Schaumburg, IL & Maidenhead, UK - Nov 28, 2012 - Flexera Software, the leading provider of Application Usage Management solutions for application producers and enterprises, announced today that Tullow Oil plc, Africa's largest independent oil company, has selected FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications as their Software License Optimization solution of choice. FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications delivers the most complete and meaningful insight into application usage to efficiently manage concurrent software licenses. It is used by six of the ten largest oil and gas companies in the world. Within a matter of only a few weeks, Tullow Oil's investment in FlexNet Manager has already paid for itself in software license cost avoidance, maintenance savings and improved user productivity.
Eliminating Costly Software Overspend and Denials of Service
Core to Tullow Oil's business is its ability to discover and extract oil and natural gas from underground fields. This activity is facilitated by engineers who use sophisticated and costly geotechnical software that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per license. Like many engineering applications, these run on a concurrent licensing model, which means that if all the licenses are in use and someone else tries to launch the application, they'll be denied use. According to Tim Burke, Head of Global IS Operations at Tullow Oil, this was happening too frequently - and it was causing expensive problems: "Our engineers are very important to Tullow's business and their downtime is costly. Denials of service cost the business money and slow down our ability to find, appraise and produce hydrocarbons."
But because Tullow Oil had limited visibility into their software license estate to analyze use, the company had limited means to assess how many licenses were actually needed - and whether denials of service were due to lack of sufficient licenses or something else. As a result, with significant pressure to minimize denials of service, Burke's team could only be reactive, which often meant purchasing costly additional licenses that, in retrospect, often were not always needed. "Line managers would come to us and say, 'We need a new license.' Without the historical data to show actual usage trends, we'd have no way of knowing whether the need was legitimate -so we'd buy the license to prevent downtime."
Burke knew the situation wasn't sustainable, especially given Tullow Oil's rapid growth - the company has been doubling in size every three years. He started searching for a solution, and quickly realized that FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications was the right choice. "I'd worked with Flexera Software previously, and understood the power of their tools for managing licenses across the entire software estate and providing intelligent reporting." Moreover, FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications was already used by many of the top oil and gas companies in the world. Wanting a best-in-class tool, they moved quickly to purchase the system, and were up and running in only a couple weeks, including integration with Tullow Oil's other geotechnical systems.
100% ROI within weeks
Within only a few weeks of being implemented, FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications' value was tested. A line manager approached someone on Burke's team asking for an additional license for an important geo-technical application, which cost around $200,000. An analysis of that application using FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications revealed that utilization was actually only at 60%, but that some engineers were logging in and not logging out, resulting in the denials of service. "Having this information allowed us to have a conversation with our engineers about best practices to avoid these denials of service," explained Burke. "As a result, we changed bad habits and secured an agreement to change behavior, created more capacity for the licenses, and avoided having to purchase more."
In another denial of service situation shortly thereafter, using FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications Burke's team discovered that the problem arose from consultants using the system, who were only working for the company temporarily. "We were able to manage the peak and rent a license for the time the consultants were in - again being able to avoid purchasing a costly license and maintenance."
Right out of the gate, FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications was field-tested, and delivered on its promised benefits. "Within a few weeks our investment had paid for itself by allowing us to avoid new purchases and drive better behavior amongst the user community," said Burke. "The ROI is high."
Increased User Satisfaction
Perhaps an unexpected benefit from implementing FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications was the credibility it provided the IS team in the eyes of the engineers. With data in hand, Burke's team is now able to have a conversation with line managers about why denials of service are happening, and discuss very easy steps users can take to avoid them. "Having the data gives you the confidence to have the business conversation with the line manager, because you can show you know exactly what's going on," said Burke.
In fact, Burke was recently forwarded an email from an engineer to a line manager, in which Burke's team was complimented for their excellent work and the noticeable improvements in software availability. "They're impressed that we have the information and are in control of software license management," said Burke.
FlexNet Manager for Engineering Applications is part of the FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises, which includes the following components:
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