Licensing / overuse or not

I'm having a kind of heated discussion with our new contacts in Denmark about overuse of software licenses, and would like to have a feedback from Bentley staff (or other users).

Our contact states that we are having a massive overuse of licenses and wants us to buy more licenses. According to him we are having 2 days overuse and he calculates that to 22% somehow.

In my opinion we do NOT have an overuse at all, but we have still more to go.

The average usage of licenses in this example is 1, while we do have 2 licenses. The average overusage is stated as 0 - no problem at all.

Parents
  • Hi Andreas,

     

    First, I am glad to see the help file I wrote is being read (and quoted)!  There is an awful lot of information in there.  In particular, I created an entire section devoted to how usage is calculated and describes how the entire licensing mechanism works.  This is all found in the Introduction (and both its sub-sections) which I encourage you to read if you have not done so already.  As the second sentence in the Introduction points out, SELECTserver’s licensing paradigm is guided by the SELECT agreement.  The SELECT agreement is a topic you and your account manager should review together since it is exclusive to your company and Bentley.

     

    That said I would like to address the areas of the help file you have quoted and answer your questions as I see them.  On page 2 of your document, we see the MicroStation usage at the Bentley Hong Kong Office.  The chart shows that in April of 2012, there were 3 occasions usage was exceeded (and by very little).  I agree with your assessment that this example does not represent an account that is taking advantage of the program.  As such, I would not expect the account manager to discuss ways to mitigate TRUST usage in this case.

     

    Now, let’s talk about page 3.  In this example we see the Bentley Beijing Office is consistently using a large amount of MicroStation.  They own 25, however they often recording usage in the 30’s and in some cases more than 40 (it peaked at 45)!  Clearly we have TRUST usage and the question is how much.  The SELECT agreement states (and I am paraphrasing here, not quoting directly) that the number of uses in any interval shall not exceed the number of licenses owned.  The SELECTserver documentation defines the interval as a calendar hour.  One could conclude since the peak use recorded was 45, that the Beijing office should buy an additional 20 copies.  I think that would be harsh in this example since 40 was only breeched a handful of times.  However, if we look at how many times the Beijing office used more than 30 licenses, I define it as legitimate case of TRUST usage, since it happens often.

     

    Optimally, the scenario described on page 3 is extreme and the account manager will have likely been in contact with the account to suggest ways to mitigate TRUST usage.  For example, the green represents checked out licenses.  Are all 13 of those check outs necessary?  After several conversations and different attempts to rein in TRUST usage have failed, then the account manager would speak to the need of purchasing more licenses. 

     

    In this case, let’s assume the account manager has been in regular contact and the mitigation efforts have not worked completely.  We do see between 19 May and 30 June, usage is trending near the 30-35 mark (we assume for the sake of this example this is when mitigation efforts were in full force).  I would then expect the conversation between the account and the account manager to review their mitigation efforts along with their results and sync to the number found through this process. 

     

    The account manager would then present different programs such as Portfolio Balancing which allows the account to trade in underutilized products for products in need.  The benefit here is the account would not necessarily need to purchase more copies.

     

    I hope this helps, and please feel free to post back questions.

     

    Steven DeVoll, M.S.


    This is a test

  • So, basically what you are saying is that.

    1. The avg. usage and avg. overage figures in the charts of the SelectServer report can't be used for anything.
    2. It is up to the account manager to decide if you use too much or not.

    As Microstation or any vertical products never give any feedback about free licenses (quite contrary to other software), this is a bit hard to understand.

    Regarding our case we do have an additional difficulty, as the upgrade path from Microstation, which we have followed the last couple of years, is broken due to the change to AecoSim. This means that we are using up to 2 licenses per machine (Microstation and Aecosim), as long as we have to run things in parallel. Additionaly we don't have any dataset for Aecosim yet. Thus we are getting overage both by having less Microstation licenses than before (we traded in some for Aecosim), have double count in license use when running both in parallel, and don't have any workspace for Aecosim.

    Not funny.

    P.S.: I'd like to have a second opinion from you about something else, we'll do that offline.

  • Overage Duration on these days is 00:00 for all products.

  • It looks like you have opted into Open Access already. Once you opt into Open Access your license count shows unlimited licenses. As such, in SELECTserver, you don't actually see the overage duration listed since SELECTserver thinks  you have unlimited licenses.

    Knowing that you own 1 license of STAAD Pro, you can see in the list all of the days where you havepeak usage greater than 1. (The dates I listed above). Then you can take those dates and go to the machine based reports and run an application by usage report to see the machine names and durations for each user/day.

    The SELECT Open Access portal also shows this information (with your actual owned quantities of licenses) and ties back to the possible Quarterly Term License Invoice amount.

