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Managing an Autodesk License

23 August 2018

Adam Green


An Autodesk license is often ignored – right up until a letter requesting an audit is received. And at that point, a large software bill will usually follow. The reason an Autodesk license is often ignored is mostly down to lack of knowledge, both about the risk involved and the software in general. The purpose of my post is to shed some light on Autodesk licensing and provide tips for managing your estate.

Why an Autodesk License must be taken seriously

The first thing to understand is that Autodesk software is expensive. A single AutoCAD licence will currently set you back around £1,700 per year, and just one of the industry collection licences is over £3,000! An organization only needs a handful of Autodesk deployments for there to be a large cost involved.

If you’re reading this post, I assume you have some Autodesk products installed and are probably thinking about what to do next. Now Autodesk has moved to a subscription based licensing model, controlling the compliance of the software has been simplified, but as an organization, you still want to maximize your current investment and ensure that you are only paying for what is needed.

Working to maximize your Autodesk Licensing investment

To optimize your current level of Autodesk licensing, you will first need to determine what is currently being used. Unfortunately, the usual methods of assessing inventory are not very effective when reviewing Autodesk deployments, mainly because most inventory tools do not distinguish between an installation that is licensed locally and one that is licensed concurrently. Additionally, many software asset management tools struggle to identify the suites as a single licensable component, instead splitting them into individual applications that incorrectly require multiple licenses.

To successfully assess your inventory, you will also have to identify the installed serial numbers. Organizations are often found non-compliant due to installed trial and counterfeit licenses, but with the correct inventory method and licencing tool these risks are easily spotted.

Autodesk licensing management with License Dashboard

As Licence Dashboard is tool agnostic we can take information from alternative sources and identify all install-relevant information. Using the existing inventory tools to recognize Autodesk installs, specific scripts or inventory tools are run against these devices to pick out the additional information. We can then pull all inventory sources into Licence Manager and create a full picture of the inventory. Doing it this way means we can take advantage of whichever tools are available and still have all information in a central database.

Once the inventory is gathered all risks are highlighted and Autodesk licence entitlement is reconciled in an easy-to-read format. As License Dashboard is highly customizable this works equally as well for complex estates with multiple legal entities.

Adam Green

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