Autodesk® has some of the most popular and widely used engineering, design, and simulation software in the world, including AutoCAD, Revit, InfraWorks, Alias, HSMWorks, Inventor, ReCap, Mudbox, VRED, Maya, etc. It also has some of the most complex licensing models that, if remained unchecked, could easily dry up an organization’s software budget.
The first thing to do is have an enterprise-wide overview of all the different Autodesk products and features, identifying the license type of each, and how these products and features are being used. Find out the number of licenses for all the different Autodesk products and features across the enterprise and compare that with the total license usage of each Autodesk software product and/or feature. This comparison could provide an overview of the organization’s actual licensing needs.
True Global Concurrent Usage
If the organization has purchased some of Autodesk’s global concurrent licenses, it would be very helpful to find out the true concurrent usage of those licenses to prevent over-licensing. It would also be helpful to investigate denials and the reasons for denials to see if there is a need to purchase more licenses for the affected products or features.
Frequency VS Duration
Comparing the maximum number of licenses in use with the total elapsed time would show the applications that are most frequently used and the ones that are used for longer periods of time. This is very important for Autodesk’s Token-Flex licenses, which are charged based on user-days and token weight. Token weights vary for every product or feature. User-days are the number of distinct users per 24-hour period, and depending on the licensing terms, one user-day may be charged regardless of whether the user used the application for only five minutes or the whole day. And two user-days will be charged if the application remained open past 12AM on the license server’s time. The organization could potentially save a lot of tokens if the license server is placed in the optimal time zone.
Looking at the number of distinct users and comparing it with the maximum number of licenses in use could expose potential user behavior issues. A further drill-down to user-level usage may reveal possible license camping and license hogging behaviors, which may prove very costly if remained unchecked. Certain users may be checking out more than once license at a time when they are not supposed to, which means that they may be consuming more tokens than they should. The same is true for users who fail to release the licenses after they are done for the day or for the weekend. Unless corrected, these behaviors may drain the available tokens and inflate the number of tokens that the organization actually needs.
Predictability is key in saving on software licensing costs. In order to predict future software expenditures, it would be helpful to have a forecasting tool that could analyze current trends and usage patterns to predict the number of licenses needed in the future. This would help in upcoming vendor negotiations to get the right number of licenses for each product or feature and avoid unnecessary purchases of licenses that would remain unused.
Many Small Things
Many small, seemingly insignificant things can and do accumulate to something huge. The same is true with the costs of Autodesk software license usage. We often think that we can let one little thing go, and then another little thing… and next thing we know, hundreds of thousands of dollars has already been wasted on unnecessary software licensing costs. The key is to have a highly effective software usage metering tool that is specifically designed for Autodesk licensing. This tool should keep us on top of everything, help us identify possible issues before they become huge problems, and keep the costs under tight control.