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Licencing nitty grity

BrentDrysdale
7-Bedrock

Licencing nitty grity

Hi Folks,
So you possibly saw my accidental post on licencing the other day. We are
presently in discussions regarding our Maintenance/Support contract renewal.

Our ProE (Creo) licences are of the "Concurrent User" type meaning that
they are floating until a user takes them. A user can take more than one
licence. This is the way ProE has always worked for us and as far as I
know it is how most companies use it. Typically companies have more
possible users than they have licences so once all licences are used then
some process has to be used to free up licences for other users. Have no
problems with this.

However our licences for eLearning (transferred from our Coach licences)
are of the type "Registered User" type which means that a licence is locked
onto a particular user ID/password. PTC specifically forbids use of
generic user IDs for multiple person use. As we have more users than
eLearning licences this presents us with a problem. We did not have this
issue with the Coach licences.
The options seem to be:

- Pay up for all existing possible users and add more as required (PTC
would love this but it is not going to happen).
- Set the licences to the users who would seem to most need/use the
training resource and too bad about other users.
- Somehow get generic users registered and dance around the PTC
requirements = possible liability
- Drop eLearning altogether as being an unworkable methodology and at
least save the maintenance cost each year for these eLearning licences.

In my opinion this change in training licencing is flying in the face of
what PTC keeps telling us is the value we get from maintenance.

Thoughts?

Regards,

*Brent Drysdale*
*Senior Design Engineer*
Tait Communications
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18 REPLIES 18

We usually purchase a one-year eLearning license for an employee when
they hire new, especially if they have little/no pro/E experience.
You might want to find out how often or how many users actually take
advantage of the training. It has been my experience that once the
users have the initial training in the first few weeks, they seldom if
ever log into training again. Its kinda like home exercise equipment.
And yes it does make upgrade training a challenge.

This is a big issue for larger companies. Recently PTC has made it even more difficult. Large companies could purchase a bundle (say 400) and then get anything above that for free. Now it is as you stated a one to one licensing.

I am hoping that PTC is monitoring this discussion. I have asked this question in the past but it always falls on deaf ears.

I think that there are lots of companies that choose your option to just ignore the E learning and just try it on their own. I know we have. Most of this is due to cost. As with many companies, we do not carry a Creo license for every user. Not everyone logs onto the system at the same time. I don't understand (well I do understand, I just don't agree) why the training module cannot follow this as well. I think that there are more users that PTC has lost income from than they will ever gain but charging a 1-1 seat. They are smart people and it would seem that some type of compromise could be met. I agree that each user should have their log on. A mass login under one account would actually defeat some of the benefits that you get from the E Learning. What I would like is more of the floating licenses format. For example if I have 100 seats of Pro/E for 400 users why not just have me buy 100 seats of the E Learning. While this is a lot less than the revenue that is potential for 400, in my books 100 is better than 0. If I ever run into problems where I have more users accessing training than I have licenses, then I can justify the cost of increasing the number of licenses. With Creo, and the learning connector, I think that my users may access training more than we have in the past. I too had Coach and really leveraged it a lot. My users, not so much. But with Creo, I can see them jumping in to have a short focused session on the subject at hand. Under this type of usage, my training would never exceed my Creo Licenses. All of our users are over worked and having time for training seems to be a luxury. Yes, we could argue this point till we are all retired but having limited time for training is always going to be an issue.

So to sum it up... PTC give me a useable licensing scheme that balances the cost and usage and I think that equates to increased revenue for you. I don't mind spending money that returns investment, but I have not been able to justify the current cost structure. I cannot tell you where the break points are. This is up to the bean counters but I personally think that your current implementation can stand a revamp and believe that in the end, PTC would see increased revenue.
Ronald B. Grabau
HP PDE-IT
Roseville, CA
916-785-3298
-<">mailto:->

We have PTC learning accounts, so I can tell you that PTC is trying to link the content into their help documentation. The Learning connector pops up when you search for something in the help and you can go to directly to that location of the training class and skip everything else.

I think this is where PTC is going, so they are expecting/wanting every user to have a learning account so they can present this information whenever the user needs it.

I will say that most users don't use the learning accounts. I'm hoping that with the Learning connector that they will be more likely to make use of it. But I'm not confident.

David Haigh

Hi Folks,
Thanks for the feedback from quite a few people (including familiar names
and even people I have met at conference). Some of these replies have been
public but many more have been private for various reasons. I will send
some private replies.

The public reply from Ron Grabau is (as is typical for him) a good overview
and like him I sure hope PTC are paying attention. The public reply from
David Haigh reminds us that this is the way that extensions to Help are
going (and I have used Learning Connector about two months ago when I
wanted more info on Hems in Sheetmetal).

None of the respondents (to date) are happy with the present PTC licencing
approach to eLearning.

