Ausenco - OpenLM Software License Management
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Ausenco

“OpenLM has helped save us a great deal…I would say easily over the last few years, $100 000”

Founded in Brisbane, Australia in 1991 by a small team of engineers, Ausenco has grown into a global organization with 26 offices in 14 countries, with projects in over 80 locations worldwide. Combining their deep technical expertise with a 30-year track record, Ausenco today delivers innovative, value-add consulting studies, project delivery, asset operations and maintenance solutions to the mining & metals, oil & gas and industrial sectors. Such a diverse portfolio demands not only a skilled team, but also extreme competence with their chosen design and engineering tools.

“Tracking license usage was a challenge for us. Being able to monitor that and historic usage both globally and locally is useful!”

Haydn England

Engineering Systems Design Administrator

The Challenge

Though not universally applicable, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is with license management. As we will come onto shortly, being able to measure and act on accurate and timely data can reap astonishing results.
Our chat today was with Haydn England. Haydn is an Engineering Systems Design Administrator with Ausenco. Located in their Vancouver, Canada, office as a frequent user of OpenLM, Haydn’s position and role means he is perfectly placed to offer vital feedback from both a company perspective as well as that of a competent user. We rarely get the opportunity to chat with organization sysadmins, so this opportunity was exciting, and we were eager to begin:

“How was Ausenco’s transition to OpenLM?”
“I wouldn’t know” he replied

Admittedly, not the best start, but it did show 2 things: that this interview was going to be both real and raw!

“No… when I started here, 8-years ago, Ausenco had already implemented and were using OpenLM. And had for quite some time…”

With a silent inhale of relief, his initial answer not only made perfect sense, but also signaled a vote of confidence. When an organization with Ausenco‘s reputation confirms this longevity in such a competitive marketplace, it speaks volumes.

No input into the decision-making process

This also confirmed that Haydn himself had played no part in Ausenco’s decision to implement OpenLM. With no personal stake at all, this would be extra valuable.

“I support and configure the engineering applications, tools, and software, including Autodesk, SAP, and most other applications. If people have errors and things don’t work as expected, they come to me…”

You cannot please everyone

A major problem for software providers is making their software user-friendly and intuitive. The quantity and range of learning styles available makes this challenging. Quite simply, it is impossible to please everyone. Internally, when users come to their organization’s support for help, they expect resolution. Unfortunately, support is often limited and, when queries fall outside their realm, their only recourse is to consult the software provider and test their quality.

“…convenient, intuitive, user-friendly”

Haydn England

Engineering Systems Design Administrator

“I like the interface, the reports, and the user tracking… I like the documentation. All OpenLM documentation is very well documented. For example, I’ve added/switched several servers that we’ve upgraded or replaced, and the process has been pretty smooth.”

Global support, tracking, and monitoring are key

Mr. England continued by telling us that his team provides worldwide and not just local/nationwide support. One key part of his role is license tracking and monitoring and the complexities therein. For example, when you consider their Peru office in Lima fluctuated between using 4 licenses (low peak), and 63 licenses (high peak), it indicates how challenging a task this can be. Admittedly, managing licenses on a national level might be difficult enough, but elevating this to a global scale is another matter entirely. OpenLM’s reporting helped considerably:

“We first use these reports to see if we can reduce our license accounts — that is the initial priority. But, as a bonus, we can not only check how many licenses are available but also who is using them.”

Naturally, the importance of accuracy of information cannot be understated. But when combined with speed and ease, it can reveal otherwise hidden opportunities. Haydn told us: “I definitely pull a lot of reports from OpenLM”. When managing $3,000 software licenses, such granularity is key.

It needn’t be complex, time-consuming, or difficult

License management in geographically distant organizations is complex, time-consuming, and difficult. But when such massive variations occur, it can be unnecessarily exacting. OpenLM’s tracking makes this seamless:

“The historic tracking is excellent: being able to see your denials, your usage (active/live) is very beneficial.”

Such reports can then be used for multiple purposes, including planning and budgeting:

“…I create report and query data and get information on license usage over the past six months or even the past year… to plan our budget for next year.”

Two perspectives

From a company standpoint, this was great news for Ausenco:

“We first use these reports to see if we can reduce our license accounts — that is the initial priority. But, as a bonus, we can not only check how many licenses are available but also who is using them.”

As we said, initially, we were also interested from Haydn’s own personal/sysadmin perspective.

“Two weeks ago, I had to create the big summarization type reports that the company needs twice a year: a synopsis of the last six-month usage. OpenLM enabled me to get the data straight into Excel. Then I could export to csv, compose a global report of all licensing, format, and send to my managers… Without OpenLM — manually — I’d not only lose a lot of historic data but also other, essential details. It used to take me 1 or 2 days to do that.”

“Haydn, before we close, what would you say to anyone reading this?”

“I would definitely recommend OpenLM to other companies to save money on just being able to track licenses in one location.”

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