1 – Knowing What You Own
Good License Asset management begins by having an accurate idea of what you currently own, how/when you bought it, its cost, its restriction of use, and its expiration date. From there you can decide if you need more or less, or a different kind of License. Can you move from an expensive WAN Global to a LAN? LAN to Node-locked? Is there a way to consolidate servers? Reduce total count? Knowing the “contractual” obligations by reviewing the licensing agreement(s) would also be considered good management practice. Many CAD Managers have never even seen, let alone read the Licensing Agreements.
LAMUM allows you to track CAD/CAE License inventory with all related information, including Vendor, # seats, PO, restriction of use, port@host, expiration date, and persons responsible for that Line Item. It will also be nice to see Inventory by Responsible Person, by Vendor, by Discipline, by Expiration date, etc. LAMUM provides this and is a full featured CAD/CAE License Inventory Management system. If you have more than 25 engineers and 3 Vendors you need LAMUM!
2 – Preparing for Renewals
Preparing for renewal is not just waiting for the Vendor to send you a renewal Quote. You really need to prepare 30- 60 days in advance of renewal. You need to review the past period pricing, terms, and decide what your strategy will be and what your needs are going forward. You also need to review how this Vendor behaves, pricing, how they discount, Licensing types available, who are the key players, and how you want to approach the renewal.
You will need at least two months to assess your needs based on past usage, upcoming needs and trends. Only then can you get the best “deal” for your Company. LAMUM allows you to track Renewal dates and set up Renewal Alerts 60 days in advance. LAMUM also allows you to keep a copy of all Agreements and documents related to this Vendor, past purchases, all in one place, that can be shared. LAMUM is a full featured Renewal Management system. You can learn more about how we support customers maximize the results of renewal negotiations here.
3 – Preparing Budgets
At least once a year you will need to prepare and submit your CAD/CAE budget, sometimes on short notice. Generally, 100 engineers require $250k in CAD/CAE Tools. But you will need to be more accurate. LAMUM allows you to track exactly what last year costs were for all your CAD/CAE tools by Vendor and predict needs for the coming year. LAMUM allows you to track Costs by Line Item, by Vendor, and by Tool Type. LAMUM allows you to prepare a budget by Vendor accordingly.
4 – Sharing Relevant Vendor, Contact, Contract & PO Information
There is a lot of information about a Vendor that you need to know, and sometimes share with colleagues- contacts, terms, discount rates, list prices, address, phone numbers, email addresses, associated contracts and documents (NDA, Perpetual License Agreement, Subscription License Agreement, etc).
Best practices suggest that you centralize and share this information, rather than have multiple excel spreadsheets, copies of contracts in multiple files, and numerous Vendor business cards floating around. Our License Asset Manager functionality allows you to centralize and share all related Vendor and Reseller information.
5 – Understanding Current License Checkouts
You need to see how many licenses are checked out at any given time. You need to see who has a license checked out and for how long. Color-coding by % of capacity is desirable. You need to see the Active White Paper Directory information for a User. You need to know if someone is hoarding or camping on a license. You need to be able to reclaim (lmremove) a License if not being used and get it back into the license pool. You need to be able to see license checkouts in real-time, updated continuously, and displayed in a table or as “gas gages”. You many even want to set up large screens on the wall to view current checkout status continuously, across multiple tools or servers. LAMUM provides all this capability. Here is a White Paper on setting up a “Command Center” look/feel.
Extraordinary Long Checkouts
As stated above you need to know if there are long checkouts, especially on expensive or high-demand licenses. You need to be able to determine average or typical Checkout time so you can set up a reasonable rule. It would be nice if long checkouts could be detected and a warning message sent automatically to the User. LAMUM provides Average checkout times, Long Checkout Alerts and User Warnings.
6 – Understanding Usage Patterns & Trends
There are certain checkout status or historical usage reports that you will want to see from time to time, on-demand, with the most current data. You will want to see those reports by clicking on a Favorite in your browser, or by clicking on a hyperlink in SharePoint, GoogleDoc, Word, PDF or “WIKI”. You will want to see the hyperlink with a “user-friendly” name. Creation of these “User Dashboards” must be easy so that anybody, any Manager, can create and maintain their own Dashboards. LAMUM provides such capability.
