gives the license administrator essential information about license usage for efficient management of software licenses.

For an overview of the benefits, go to the License Manager Hosted product page.

 

OpenLM Version 3.3 Released

OpenLM has released version 3.3 of its license monitoring and management tool. Major enhancements include the availability of the new extensions – a BI tool called Usage Analytics (a limited version was released with version 3.2) and Proactive App Manager, a brand new management feature for any installed software including software that is not managed by any kind of license manager, and Windows authentication as an alternative method of logging in to the OpenLM server.

Many of the new features come following requests from customers. Version 3.3 includes all bug fixes since the release of version 3.2 and these are documented in OpenLM Software Revisions

Following is a brief description of the main enhancements.

Core Product Report Improvements

The capability of scheduling and automatically emailing reports is not limited to the new BI extension. It has been added also to the basic reports in OpenLM EasyAdmin interface. Important enhancements have been added also to the license utilization chart including an aggregated usage presentation, quality of service (indicates license effectiveness) and detection of abnormal usage patterns, and improvements in the denials report.

More Licensing Managers Supported

The Licman and Olicense license managers are now supported and enhancements have been made to license managers that were already supported, such as support for DSLS token-based model, denials for the LM-X license manager, BetaLM triad-server redundancy, as well as improvements in Reprise RLM and Sentinel RMS.

Windows Authentication

In version 3.3 OpenLM includes a Windows Authentication scheme. This feature enables login via the standard Windows login process using the username and password registered on the organizational Directory Service.

FLEXlm License File Upload

FLEXlm license files, which have been fetched from the remote license server to the administrator’s workstation, can now be edited and replaced on the FLEXlm server.

Other UI Improvements

Improved capability in Checkout Policy window to match the license checkout policy (of the licenses reported as ‘used’) with the actual policy practiced by the license manager, active sessions window improved, license server down alert, configuration change status highlighted in configuration tool.

New Power Extensions

Apart from the enhancements to the core product, the release of OpenLM 3.3 is accompanied by the release of two powerful new extensions – Usage Analytics and Proactive App Manager. Extensions are optional extra modules that add extended capabilities to the OpenLM license manager. The two new additions are described below

Usage Analytics

An advanced analytical reporting tool that consolidates all software usage and license allocation data monitored by OpenLM. It comes with additional predefined usage and utilization reports to those included in the OpenLM core product, such as ‘Peak daily concurrent usage’ that shows usage and denials together on the same report and ‘Peak Daily Utilization %’.

Apart from the new predefined reports, there is a report generator that allows you to create an unlimited number of custom reports. Output can be exported to PDF, CSV, HTML, Excel and text. The database can be queried directly through Excel or any SQL query tool and external BI tools are fully supported – both through the built-in OLAP cube view and direct querying of the consolidated trends database. All reports can be scheduled for automatic running and distribution to stakeholders, tailored to the recipient.

Usage Analytics is an OpenLM extension (optional extra).

Proactive App Manager

A system for monitoring and controlling the use of any software in the organization regardless of the licensing scheme in effect. Proactive License Management allows you to implement your own allocation policy. It lets you automatically intercept the launch of applications to avoid excessive usage and enforce distributed usage according to user group, location and time.

One benefit of using Proactive App Manager is to prevent consumption of unnecessary buckets (a licensing model in which a set period of usage time is billed for even when only a fraction of it has been used).

Another benefit specifically for Autodesk admins is the prevention of launching different versions of products which don’t conform to the Autodesk cascading mechanism (e.g. Autocad 2015 and 3DS MAX 2016).

The new module gives you much needed control over license allocation in cases where usage is unrestricted and the vendor charges on the basis of actual usage made and in cases where there is the need to comply with license policies but there is no mechanism in place to enforce it. License admins will appreciate how this tool can help them in negotiations with software vendors via the usage data it provides.

These are just some examples of how you can benefit from the OpenLM Proactive App Manager, which can intercept almost any application launch process.   

Proactive App Manager is an OpenLM extension (optional extra).

Availability

OpenLM version 3.3 and the two new extension are available now! Whether you are a seasoned OpenLM user of just curious, you are invited to download and try. We invite existing users to listen in to our free ‘3.3 What’s New’ webinar to understand the benefits of upgrading to 3.3 in the fastest way possible. If you just want to learn what OpenLM is all about, we have a regular webinar slot every week just for you!