If I sum up my thinking:

- Maintenance/support is a very substantial budget item*; we always get
asked why we should spend so much money. What can I really answer that we
actually get for this money?
- We get bug fixes for the version of software we are using. [We
would prefer that the software was robust in the first instance].
- We get occasional new software releases that promise higher
productivity.
- Mostly these are advances on existing software but twice since
'95, when I started using it, the new release has been a whole new
interface which involves retraining for something we can already do
competently. In each case we have to weigh up the benefits
of going to a
newer release. I can't say for other companies but we are usually not
early adopters of new releases and I can see from posts that there are
still users on much older versions of ProE.
- I absolutely agree that ProE (now Creo) is much easier to learn
(at least for the basic aspects) than it was when I started
so from that
point of view the Wildfire interface was a step forward (even
though it
initially cost us heavily in productivity). I can't really
comment on the
Creo interface as I have deliberately stayed away from this
until now; I
will shortly start looking at Creo 2.0
- Access to a phone help line. We don't use this. Typically our
users are reasonably competent so the questions tend to be obtuse and
with apologies to the people staffing the Help lines we find
understanding
the accents very difficult to the point where we don't bother.
- We do get some support from our VAR and are quite happy with them.
If we end up with an SPR we do it through them.
- Training is not included in the ProE licences so eLearning is a
separate licence deal that requires one licence for each unique training
user and this is a real sticking point this time as there is the cost per
user versus the actual usage per user.


* [The nominal maintenance is 15% of a new seat cost per licence meaning
that every seven years (just under) we pay the whole cost of the licence
over again. This seems industry typical from what I have seen. I am aware
that many ProE users do not pay maintenance and just continue until it is
time to buy again when they can look at what other packages can do what
they want.]

Although this scenario is not unique to PTC but that is no excuse to not do
things better.


Below, For your interest, I have copied out the relevant sections of the
PTC Licencing documents that relate to eLearning

*The eLearning licences are supplied only as "Restricted user" see below.*
*
*
*Licensed Product Name *

- *All e-learning software licenses (e.g., Pro/FICIENCY,
Create, Control, Collaborate, Coach, etc.)*

*Licensing Basis*

- *Registered User*
- *Note: Despite anything to the contrary in the License Agreement,
(a) use of these products is not restricted to persons located in the
Designated Country and (b) for these products customer may not substitute
one Registered User for another, except that a Registered User who ceases
to be employed by customer may be replaced with another Registered User.
*

*
*
*And they specifically state that a generic user as a work around is not
acceptable.*
*
*
*“Registered User”:*
*Registered User Products may only be used by individual, named registered
users on a password basis. The customer may add and/or substitute from time
to time new registered users as long as the aggregate number of registered
users does not exceed at any point in time the number of licenses in effect
at such time for that particular product and, provided further, that if a
person who was previously a registered user returns to registered user
status, a new license fee must be paid to PTC at PTC’s then current rates.*
*A License is required for each individual who accesses a Registered User
product or the data contained therein, whether directly or through a web
portal or other mechanism for “batching” or otherwise achieving indirect
access to the Licensed Product or such data. Generic or shared log-ins are
not permitted.*
*
*
*In terms of PTC checking up sub-sections 2.1 and 2.2 of the overall
Licencing agreement state*
*
*
*2. Compliance*
*...*
*
*
*2.1 License Usage Assessments*
*To confirm Customer’s compliance with the terms and conditions hereof,
Customer agrees that PTC may perform a usage assessment with respect to
Customer’s use of the Licensed Products. Customer agrees to provide PTC
access to Customer’s facilities and computer systems, and cooperation from
Customer’s employees and consultants, as reasonably requested by PTC in
order to perform such assessment, all during normal business hours, and
after reasonable prior notice from PTC.*
*
*
*2.2 Reports*
*Upon written request from PTC, Customer agrees to provide to PTC an
installation and/or usage report with respect to the Licensed Products (and
in the case of Registered User Products, such report shall include a list
of all users for whom Customer has issued a password or other unique
identifier to enable such individual to use the Registered User Product).*
*Such report shall be certified by an authorized representative of Customer
as to its accuracy within ten (10) business days after receipt of any
written request from PTC. For any period in which Customer’s use of the
Licensed Products exceeds the number and/or the scope of the Licenses in
effect during such period for such Licensed Products, Customer agrees to
pay for any such excess usage, including applicable license and Maintenance
Services fees, and without limiting any other rights or remedies to which
it is entitled, failure to pay shall be grounds for termination in
accordance with Section 7 hereof.*




Regards,

*Brent Drysdale*
*Senior Design Engineer*
Tait Communications

Brent,

We have been asking PTC for years for a floating license option for eLearning. PTC always refuses, saying it would have to cost more. I agree that a floating option would have to cost more. However, I wish PTC would give us the option, let us analyze the business case, and select the option that works for us.