There are certain historical usage reports you will want to get regularly: weekly, monthly, quarterly,… You will want these reports to be created automatically, in the middle of the night, and then either emailed to you or deposited to a specific folder. Batch reports need to have User-friendly names. Batch reports must be easy way to create, maintain or delete. LAMUM provides this. The process is simple: create the report you want and click “Create Batch Report”, give it a user-friendly name, and then select Delivery type: email or folder. Done! You can always go back and change the Report name or Delivery type.
Usage by Tool or usage by individual is certainly important but usage by Group may be necessary too, especially if “Chargeback” is necessary. A Group can be a Manager’s name, a Project team, a Site, or any other way to Group engineers and monitor usage by that Group. If you do require usage by Group you will need an easy way to create and manage the Group. Can you create the Group interactively? Can you create the Group off-line in an excel spreadsheet? Can you create the Group using Active Directory? LAMUM allows you to create and maintain Groups all 3 ways, and to create Group usage reports with % of total for Chargebacks.
7 – Knowing What is NOT Being Used
We tend to focus on what is being used, by whom, how much, etc. and that is important. But it is equally important to know what is not being used. There may be tools you bought and paid for that are not being used and that is a waste of money. LAMUM allows you see all features (tools) at any given port@host that were not used (checked out) in a specified time period. This information can be reviewed periodically and you can determine if it is possible to save some money by getting rid of it. The information may also be useful to the Engineering Manager who might be interested to know if certain tools are not being used! The Manager may want to conduct training on that tool, or access performance by an Engineer or Group. The LAMUM “Zero Usage report” makes a good monthly or quarterly Batch report.
8 – Avoiding Excess Purchase “Traps”
Managers may jump to conclusions that they need to buy more licenses if someone comes along and says “we need more licenses” or “I can’t get a license” or “I keep getting denied”. It is bad management practice to just go out and by more licenses based on hearsay. Most likely there is plenty of capacity if usage is distributed over the full 24×7 period, and as long as engineers aren’t hoarding licenses. Is there a way engineer demand can be shifted if they can see current usage patterns, if they know when Denials might occur?
Best practices suggest that a 5% probability of “Denial” is acceptable. LAMUM will show you the current probability of Denial in the Concurrent-use reports. It will also show you the Concurrent-Use patterns for 24×7, M-F 8-5, or for any skewed time period. Long Checkout Alerts will also help to reduce hoarding and prevent excessive purchases of very expensive tools. LAMUM will provide you the tools to look and verify if Licenses are or are not available, and why. LAMUM will give you the information needed to justify License capacity changes at renewal time.
9 – Receiving Relevant Alerts
Automatic Alerts for such things as “Daemon-down” will help you maintain License availability. Alerts like “At Capacity” will help determine if/when you are running out of Licenses. If you are getting a lot of “At Capacity” alerts maybe you do need more licenses! “Expiration Alerts” will also help to assure License availability by giving you enough time to renew and mount a new License key. Having a License key expire can be very embarrassing! Setting the Alert to 60-days should give you adequate time to analyze your needs, negotiate with the Vendor, and process a renewal. If you have expensive licenses or licenses with significant contention, the Long Checkout Alert will be of value. LAMUM has all these Alerts, if you want to use them.
10 – Managing Expensive Company Licensed Assets Using “Best Practices”
There is no question that CAD/CAE licenses are expensive company assets. As such they need to be managed properly. A good estimate of cost is $250k per 100 engineers. If you can save just 10% of those costs you could be saving your company many thousands of dollars, and you will look like a hero! Moreover, you owe it to your company to get the most out of the licenses you own, and to assure maximum License availability. That is just good business management. LAMUM will help you achieve this goal, and will give you the information you need to justify more or less Licenses. LAMUM will insure you are capturing and sharing the important and right information for best practices.
It’s not about whether you should buy TeamEDA’s LAMUM. It’s a matter of what you lose by not buying LAMUM. You owe your company an effective way of managing expensive company assets. You owe it to you company to run lean, and save money. You owe it to yourself to be seen as an innovator!