Software Licensing Metrics – Named User / Role

Hello and welcome to this next article in our ongoing series on Software Licensing Metrics. In this article we will be looking at what is considered by some companies to be the most cost-effective of all metrics – ‘Named User’. It is, in principle a very straightforward metric to understand. If your customers business operates using a Group Policy where each user is assigned a unique login then a Named User can be an easy to implement means of managing their license costs.

It is important that each individual who will need to access the software has their own login as this is used by the software metric to measure its use. It also enables your customers to easily manage which of their users are making the most of the software as well as monitor for any use which could be considered excessive, thereby driving unnecessarily driving up costs.

The precise way in which the metric measures the time spent operating the software by each user has several different variations. The precise method which you choose to adopt will have to take into account factors such as the size and infrastructure of the business, the actual number of users who will have access to it and ultimately the method which will work best for both you and the customer. As an example; if the software or service is relatively light on its processing power and it would be difficult to distinguish between all but the most extreme differences in usage (i.e. 5 minutes to one hour would be the smallest distinction possible). In this case it would seem logical to measure the number of times each user accesses the software rather than the time they spend using it.

For a software or service with a greater draw on the processor, you may want to consider monitoring the actual usage by each user, rather than simply the number of times that they make use of it. As with many aspects of Licensing, there are overlaps between the different metrics and different variations are always possible.

In addition to this, it is important that as a Vendor you decide each time the precise level of flexibility which you are going to grant to each customer. Especially if they operate across multiple servers and locations. Significantly, does the Named User license allow the given users access across all sites and servers? Or just specific ones? It is important to consider factors such as these before signing on the dotted line.

As with all cases of licensing, the larger the requirement the more complicated it can become to organise the fine details which are essential to a smooth operation of yours and your customer’s businesses.

Image Credits: © Jeff Sheldon -