In this episode of the Smarter Building podcast, we caught up with Dr. Stephen Hamil, Innovation Director at NBS, to gain insights into the future landscape of the construction industry and the upcoming trends in 2024.
Exploring Symetri’s software license monitoring - CQFlexMon’s modules
Symetri’s software license monitoring solution, CQFlexMon, puts you in control of the licensing agreements that spread across your company. My previous blogs have explored the benefits of CQFlexMon, the forthcoming requirements of moving from Autodesk network licenses to named user licences, and how our software can help you meet your compliance obligations.
As the name suggests, our solution is flexible and, as such, it enables you to select modules most applicable to the goals you seek to achieve by exercising greater control over your software licenses. Let’s explore the modules together.
Monitor your software assets
A great deal of software in your company requires a licence for you to use it. With the rapidly increasing wave of digitisation across architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing, that means you’re basically dealing with an ever-expanding software portfolio; which equates to an ever-burgeoning workload when it comes to keeping track of your licenses.
Even if you do not keep track of licences, there’s a strong possibility that someone else is doing so—the software vendors; from Microsoft to Autodesk, and mostly every other software brand owner in between. They expect their end customers (you) to comply with the terms of the licensing agreement. Their redress—if you happen not to, and then are pinpointed in a random audit—is that they can, and will, levy fines for non-compliance. You can find out more about these and related issues here: Why should I consider software license management?
The CQFlexMon package includes five main modules. Not all the modules are applicable to all companies. Symetri can advise you on how to gain the maximum benefit by configuring the application to suit your requirements. CQFlexMon can be used on-premise or as a cloud-based solution. In the latter case, the data comes direct to Symetri’s hosted solution and we can provide a wraparound Managed Service to alleviate your own teams of the monitoring task workload.
- Licence Monitor
Enables you to maximise your usage (and, hence, ROI) and identify peak usage, which may indicate the need for additional licences. Red, yellow, green colour-coding gives visibility of all your available software suites and their utilisation rates, including the dates of maximum usage; number of licenses used at a particular time, maximum used licenses, borrowed licenses and the average value for the number of used licenses. The information can be viewed for any period, e.g., day, month, quarter.
- Licence UsageThe information delivered by this module helps drives efficiencies by enabling you to identify who is using what software (licence), for how long; calculated by user, group or department. This increases the accuracy of internal cross-charging. You can also identify if the right team members are using the appropriate software. The calculation can be made for any time period. It also shows currently active users.
- Licence Borrow
Provides a clear picture of users who may have borrowed licences from the pool; the software that each user has borrowed, when the loan was made, how many days are left, and the date for the return of the license.
- Active Directory Synchronisation
User data can be synchronised between the CQFlexMon database and the Active Directory module. This provides a simple solution to the administration of user details. Information such as display name, department, company, country etc. are retrieved from Microsoft’s Active Directory, if applicable to your company. The relevant information is retrieved to CQFlexMon’s database each time synchronisation is made.
- Reporting Client
The Reporting Client gives you the ability to view the data that has been collected. All data whether collected via polling a licence manager or picked up via the local service package can be displayed. Within the client a user or users, a computer or computers can be selected along with applications and displayed, this info can then be taken directly into Microsoft Excel using inbuilt predefined templates.
Other features of CQFlexMon
In addition to the core modules, a number of features come as add-ons to the solution. Two to highlight are:
- Licence Control
Enables you to control user access to the various software. You can reserve licenses for users or groups of users, and prevent users from starting certain software. The number of licenses that cannot be borrowed, and the maximum time for borrowing are shown. You can set the time interval from when an inactive licence automatically returns to the pool.
- Application Monitor
In combination of having a local service package agent on all endpoints, this module allows monitoring of the actual usage of all software installed on all workstations, e.g., software from Autodesk, Adobe, Microsoft, Bentley, and a comprehensive range of other software products. CQFlexMon is configured to monitor .exe files of your choice and if you’re unsure whether or not any particular software you use is covered, just ask us.
The SAM module enables you to understand your Autodesk compliance status based on your subscription, by scanning the endpoints and uploading the data into the CQFlexMon database. If you require it, Symetri can then add your Autodesk subscription info into the configuration and produce reports on the status of your estate.
- Manage Autodesk
Gain full understanding of the company’s utilisation of Autodesk Named User offerings and streamline the administration of Single-User Subscription and/or Flex Tokens
- Overview of users and their assigned licenses
- Detailed information of user name, usage, hours per day and any Active Directory information (e.g. country, department)
- Utilisation and Token consumption per user and product
- Find users on Flex that consumes high Token volumes
- Find inactive users on Single-User Subscription
Realise the value of your software
As soon as anyone starts to talk about software licensing, the conversation inevitably wanders into compliance territory. Whilst this is a prime consideration, and one that CQFlexMon will give you complete visibility and control over, other significant benefits come along with a diligent approach to licence management.
Software is an asset just like any other asset in your business; it needs to be looked after, maintained, and kept up to date. It makes good sense to optimise your return on investment. This is the key driver in determining that your licences match your operational requirements and meet the needs of your users.
Ultimately, the controlled use of software, and the precise allocation of licences according to need, are contributors to your bottom line. Being over-licensed is just wasted money. Being under-licensed is high-risk. Being spot-on is where you’ll realise the maximum value of your software.
If you want to discuss any aspect of your licensing challenges and/or opportunities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a look at CQFlexMon here.