Cetrus Blog

New Year, New (and Better) Licensing Decisions

Posted by Erik Hoogerhuis on Jan 10, 2018 2:54:21 PM


2018 is not just another 2017.  2018 is the year organizations realize they need different (and more) data than ever before to make informed application licensing decisions. In this post we’ll briefly touch on two of the major changes happening in the marketplace and what questions you need to ask to prepare your company for success.


Goodbye Perpetual, Hello Subscription

Application vendors are pushing their customers to purchase subscriptions over perpetual licenses. While the upfront cost of a subscription is perhaps 30% of a new perpetual license, the continuous, yearly cost for that subscription is higher than equivalent maintenance.

So what does this mean for you? You need more information to make quality, calculated, business decisions. Having better visibility into network license peak use, who are the heaviest users, and seasonality in license use is critical to making the most cost-effective decisions for future subscription license acquisition.  It’s time to figure out what you have and what is actually being used (not checked out – used). Then you can sign up the subscriptions you need for the duration that you need.

In addition, the shift to collaboration tools for BIM opens a completely new area of reporting needs. This is a big topic that we’ll cover in more depth in future posts.


More Vendors and Options

The shift to subscription is also creating opportunities for newer vendors, with less-advanced feature sets and lower pricing, to become bigger players in the 2018 marketplace. Incorporating their solutions into your application portfolio alongside more expensive and extensive software programs can fulfill your varying need levels at a lower cost.

What do you need to know? You need to know “who is using what application for how long”. For example: to replace expensive CAD solutions with lower cost options, you need to sort out how many standalone lower cost CAD licenses you need distinct from licenses which are bundled with a package (Suite or Collection). To know how many bundled CAD licenses you get you need to know peak use for each of the bundled applications. Then, using peak and heaviest user data, you can determine which employees will be licensed for each vendor.  Having solid, detailed use data makes it much easier to determine your optimal license level and prevent over-licensing.


Questions You Need to Answer

To prepare your company for software licensing in 2018, here are some of the questions we think you need to answer:

  • Who’s using each application? How much and how often?
  • Does the (subscription) vendor provide use data to help with your licensing decisions?
  • Does the vendor let you know when a user has stopped using a solution (such as due to a shift to a new project phase) to let you re-assign the license?
  • Assuming the vendor does provide use data, do you have an independent means of comparing their data to your use if you believe you’re being over-charged?
  • If the vendor doesn’t provide this data, how can you get it?


Your 2018 To-Do:

  1. Inventory your current license portfolio and see how it has shifted to new licensing models in the past year.
  2. Look at the licenses coming up for renewal and what those vendors (or their competitors) are doing from a licensing standpoint.
  3. Determine how much of your business is going to be impacted by BIM and collaboration.
  4. Finally, re-evaluate the license use reporting solutions you have in place and their ability to provide information in the brave new world of 2018 and beyond. (They may not give you all the information you really need.)
  5. Develop a plan to get at least 3 months of use data prior to having to make a renewal or shift in license/vendor type decision.
  6. If you don’t have reporting solutions in-house to provide this data, you might want to add looking for solutions which can provide you the reporting information you need.


We hope this post helps you be better prepared for what 2018 has to offer!

To learn more about how Cetrus Process Meter can answer your application and license use questions, check out this case study HERE and email us at for more information.


Topics coming soon to the Cetrus blog:

  • Subscription licensing – More flexibility = More Active Reporting
  • Collaborative Solutions – Immeasurable Use?
  • Revit Add-Ons – Who’s Using Them?
  • The Distrust in Trust-Based Licensing



Topics: Insider, Analytics, Strategy and Planning