El Paso Pipeline Group owns the largest natural gas pipeline system in North America, and supplies major markets as the nation’s leading interstate gas franchise. With over 5000 employees in Brazil and the United States, El Paso has established itself as a leading producer in two core areas of business, pipelines and exploration/production.
El Paso has a large inventory of expensive geosciences and engineering applications to aid their efforts in exploring for hydrocarbons and safely bring them to the surface. In the midst of a global economic downturn, the company spent significant time and effort to reduce their growing software maintenance costs.
High-end software was managed by FlexNet, which allowed the company to view license checkout activity, but lacked the ability to track usage and productivity levels. When the IT department received requests for high-end software claiming they were at full capacity using existing licenses, the IT team knew they needed more detailed information about actual usage. They also needed to limit server-based licensing to avoid potential hardware expansions.
El Paso’s IT department needed metric-based visibility into usage to prevent purchasing unnecessary software, and the hardware to support the additional licenses being requested. After some research, El Paso purchased Open iT LicenseAnalyzer and LicenseOptimizer modules, which seamlessly integrated with FlexNet and other license servers. LicenseAnalyzer provided an extra analytical layer of intelligence to deliver metrics on license checkouts, duration of use, productivity levels of an application and other important details needed to make sound purchasing decisions.
The additional analysis and insights gained resulted in significant cost savings. By tracking and documenting actual usage patterns, it was discovered that about half of the licenses were perpetually checked out, but not perpetually in use. The company implemented better checkout and sharing practices to free up unused licenses for internal use.
The Open iT solution, which cost less than one new high-end license, helped the user community improve their checkout and usage practices. After assessing the licenses used by geosciences and engineering disciplines, El Paso found it had excessive licenses within its software portfolio. The insight provided by the Open iT reports also helped manage staff needs as reductions or additions were made. By avoiding purchases of new software, improving sharing of existing licenses and reducing annual maintenance and support costs based on staff attrition, El Paso saved hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
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