Thanks.


Frank H. Strieffler, CM
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing Resource Lead

Mechanical Hardware & Test
Lockheed Martin Engineering

Cherry Hill, NJ

I totally agree with Ron.

We also switched over from COAch to eLearning years ago and were unpleasantly surprised by the change in licensing.

In my discussion with PTC back then I asked for at least a functionality to be able to remove users from the list, so that I could make it a more dynamic list based on specific needs. But even that they did not agree on.

So we end up using eLearning l;ibraries much less than we would want to. Just a few users who asked for it have been assigned a named account.
Just like many other (BIG) companies, we are not using the full potential of the eLearning libraries.

Now that PTC is enabling access to the eLearning system through the Creo Help they probably hope that companies will use it more.
Unless they change the licensing scheme it won't happen.
And that's a shame because there is really good stuff in there.

We are considering giving up on maintenance for the Learning libraries because we hardly ever use them.

I have to echo the comment; " PTC, are you listening? Seems like you've got an opportunity to increase eLearning sales by just changing the licensing scheme ...."



In fact I would take it a step farther and say that PTC's licensing scheme for most modules beyond the base packages is hindering PTC's growth opportunities. As a thought starter, did Apple charge for Siri? No.



Maybe PTC will listen to this one and possible consider a technical committee for licensing with members from Engineering and IT.

Tim McLellan
Mobius Innovation and Development, Inc.

I know PTC may think online training is as valuable as an off-site class. But I really don’t think so. If I send a user off to a training class, I know they will typically not be disrupted by other work issues and will typically get full value out of the class plus interaction with the instructor and other students. At least it was that way before everyone had a smart phone, and were expected to be available 24x7.

I’ve used CAD Train almost since it came out in the early 90’s. I believe there was a lot of value in that software, but it takes pressure to get people to use it. I’ve only had three areas where I had, what I would consider, good success with it.

· I’ve used it as pre-training for traditional training classes. the users were better able to absorb the classroom training after working with CAD Train.

· I used it for summer students we had no intention of sending off to a training class.

· And I’ve used it for update training.

Other than those areas, I only know of a few users that have ever used it. And even then, it was just to find out the bare minimum they needed to do something.

I see the Learning Connector as potentially helping in this regard, but even then, I really don’t anticipate that most of the users are going to make extensive use of Precision LMS. I’ve come to believe the old adage applies, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The users ask someone next to them or the company expert, rather than looking through the help or Precision LMS. I just don’t see that behavior changing. Only a few people are ever going to make extensive use of on-line training. The mail exploder is successful because it feeds into this behavior. Instead of asking the guy next door that may not know anymore than I do, I can ask the global community.

Bottom line, I can’t see paying full price for something that is going to get minimal use.
I believe if we had to pay full price, we wouldn’t have it. There isn’t enough ROI.

I fully understand PTC’s need for each user to have their own account. If PTC published a volume pricing list, I think a lot of you would be happier. I know PTC does discount this. But, since on-line training is less valuable than a training class, those discounts should be significant. So much so that people looking at it would think it’s foolish not to purchase as many as they need.

I will point out that there are now advanced college coursed offered on-line for free. I think that trend will continue.

For training, my current benchmark is lynda.com. Many of the courses
include a few slices for free evaluation. The quality is high. The price
is not. If they could only be convinced to take up Pro/E training ....

The training I got through PTC online was OK. It needed more polish and
it wasn't up to date, with old courses standing in for new versions,
even though the menus and options had noticeably changed. Maybe I just
asked wrong. Many of the courses were click here-drag that, with no
explanation of why certain operations were chosen. Most wasteful was the
introduction, telling what the course would cover. This should be a
paragraph in the course description. While repetition is good for
learning, losing 5% or more of the time to someone reading the syllabus
is not helpful.

Is this why users avoid it or do most train only when required to
regardless of the quality of the course? Why is management not concerned?

Dave S.

Here's an idea... How about if the software manual actually explained
how to use the software (like most programs do!)??? I purchased an
Adobe Suite and got a box of manuals 12" thick (ok that was 4 years ago)
that thoroughly explained how to use the software. It didn't simply say
"here are all the buttons, and their names". I know since then Adobe
uses electronic manuals, but they DO actually supply them and they ARE
useful. Having to pay ANY extra to get information that should come
with the software is just ludicrous.



I guess this is why we have the exploder...



T


We use both Pro/E and Solidworks here. I learned Solidworks by using
the INCLUDED tutorial. No, I am not a power user by going through it
but I can at least use the software. I think an intro tutorial should
be included with Pro/E. Sure, for advanced things maybe charge, but for
just figuring out how to use it, SW does have a leg up on Pro/E.



