Planning an EDA, CAD, FEA, PLM or ALM upgrade? How well do you know your users?

Looking back a few years, I remember the urgent conversations during a scaled-up User-Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase; “Why are Robert and his team using the advanced features on the model viewer? I am not sure we have enough licenses now with the change in functionality at this new software version. Why didn’t we pick up on this before?”

Project development for engineering applications is fraught with issues and decision making, from data models to migration. Sadly the license checks and revised license models often get pushed to the back of the list. Has this happened to you?

The conversation above raises two very important issues:

  1. The company did not know what functionality their users were using. In medium to large organizations network/floating licenses are used as the most cost-effective method for user provision. However, without the use of FlexLM Option files, these licenses are typically available for all to use, on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Engineers are inquisitive in nature and like to test out new features in the tool, looking for efficiency gains in the development process.
  2. The upgraded software version had a change in the way functionality was licensed. Software vendors introduce new features, functions and modules all the time, it is why we buy the best toolset at the time and then the justification for paying our annual software maintenance/support fees. Vendors are generally very careful not to charge customers extra for a function they have already been using, but changes in license bundles and add-on’s can make the upgrade license transition process a little complex (grandfathering agreements, etc.).

Token-based licensing is becoming an accepted method for addressing the Bundle/Add-On complexities in Engineering applications. Flexlm has the capability, so more vendors will be rolling this model out to take advantage of a move to subscription-style licensing. Token-based is a popular method within the Business Software world such as OS, CRM, ERP and other core business systems. This is great for companies that have highly variable patterns of software use and definitely provides greater project flexibility. But determining how many tokens to purchase from each vendor can be a time-consuming process from a standing start. Please share your experiences of token-based engineering software?

So how can you know your users more and understand their usage patterns, prior to upgrades, purchases and transitions?

TeamEDA has one product (LAMUM) and a single focus, which is to provide a complete Engineering Application license intelligence platform, delivering data for informed decision making and considerable cost savings. Call us, we love to talk about license planning.

LAMUM is an Active Directory enabled application providing a complete overview of assets including all vendor information, compliance information, contract rules, server locations and admins. We deliver full usage reporting, both live and historical, allowing managers a complete toolset for analysis. We show visibility on usage (Vendor, Daemon, Features, Groups, Users), with innovative features around weekly heatmaps, zero use reports and denials.

We support more tools than I can list here, but here are a few; Siemens NX, Solidedge & Teamcenter, PTC Creo & Windchill, Dassault Systèmes Catia, Solidworks & Enovia, Autodesk software, Ansys, ArcGIS, Mentor, No Magic, Altair, Labview, Cadence, Mathworks, and many more. You can view the full list here.

This post was based on this LinkedIn post by Paul Empringham, TeamEDA’s European Sales Director. Paul has over 20 years experience within the Engineering and CAD/PLM software industries. He was a consultant with Siemens PLM working with many of Europe’s most innovative manufacturers. Paul has also held management positions at a number of organizations running Engineering Application teams and delivering large PLM transformation programs. Outside of work, Paul is a Level 2 ECB Cricket sports coach and enjoys skiing whenever the opportunity arises.

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