    In the future, the goal is to merge the functionality of the portal (owned quantity count and tie to invoice amount) with the functionality of SELECTserver (notification and usage data details).

  • Regarding your other comments, I think it is obvious that Bentley is trying everything it can to make it difficult to not run into licensing problems. As far as I - and many other in this forum - have commented, this seems to be the  only purpose of the recent changes in license management. I still have to see one positive reaction to the new licensing behaviour.

    - no possibility to restrict license overusage, either based on machine, user or software product.

    - products where this has been possible (Staad.Pro) have recently changed their behaviour as well, no possibility to opt out either

    . Select Server does not report against number of licenses (communities.bentley.com/.../96384.aspx)

    - overusage is not reported for the correct product (Staad.Pro overusages give Structural Entreprise entries)

    In addition we had this bug in Bentley hosted Select Server, as it didn't send us any usage reports for a couple of months now.

  • Bentley have just made a pigs ear of this licensing thing. It used to be quite simple, but no more!!

    If Open Access shows that a company has unlimited licences how are they supposed to know if they have exceeded their allocation.without having to run additional reports.

    Come on Bentley, if you have to force this new licence regime on us at least make it simple to track over usage. At the moment, as Andreas noted, you are making it difficult.

  • I think that is the intention, in fact.

    Just ask yourself these questions.

    - Do I get proper information that the office is running out of licenses at the moment?

    - Do I get information easily and automatically that an oveuse has been registered?

    - Do I have any means to stop overusage as an administrator?

    - Do I have any possibilities to enforce that employees don't install copies at home and  use the office license keys?

    - Do I have any possibilities as an administrator to even hide the office license keys?

    If the answer of any of those questions (and a couple of similar) is "no", than you know what their intention is.

Reply
  • I think that is the intention, in fact.

    Just ask yourself these questions.

    - Do I get proper information that the office is running out of licenses at the moment?

    - Do I get information easily and automatically that an oveuse has been registered?

    - Do I have any means to stop overusage as an administrator?

    - Do I have any possibilities to enforce that employees don't install copies at home and  use the office license keys?

    - Do I have any possibilities as an administrator to even hide the office license keys?

    If the answer of any of those questions (and a couple of similar) is "no", than you know what their intention is.

Children
  • Got information from our license contact at Bentley, that Bentley neither is interested nor able to implement usage restrictions to its products.

    As a consequence of that we are most likely to do that:

    • Short term: implement a 3. party license control software (K2 from Sassafras - http://www.sassafras.com). Purchase costs are the same as the invoice we are going to get from Bentley for the 6 hrs. of overage of Staad.Pro for this 3 months period. As a bonus we'll get a very good overview about all software use in our company. I also expect that we can reduce some of our unused Bentley licenses, so summa summarum it won't cost us anything.
    • Medium-term: Further investments are going to happen on our other platforms

    Good luck to the rest of you.

    Case closed.

  • I have just posted a similar topic.....If they think I'm paying for another license because thier reporting system says I somehow used 4 days over the 3 licenses I have purchased, they're fooling themselves. I already have a form ready to send to the NC Attorney generals office for deceptive practices.....looks like we will see who flinches first.

  • Over usage is killing us at the moment. Some days (not including weekends) we use only half or less of our licences for a product. but others days we have gone over. So we get hit with over usage.

    It is unfair!

    Our account manager is going to spit chips if we get another bill!

  • We own 1 license of RAM Structural System software and I have two users that share it. All they have known is that when they try to open it. If it opens, they can use it, if not, they know the other person is using it.

    Apparently this "trust" licensing started in 2006. I had no idea. Neither did the two users of the software. I never had been contacted by a representative from Bentley about any overusage in 8 years.

    Now they decide to start billing for overusage that noone involved with the software was aware of even occurring. I don't think so.

    How dare they not provide some sore of tool for locking down usage of the software to the number of licenses owned, or some method of  reporting overages in order to prevent them.

    I don't mind this licensing model, but we should have control over it without 3rd party software being necessary.

    Very frustrated.

  • I would not mind the overusage billing as long as: 1. The licenses will be shifted in real-time and not 1 hour.The 1 hour bucket from Bentley will generate a lot of empty hours.

    Who is going to pay for that? Bentley?

    2. I get a proper warning that overusage is about to happen. What is overusage anyway? I have 3 STAAD license that I am free to use 24/7. In my opinion that is 24x30x3 = 2160 hours monthly (i'm nowhere near that).  Unfortunately all complains seems to be ignored from Bentley and I cannot for the time being see any other solution than to bring this to court. Maybe a common lawsuit will be the way to go