There are many tutorials right on PTC's support website. Those are
included in maintenance (Maybe I shouldn't mention that as they may
start charging additional for that).



Youtube has been a boon. There are thousands of how to's. I haven't
looked, but I'm sure there is intro stuff in there as well. The
explorer or even a general google search solves 90% of my issues.



Jim


Very slowly. The only things that are free are very high-level
overviews of the new interface. Click on any of the tutorials and it
asks for your elearning login. Also, there are more in depth videos
available on youtube.



Here is what is available from the help menu form SW:





Step by step instructions included in every seat of SW:





Like I said, this won't make you power user, but at least you can at
least get started. (for the record, I'm not a SW fanboy, I prefer Pro/E
- been using for 16 years)



Jim

Every time I try to teach anything to anyone about pro/e, I simply try to
narrow it down to something that is missing and I teach it my self. I have
never thought of the PTC documentation as a real source of learning for
introducing new employees to intralink/pdmlink/RSD or pro/e. The elearning
is a joke on its own. Free.... Free software has better free documentation
than PTC does. Take a look at Blender.org or Gimp.org or OOO.org or
Scribus or Inkscape..... you get all sort of really cool tutorials for
stuff you didn't even expect the program to be able to do. With PTC
software on the other hand, you get a powerpoint style presentation that my
little 5 year old niece could do on OOO (open office 🙂 ) given the many
available tutorials. But hey some blender users are really young like 10 to
15 years old and they come up with great docs and tutorials.

The take home is this:
1) PTC produces sub par and very expensive software and never corrects
anything for free
2) They would probably sue anyone if they could for any reason
3) I wonder if they would allow an independent tutorials and training
software site. A .org where everyone could add tutorials. A moderated forum
that was completly devoid of sales reps or PTC influence of any kind and
did not require a signup to read posts and see images.

The fact is that the programs I mentioned are successful because they are
free to download, open source and free to add to. PTC will never have such
following so its documentation will always be subpar. That means our jobs
might stay secure for a few more years until IBM improves watson and buys
PTC. When that happens, forget it. We will have thought control of
automatic design. No more cad monkeys required. not even for uh ah
"cabling" or FEA or nothing related.


Interesting about Watson. While malpractice suits could be an initial
problem for Watson in the medical arena, it's nothing like the suits you
can get if a product manages to kill some people. Maybe medical vs
product design will be a flip of the coin.

Your mention of the niece reminds me of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon
complains his father took him to baseball games from the time he was
seven until he went to college. He said, "Most miserable five years of
my life."

Leo Greene has some nice Pro/E tutorials.

Dave S.

Yeah Leo's tutorials are nice:

" > 3) I wonder if they would allow an independent tutorials and training
> software site"

Kim (and Dave),

There is a website called GrabCAD which offers tutorials from the CAD
community as a whole (SW, ProE, Catia, etc.)
Registered users come up with How-to's and develop CAD models for download,
rendering etc. All free.

Tutorials may not be as structured as PTC's or any of the other ones
mentioned in this discussion, but it is a start.
You can also ask questions about your CAD problems just like here, request
something to be modelled and so on.

Hope that helps.

P.S. I am not affiliated in any manner with GrabCAD other than that I
contribute to their library of parts and (try) to answer some of the
unanswered questions in the Pro/E and Creo sections.


Interesting. One one hand you got the evil, people from commercial cad
systems like the ex CO of solidworks. Also you got an unknown purpose (are
they collecting to later keep and sell? are they selling the challenges?
free labor force as a type of game? you get paid a dollar for 5 hours of
work while they sell the model for 500 bucks?) On the other hand you got
some young entrepreneurs and some open source investors that are making
cutting edge tech for the linux platform like Code ASTER by EDF.

yeah not too horrible I just might join the force.



We appreciate the candid discussion on this subject and want to assure you that we are listening.


PTC’s eLearning strategy is based on identifying an individual’s learning needs, and the belief that learning is an ongoing activity that ties a single user to that learning over an extended period of time. We continue to evolve our eLearning content and delivery applications so that learning is as efficient and effective as possible, while catering for different skill levels and learning styles. The key to this strategy is being able to identify the individual via the single user license and provide them with the tools of Precision LMS to search, track, and manage their learning experience while also providing them quick context sensitive access through tools like LearningConnector. Our experience has been that without this model it is harder to get the value out of eLearning.


We do, however, recognize that customers are looking for flexibility in how they purchase and use our training, and we’re constantly evaluating additional offerings that we can add to our portfolio. The ability to allow for more flexible access while still making sure our eLearning can be effectively used is something we continue to explore. Please know that the issues highlighted in this forum are being taken into account as we have those discussions, and that I would welcome direct communication via my contact information below to anybody who would like to reach out.


Stefano Paolieri
CAD Learning Portfolio Lead, PTC
Tel: +49-89-321 06 538
email: -

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