Nissan Motor Corporation Limited is a leading Japanese automaker. They produce low cost, fuel-efficient vehicles, using high quality engineering tools. For production simulation and design, Nissan’s engineers use expensive Computer Aided Drafting and Engineering (CAD, CAE) software applications.
To improve business processes, Nissan investigated Open iT as a solution with which to cut software license costs without compromising projects/jobs. Just by metering software usage, they were able to eliminate unused licenses, and get more control over new software investments.
Read on to see how Nissan, in just 5 months, used Open iT metering tools to reduce more than 10% of their software license costs, and to achieve a 100% utilization rate of their CAE software.
This Fortune Global 100 company had been in the manufacturing business for a long time, and had accumulated numerous IT assets. As the company grew, greater numbers of employees required more software. The diverse software licenses acquired led to higher operating costs, largely due to additional software rental charges and increased maintenance expenditures.
The existing IT system used an automated software license counting process, where a log file was automatically scripted. The CAD and AE applications streamlined the job by uniting the script that automated the total processing of the log. However, it took two to three days to analyze each module in detail. Too much time and work was required to manage and monitor software license usage rates.
Open iT was selected as a software metering solution because it possessed the functional capability and reliability needed, and had strong customer support provided by Daikin Industry. After a six month trial period, Open iT was completely installed and integrated by March, 2006. Open iT metered license usage at Nissan’s Technical Center, their Design Center, and the Yokohama factory. Software usage was metered frequently, and the data was processed quickly by the Open iT server located at Nissan headquarters.
Open iT was fully implemented in April, 2007. Calculating all Nissan’s engineering software applications’ monthly usage rates now took a few days each month, whereas previously days were used to analyze usage for only one module. The IT department’s work efficiency had improved greatly by using Open iT for metering usage.
Every month, by analyzing reports showing software usage rates, a designated manager and a development cost manager would decide whether excess applications and licenses should be eliminated. If an average utilization rate was less than 80%, the number of licenses for an application was reduced in order to reestablish the 80% utilization rate. By removing applications that had low usage rates, Nissan achieved an overall license cost reduction of 10%.
The executives set a management policy for each of their applications, after specifying which features to meter in the reports made from various usage data collected by the software. Open iT enabled rational investment decision-making based on objective data, as managers shared usage results to expose costs for each development project. Further, Open iT software enabled precise chargeback for each project.
An important part of Nissan’s business plan included improving user efficiency. Based on experience from past operational results, executives decided that detailed analysis of IT usage reports would not only improve usage rates but could be used to improve user efficiency as well. Open iT’s reports were available for all users, and showed actual usage data including each application’s hourly and daily usage. Visualizing and communicating usage rates resulted in greater user awareness of wasteful practices, and of the need for increased efficiency.
The IT department had previously complied with most resource requests from users, since it was difficult to analyze real needs. The managers now set limits, using conditions for which resource requests could be made. Open iT enabled them to build an effective system for centralizing the management of their application use, and for controlling usage rates. Users requesting software were given immediate feedback: they would only have access to necessary licenses, and they were equipped to manage license requirements themselves. The responsibility for reducing and eliminating unnecessary licenses was shifted from administrators to the users themselves.
It is now easier for Nissan’s software users and administrators to do their jobs, as they can easily see whether new software licenses are warranted, or whether unnecessary applications can be removed. Increasing license costs were countered by using actual usage data to enable effective software management. Expanding their waste reduction objectives from software management alone to include hardware resources, Nissan executives now planned to use Open iT to see hardware usage and increase utilization rates throughout the company.
Open iT will continue to be recognized as an invaluable tool in reaching our long-term goals.
Mr. Dai Matsubara
Chief of Global Information Systems
HQ Engineering Systems Department
Nissan Motor Corporation Limited
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