A multinational corporation in the oil and gas industry

Several Millions USD in savings over the course of 10 years using OpenLM

Managing the software assets and licensing needs of a multinational corporation in the oil and gas industry is no easy feat.

And when you have mergers and acquisitions, with each
incoming group or business unit using application suites
different to your current offering, making decisions with a keen
eye on the big picture becomes a real issue.
This is one challenge that NOV Inc., a Houston-based, leading
worldwide provider of services and equipment in the oil and gas
drilling industry faced.

Managing the software assets and licensing needs

At first, this was done manually by going through the software inventory and building custom reporting scripts around log files and polling usage. This approach soon proved to grow in complexity, not to mention the difficulty of maintaining it, which prompted them to look for a better solution.

In 2010, NOV’s Corporate Engineering Technology division began surveying the licensing management and software asset management market. After comparing different solutions and trying OpenLM for a year, they found that OpenLM was the easiest to deploy, and fastest to get into production and it did a few things which other tools today are still only planning to do.

Using OpenLM reports as well as a bit of custom scripting for management reporting, NOV was able to reduce their engineering software seat count significantly. For example, just with Autodesk alone, they managed to avoid a double increase in spending which they could have easily approved for maintaining the number of licenses that Autodesk suggested for them. In fact, OpenLM had allowed them to optimize their license usage so well that Autodesk representatives were shocked when they found out how many Drafters NOV had and how efficiently the licenses were being used.

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OpenLM helped us better take care of our internal customers without unnecessary expenses.

Matthew Robinson
CET Operations

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Without OpenLM, NOV would have spent several hundred thousand dollars in maintenance over the next 3 to 5 years.

Why a License Management Tool was needed

Using the included tools they were able to consolidate licensing for all of their CAD tools, FEA tools and even USB devices into a much smaller footprint. This also gave them more visibility into what their users were actually using.

For example, once a group of engineers insisted that they needed a specific tool. After heated negotiations, they purchased the requested tools… only to watch the usage for 6 months as they were never touched. This prompted them to discontinue maintenance and they had the option to charge it back to the business unit. Without OpenLM, NOV would have spent several hundred thousand dollars in maintenance over the next 3 to 5 years.

As far as OpenLM support goes, incidents have been handled quickly and efficiently. Matthew describes that he was usually requested either logs or a copy of their database. However since a ~20GB DB size is hard to transfer and their IT department blocks third party file upload/download services (Box, Dropbox, etc), most of the time support had to go on assumptions from the logs — something that they have been able to handle.

Implementing OpenLM

Currently, license complaints at NOV are investigated and evaluated based on usage patterns rather than user complaints. There were several instances where OpenLM data clearly showed that the purchase of additional software licenses was justified.

However, there were even more instances proved that a license availability issue was either a fluke or due to a stuck license caused by a user. In both cases, OpenLM provided quality information that helped them take better care of their internal customers and make better decisions without unnecessary expenses: “We’ve been very happy with OpenLM”.

The main vendors that OpenLM is monitoring for NOV are Autodesk, Solidworks, PTC, Siemens NX, Ansys, Abaqus, Altair, Simio, Gagepack, Siemens Teamcenter and Star-CCM+.

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I do know that OpenLM was by far the least expensive and gave me everything I needed

Matthew Robinson
CET Operations

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