For more information:

Contact us: https://www.openlm.com/contact-us/

Signup for the webinar https://www.openlm.com/webinar-registration/

Download OpenLM 3.3: https://www.openlm.com/download/

 

OpenLM Gaining Ground in Germany

2016 has proved to be a successful year for OpenLM in Germany. OpenLM’s exclusive distributor SECOPTENA signed reseller agreements with two new IT software specialists, bringing the total number of German companies representing OpenLM to 4.

The latest partner to join the OpenLM reseller network was DeskCenter in a technology partnership for the management of network licenses. DeskCenter is a software manufacturer headquartered in Leipzig Germany that focuses on IT infrastructure and lifecycle management. The company will sell OpenLM in combination with their DeskCenter Management Suite. The integration will simplify the administration of all current license models via a common user interface. SECOPTENA took part in DeskCenter’s recent December 2016 Road Show.

The new agreement comes shortly after SECOPTENA appointed Encad consulting as its second reseller in Germany. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Augsburg, Encad consulting is an information technology and services company that specializes in CAD and PLM solutions. It sells product from Dassault Systèmes (CATIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, 3DVIA), which are supported by OpenLM license management software.

SECOPTENA will train and support the new partners and provide them first level support. The resellers will be the initial contact for their customers, will handle hotline-support and be active in acquiring new customers.

The first reseller acquired by SECOPTENA was K2D in 2013. K2D is a leading provider of CAD software and digital design communication solutions.

See more about DeskCenter (in German) and its solutions

See Encad’s OpenLM page (in German): https://www.encad-consulting.de/produkte/plm/openlm/

See more about K2D’s licensing solutions (in German): K2D GmbH

 

SECOPTENA GmbH is a solution and service provider for IT governance and IT compliance and has played a key role in OpenLM’s penetration to the German market since becoming an OpenLM strategic partner in 2011. The two companies have exhibited together in several expos. See http://www.secoptena.com/openlm/

 

Let My License Flow!

The IT industry is in the midst of a trend of migration from local network servers to the cloud and this trend has affected license servers too. Vendors present cloud-based licensing as a highly flexible and hence desirable form of license acquisition. Using cloud license servers for cloud applications makes sense. However, using them to manage floating desktop application licenses, while beneficial to the vendor, has some serious drawbacks for the user organization. These drawbacks are the subject of this article.

Floating Licenses

Floating licenses, also referred to as ‘network’ or ‘concurrent’ licenses, are agreements in which a limited number of licenses are shared among a group of users and the number of licenses concurrently in use cannot go beyond the total number of licenses purchased. Floating licenses are normally implemented by a service or a daemon that acts as a server. The server enforces license usage restrictions as dictated by the license agreement. Floating licenses provide the user organization flexibility by granting multiple users access to a relatively small number of licenses on the basis of time-sharing.

Traditional on-premise license servers provide valuable information and functionality to the customer user organization including direct querying of license usage information, and provide valuable information about the utilization of expensive software licenses.

Vendor Preference for Named Licenses

Recently there has been  a push by vendors to move users from the traditional, floating license model to that of ‘named’ licenses, implemented by a cloud-based license manager. In this model, licenses are allocated to specific users. The applications installed on end-user workstations then communicate with cloud license servers to obtain the required licenses but the cloud-based license manager is otherwise mostly inaccessible to the client.

Less Control to the User Organization

  • While cloud license management doesn’t necessarily exclude the floating license model, most tend to skip this feature in favor of named users. The main drawbacks can be summarized as follows:
  • Migration to cloud-based named licensing models commonly involves additional expenditure. For example, clients are forced to spend money on subscription fees they may have otherwise legally chosen to avoid.
  • The customer loses much of the control they have over license allocation and is left with the decision to allocate the license to the user or not.
  • License usage reporting is more complex.
  • License monitoring and billing is left to the vendor.
  • Usage efficiency is reduced compared to floating licenses. There is a risk of licenses being allocated to named users that may not use them.
  • Clients don’t have essential information relating to license efficiency. License administrators have difficulty determining actual license levels required by each user, user group and organizational unit or preferences among users.
  • Once the move to cloud licensing has been made, it may be difficult to move to an alternative method of licensing, if and when the terms of the present license agreement change.
  • The client’s choice of using an older software version (e.g. a version to which users have become accustomed or for which they have a custom application) may be taken away. Vendors have the ability to force upgrade at their discretion.
  • The number of licenses required for purchase and the period of license subscriptions are parameters that must be determined by the customer prior to purchase. This information is no longer in their hands.
  • When a token-based approach is taken, some vendors have a policy that any unused license tokens at the end of the subscription period will be lost. This further demonstrates the need to monitor and evaluate the usage of licenses by an independent 3rd party tool.

