The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
Right now, you don’t need Named User Licences but, from February 2023, these will be the only type of licences you will be able to get from Autodesk. Multi-user licences, or Network Licences, will no longer be available.
It may not sound like a momentous event. You may have the view that if it looks like a licence and acts like a licence, then it must be a licence. Reasonable assumption. That’s when the questions start. Is it the right type of licence? Are you using it in the right way? Are you using it in the wrong way, without even being aware that you are? Does it matter? Can’t you just ask Autodesk to advise on what you need to do, what you need to swap out, and what other admin tasks do you need to take into account?
If only that were the case. The problem is that Autodesk—and every other software vendor you may have a relationship with—has no visibility of what your licence estate looks like, other than what you have told them. They have no insight into how you run your business. They can only take your word for it that the licences you obtain equate directly to the user profile of your business—that you don’t breach the agreements you sign up for. So, making sure you have the right type of licences, for the right number of users, does matter.
A lot of the licensing interaction between software providers and the organisations who use their products is based on honesty and trust. Given that you may not have complete visibility yourself of how your current licences relate to your actual day-to-day or user-by-user engagement, the situation you believe your licensing to be in may not entirely reflect the whole truth.
It’s best to make sure you have a plan
Preparing for the change to Named User licences should involve an accurate assessment of your current licensing estate, and that’s where complications may arise for many companies. Symetri’s license monitoring solution, CQFlexMon, can help you make sense of these complications. It can help you with the decision-making process involved in being very specific about how many licences and what type of licences you require.
CQFlexMon provides tools to monitor software assets. These tools enable you to easily track usage, ensure vendor licence compliance, control costs, and ensure that licensing across your software portfolio is in perfect order. You’ll gain control and visibility across all your licences—from Autodesk, to Microsoft, to any other vendor product; basically, any executable file. You can find more detail on the benefits of CQFlexMon in my recent blog, ‘Why should I consider software licence monitoring?’
The current situation
With Network (multi-user) licences the situation is that the server hosts the licensing software, within which is a licence file. This file shows how many licences you have purchased. When one of your users opens the software, there is automatic communication with the licence server to see if any licences are available. If they are, the user simply takes one, thereby reducing the licence count by one. When the software is closed the licence is released back to the server. The process of using Network Licences is efficient; virtually no admin is required. Some licence servers can be servicing a 2-2.5: 1 ratio of users vs licences. This is because some users only use the software infrequently.
The situation from February 2023
With Named User licences as the new model, you will still have a certain number of licences in the portal for you to assign to your users. The key difference to Network Licences is that assignment of the licences is not automatic; you must assign and de-assign the licences manually. This creates an admin overhead for IT staff, especially if the licence count is close to the number of users. Infrequent users of the software would have to have a licence assigned to them and taken away instead of opening and closing with the Licence Manager doing the work.
CQFlexMon can analyse the Network Licence manager data and help you make the decision to change the user assigned licences. It identifies the low frequent users that might require a plain AutoCAD licence or even a viewer, high frequent users of multiple products that would require an AEC Collection suite and very low usage users who could use Flex tokens.
Making a plan now will ensure no upheaval when the change comes; just a smooth transition. CQFlexMon will take care of so much of the essential analysis in the background to enable you to understand your licensing requirements, that it makes any endeavours to do it all manually look positively ancient. You may want to explore CQFlexMon a little more to see the value it can bring, the costs it can save, and the confusion it can eliminate.
Take a look at the three other blogs in the CQFlexMon series:
In the meantime, if you want to discuss any aspect of your licensing concerns, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a look at CQFlexMon here.