Software licensing models constantly change. This topic is far too complex and wide to review in a short blog post, but we will try to briefly discuss two of the recent trends: subscription and named licenses.

Perpetual Vs. Subscription Licenses:

We see major vendors that are now shifting from perpetual to subscription licenses, such as Autodesk, that has been pushing this forward this year.

The benefits of subscription licensing may be:

  • Easier and less complex model
  • Payment is based on operational budget
  • Wider package

The downside is:

  • It typically costs more over time
  • Can’t use it in case no budget is available to renew
  • Users tend to get capabilities they don’t really need

Named Users Vs. Concurrent / Floating Licenses

Vendors are also trying to shift from more complex concurrent / floating licenses to a more “simple” named users licenses. Yes, they are much easier to manage compared to concurrent licenses, but not as efficient if you have management capabilities. A common downside is the need to dedicate a named license to users that are only utilizing the license occasionally. A better approach would be to dedicate the named licenses to power users and allow occasional users to access the floating license pool.

We would also like to mention a unique licensing method that we are now supporting. Bentley’s software licensing method is unique in that a user will always get the license he needs, even in the customer don’t want to pay for that license. This model is based on local or cloud-based license managers and an overuse counting mechanism that the customer can’t control (unless he’s using the OpenLM for Bentley extension).

The bottom line is that vendors are trying to reduce the customer’s options and charge more money for similar services. The mix of licensing options (floating, token, named, node locked etc.) allowed organization that wanted to efficiently manage their software license a lot of options. However, software vendors are now trying to move to a more limited environment.

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