Cetrus Blog

What makes Autodesk Licensing unique?

Posted by Erik Hoogerhuis on Nov 4, 2015 7:18:08 PM

What makes Autodesk licensing unique?photo-1444201716572-c60ec66d0494

Licensing application software is difficult. As a software vendor grows, several issues complicate its licensing model:

  • The application portfolio grows through product extensions and discrete new applications (developed internally or acquired)
  • Product naming and part numbering conventions change – acquired products typically have different numbering conventions
  • The customer base grows and becomes more diverse
  • Large and distributed companies require both more flexible and easier license administration
  • External changes such as licensing management or metering technology, subscription, SaaS delivery, or regulatory changes create opportunities or force licensing or license delivery modification
  • Existing license entitlements such as perpetual licenses and delivery methods have to be honored and supported

Autodesk’s complex and changing licensing model is a result of both Autodesk’s success in providing a wide variety of applications and its history of providing flexible licensing models. We think its efforts at creating simplicity are laudable, even if the transition process might feel a bit bumpy.

The current combination of packaging changes is unique: 

  • Packaging related applications into Suites
  • Packaging related applications into Suites
  • Delivering licenses through the cloud
  • Complexity of re-associating requested applications to the lowest cost entitled license available

Other companies, such as Adobe, have packaged applications into Suites, and shifted new licenses to subscription, but none have as extensive a product line nor have as complicated a set of existing license types as Autodesk. Creating the Cascading License file, which we believe is a real-time license re-association process, creates a layer of complexity no other desktop application provider has.

These changes collectively have created a visibility and reporting problem for Autodesk’s customers.

Asset Management and license management tool vendors’ reporting architectures have to evolve along with Autodesk’s changes. Adding a column in a report to show where a license key originated or what feature code is associated with an application might seem simple, but gathering the data might actually require a significant tool re-architecture. Tools designed to track the location of application code weren’t designed to track an application running in a browser, or that the license key comes from the cloud rather than an on-premise server.

We think Autodesk’s current application and licensing complexity and rapid ongoing changes require a new reporting solution. The solution must be able to both pull license and application data from existing license infrastructures and associate it with usage. It must be designed to incorporate data from new locations and functions, verify that data was successfully backed up toAutodesk’s Vault, and if not, what error codes communicate what happened. 

Cetrus’ Process Meter is the next generation application monitoring and reporting solution for Autodesk and other engineering and specialty applications. Process Meter’s architecture provides the ability to associate license and user information from desktops and Flexera license servers for enterprise wide license usage analysis. It reports on application usage independent of license type to let organizations compare usage for training purposes. For project based organizations, Process Meter can associate usage for reimbursement, chargeback or resource utilization reporting.

Topics: Insider