Increasingly challenged by an uncertain economy, recent studies have found that software vendors and their enterprise customers are looking for better strategies to gain more value from software licensing and pricing. Although the most common license types of software licenses are device or user-based licenses, it’s also still common to see concurrent licenses – a trend that many analysts predicted would fall by the wayside.
In fact, according to a Flexera Software IDC (News - Alert) Pricing and Licensing Survey, concurrent licensing was the most popular model for enterprises, pointed out Flexera’s James Griffin in this recent blog post.
“With concurrent licenses (sometime referred to as “network” or “floating” licenses) for software titles such as AutoCAD or IBM (News - Alert) ClearCase, traditional Software Asset Management (SAM) practices may not provide the expected results,” he explained.
The inventory reporting system with concurrent licenses is also not always adequate to optimize concurrent licenses.
“While this approach works for device based and other types of licenses, it does not provide enough information to optimize concurrent licenses,” Griffin added. “It’s not really the number of installations that need to managed, but the number of users that have licenses checked out at the same time – it’s all about concurrent usage.”
According to Flexera, most concurrent licenses are served by a license server, such as Flexera Software’s FlexNet License Service, to serve and control access to the software.
In order to truly optimize concurrent licenses, enterprises need a view of license usage over time to show the “high water mark” for concurrent usage, Griffin said. There are two ways of accurately tracking license usage: The first is to get a sampling of the overall usage, and then transferring this polling information into a database to build a usage report showing the number of licenses available and a sampling of the peak concurrent usage. The second method to manage concurrent licenses is to use a commercial solution designed for this reason.
This has led to more complexity. When SAP acquired Business Objects (News - Alert) in 2007, licensing in the SAP portfolio changed as well. Not all licenses were assigned in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application.
Licenses such as SAP Application Business Analyst User, Application Business Information User, Application Business Expert User and Application BI Viewer User were part of license entitlement.
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Flexera Software's FlexNet Licensing (composed of FlexNet Publisher and FlexNet Embedded) makes it easy for application producers to monetize, secure, enhance and grow market share through the flexible pricing, packaging, and licensing of applications, intelligent devices or equipment using embedded software. FlexNet Licensing also gives organizations the power to protect IP and rein in unauthorized software use to prevent revenue loss.