Summary

New licensing schemas might be an opportunity for simplification, but also risk additional expenses and reduced usage efficiency. Floating licenses, when managed properly by an on-premise license manager have proved to be the most cost-effective way of using expensive software.

Before jumping at vendors’ suggestions of moving to cloud-based license management – especially if it replaces the floating model with a named one – organizations would do well to consider the points mentioned above. It might well be worth keeping to the locally managed floating license model for now and to review the current cloud solution in the future, when the disadvantages may have been resolved. Even if one vendor forces your hand, hybrid licensing is an option that can let you keep actively monitoring at least part of your license usage.

OpenLM Now Supports Automatic ‘Save and Close’ for ArcGIS Pro

OpenLM has released version 3.3 of its Active Agent add-on to its core license management product which allows automatic save and close of Esri’s ArcGIS Pro product.

The new ArcGIS Pro software from Esri was initially released using a named license policy. Recently Esri added the concurrent licensing option to ArcGIS Pro and this has created a situation in some user organizations when the license allocation gets used up due to users not exiting the application.

Using the new version, when OpenLM detects an idle session of ArcGIS Pro, the user’s work is saved, the application is actively shut down and a notification is displayed on the session user’s screen. The location of automatic saving is configurable, and so doesn’t need to override the current open project.

Once the idle session is closed, users who have been waiting for licenses to become available will be notified.

Support for the ArcGIS Pro product is added to the automatic save and close capabilities that can be applied to idle MATLAB , Autodesk, Solidworks and ArcGIS (non-Pro) sessions.

Upgrading to version 3.3 of the OpenLM Active Agent is free for all users under maintenance.

Software Asset Management and Audits

Earlier this year, Gartner published a report called ‘Software Asset Management Is Now a C-Level Imperative’ in which it explains how software management has become a major issue not just for CIO’s but also CFO’s and other top executives, including the CEO. The criticality of software in business processes is pushing those responsible for information technology management to provide better transparency into software usage, improve license compliance and integrate SAM into IT governance.

The report forewarns IT managers of the danger of having software asset management forced on them by the CEO who demands transparency of the IT function. CIOs, they say, should be aware that if they don’t do it themselves, the task may be given over to those outside of IT; the business demands increasing transparency and mature governance from IT and in particular requires detailed information to help business leaders understand the value of their IT investment and its risks. It also makes it clear that subscriptions are not replacing complex licensing scenarios but rather adding to them and points to the need for third party solutions to help achieve this.  The definition of an IT asset, claims the report, is not uniform across any one organization and the task of defining which software needs to be managed and how, falls largely into the lap of the IT manager.

Who is Responsible for Asset Management?

In the survey done by Gartner, prior to producing the report, 12% of CEO’s and 9% of CIO’s are directly responsible for software asset management. 41% are IT staff and the rest are spread across various roles in the organization including CTO, COO, CFO and VPs.

Drivers

The procurement department has traditionally been at the a front runner in raising awareness of SAM solutions; they have been ones who have had to deal with vendor license compliance claims and audits. Internal data security has an interest too due to the dangers that non-authorized and unpatched software can introduce to the enterprise and senior executive management  for its part has its interest in improving transparency and controlling IT expenditure.

According the the answers provided by the participants of Gartner’s survey, today’s drivers are the improvement of IT processes, better service delivery, better aligning of software strategy and needs with the business – in other words current consumption and future demands,  improving software compliance and the ability to respond to software audits.

Software Audits

CIOs and other executives are all applying pressure to minimize the impact of software audits, both from a financial point of view and an operational one. A great many enterprises get audited annually by software vendors and the implications can include demands for unbudgeted expenses in additional license purchases, payment of back maintenance and even the cost of the audit,not to mention requirements for new contracts without negotiating leverage. Even where audits result in no financial penalties, the resource requirements and disruption to business operations during the audit can be significant.

The full report can be purchased at the following link: https://www.gartner.com/doc/3237218/software-asset-management-clevel-imperative