Interview: Mr. Oren Gabay, Founder & CEO, OpenLM Ltd Discusses Optimizing Engineering Software Licenses using OpenLM License Management Solutions
Mr. Oren Gabay, Founder & CEO, OpenLM Ltd shares insights on Optimizing Engineering Software Licenses (CAD,CAE) using OpenLM License Management Solutions. Talks about finding the perfect balance between the minimum number of licences needed and the maximum number of concurrent users, enabling you to cut down on overspend on licenses.
Please tell us about your company?
OpenLM is the brainchild of two friends and colleagues who were working at a company that used ArcGIS. The administration of the software licenses was a nightmare, and they devised a software application to make their lives easier. What they did was so successful that they started OpenLM to market their solution, first adding Autodesk management and then adding other products as customers requested them. That was 10 years ago, and today OpenLM is an established software company, based in Israel with branches in the US, Japan, Moldova and now India, with over 1 000 customers, mainly in the engineering and scientific domains.
What is OpenLM? and how it can be used to optimize, manage CAD, CAE licenses?
OpenLM is an application that helps you manage your software licenses, primarily for engineering software, from vendors like Ansys, Dassault, Siemens and PTC. Using OpenLM you can find the perfect balance between the minimum number of licences needed and the maximum number of concurrent users. Estimating how many licences you need at renewal time is simple and you don’t need to fear that you are non-compliant because you now have a tool that monitors and reports on actual use. You have a bargaining chip and proof of use, rather than relying on what the vendor’s software side of the story reports.
Another useful feature is the ability to apportion usage across the organizational structure, which means that departments and projects can be charged back, rather than IT bearing all the licensing costs. This also helps in cost optimization as the head of department is made aware of their software costs which now come out of his budget, and he will make sure that his users toe the line.
How it is different from the vendor’s license manager?
The fundamental difference is that the vendor’s license management software was developed to protect the vendor and highlight any non-compliance on your part. OpenLM was designed for you, the customer, to show you where you have surplus, underutilized and unused software, enabling you to cut down on overspend on licenses. What is more, you can do this for your whole license portfolio, via a single, easy-to-use dashboard;
you do not need to log in and out of all those different vendor license managers, you can control all your license activity with one agile and transparent toolset.
Is it useful for both perpetual and subscription CAD, CAE licenses?
There are many different business models for how a licence operates nowadays, and OpenLM strives to monitor them all. Over 30 different vendor license managers can be parsed and your software policy can be automated so that idle licenses are harvested and expensive features are only used when completely necessary. Reporting is right down to feature level to help you identify where your costs are coming from.
OpenLM can monitor, single, named user and machine licenses, a concurrent pool of licenses, cloud subscription licenses and licenses that need tokens to operate, even when you have a hybrid mix of all these license types for a single vendor, or a number of agreements across the globe. It provides reporting for both real-time use (e.g. CAD licenses) and batch mode, used in simulation, across multiple parallel CPUs and GPUs. It can even monitor NVIDIA license usage, following requests from customers who perform massive simulations on a daily basis.
Can you tell us some cases where OpenLM is used to manage CAD, CAE software?
Yes, indeed. One of our customers uses OpenLM to harvest idle CAD licenses. Although users do not experience denials, they do have habits like not checking back their AutoCAD and Revit licenses when they finish for the day, or go out for a site meeting, which means that other users can experience denials. The company’s software policy decrees that idle licenses are harvested after a set period of inactivity, first saving the user’s work, in case they forgot.
Another customer performs many CAE simulations as well as using CAD software. As they are a global organization, they need to get an overview of how licenses are being used across the world, also known as “following the sun”. They use OpenLM to monitor this.
Can it be used to predict or make decisions if more licenses are required in future?
Indeed it can. It can be used to identify when you really need more licenses, as well as when you can get by with the license pool you currently have, for instance, when you start a new project.
Comprehensive standard reporting is provided on usage, peak period identification and denials (including true denials, which are repeated denials to a user, as opposed to a single denial followed by a checkout shortly afterwards). These reports are provided in different formats, such as heat maps, which are great for management presentations, as they illustrate the situation without requiring any in-depth knowledge of license management.
We also offer an extension if you want to tailor your own reports, using the data gathered in our database.
What is great about our reporting is that you have the same format for every application you are monitoring. No need to explain how the report for software A works and then present a totally different picture for software B.
Is OpenLM available in both modes – perpetual and subscription?
Yes, OpenLM can cater for perpetual licences, subscription licenses and various permutations of business models, including variations such as Autodesk Token-Flex. By the way, many of us assumed that subscription licensing would do away with the need to monitor licenses the way we were doing for on-premise software. In fact, this has proved to be not true, as some organizations have found that, despite meticulous planning and estimation, their subscription costs are twice or even three times what was expected. This is because subscription models often come with tricky variations, like time-based subscriptions, where using a product for 11 minutes where the basic unit is 10 minutes, can double up the cost.
ROI for OpenLM?
Of course this varies from company to company, but, because engineering software licenses can be very expensive, reducing your license pool by just one license can be enough to give you your expected ROI. We are pretty confident that you can realize cost savings of 15% in your first year of use, while some of our customers have saved as much as 30%.
Which sector is your major customer base?
As our products are tailored for engineering and scientific customers, it is not surprising that many of our customers are in the aerospace, automotive, engineering, healthcare and oil and gas industries. As we can monitor CATIA, PTC Creo and Siemens NX, we have many automotive and aerospace clients. Upstream oil and gas companies can monitor their CGG, Schlumberger and IHS Markit (Kingdom, Petra) applications.
There are other industries that one would not immediately think of as requiring engineering software, such as the entertainment industry, who use tools like Maya, 3DS Max, 3DEXPERIENCE and SOLIDWORKS. We even have customers in industries as diverse as fashion and banking! While our software is affordable for SMEs, it also scales up for large enterprises and multinationals, including Fortune 500 companies.
Apart from private organizations, we have many customers in government and other public bodies, ranging from defence to environmental protection, as well as cities, states, counties and provinces.
A substantial number of universities have taken advantage of our academic programme. At least twenty of these institutions are listed in the top 100 universities.
What are your plans for India?
We do already have some customers in India. Although the current number of customers is small, they are leaders in their respective fields, which include aerospace and technology. We hope to establish a strong presence in India, based on our customer base and experiences in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. These resources will offer support in India, other Asian nations and assist our Japanese team with APAC customers.
We recognize India’s rapid growth rate and the changes that are occurring, from the development of 100 Smart Cities, to the Government’s “Make in India” movement, which will require intensive engineering and construction. There are also environmental challenges, such as water management in the Ganges and other major river systems, addressed by the National Hydrology Project and funded by the World Bank, which seeks to tackle some of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). All these initiatives require scientific and engineering software to progress, and we can help participants to keep their costs down on their mission-critical software.
We look forward to engaging new business in all sectors, but especially in the automotive sector, oil and gas and petrochemicals, healthcare and life sciences, architecture, engineering and construction and manufacturing of all types.
OpenLM would like to assist Indian academic institutions to manage the software used by their engineering and scientific faculties, a service we already provide to universities across the world.
In summation, we see opportunities for us to become trusted partners to Indian organizations who are at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution, who are both heavily reliant on engineering software and need to have a winning competitive edge by minimizing costs without sacrificing quality.
I would like to thank Mr. Oren Gabay, for taking time to answer my questions, if you have any question for him please leave comment or mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org we will be glad to answer.
For any details contact (India) – Mr. Ayaon Ghosh – email@example.com