Concurrent licensing is used for software applications that are highly specialised, particularly those in the financial, engineering/manufacturing and design industries. It is based upon a number of simultaneous users that will have access to the software at any one time.


Denials: If you have too few licences then this will lead to denials. Denials will stop users accessing the application if the limit has been reached. This could affect project completion, disrupt service and ultimately cost the company money in lost time or revenue. Denials can also be a global issue if (for example) users in one country work late and keep hold of the licences that the next timezone would need. This is where specialist control software can help.

Implementation: Per-seat licences are generally easier to implement.

Peak Capacity: It is hard for a business to figure out what the peak capacity is and therefore to be able to understand how many licences are needed. Obviously, 1 per user is too many – but what level of availability (Quality of Service) is acceptable? Too few licences will give rise to too many denials, too many will be a waste of money.

Multiple Instances: Large organisations tend to manage denials by purchasing by business unit, using multiple disconnected local ‘instances’ of the licence servers (and/or the application itself). This would create separate pools of licences for that business unit. This may seem like a good idea to ring-fence usage and availability, but as a result of this there is no pooling or sharing of licences, ultimately amplifying the problem – especially from a cost perspective.

Specialist Skills: To manage concurrent licensing correctly and get the most benefit from it will need specialist skills or tools. Organisational and cultural challenges generally mean the capability to manage this in-house is often localised, poor and/or never initiated.


Cost Saving: You only buy the number of licences you need to cover peak usage, so there may be more users than licences. You could have 100 potential users but you may only need to buy 70 licences, as they won’t all need to use it at the same time. If it is decided that only 95% Quality of Service is desired, then not even the peak usage figure needs to be purchased, cutting costs further. Additionally, concurrent licensing is usually cheaper than per-seat licences.

Starters and Leavers: As the licences are not allocated to a specific individual it doesn’t matter when users stop or start requiring the application. As long as they have the correct login credentials they can gain access. In this case, there is no need to cancel or reallocate licences.

Control: This control over expensive ‘specialist’ software applications will help by enabling forward planning of the number of licences required; also leading to better negotiations with the vendor.

Flexibility: Licences are not tied to a user or computer, so a client can create as many accounts as needed, as the number of current users can’t go over the number of licences bought. Separate pools of licences can be created to allow for priority access to the software, although not recommended as there other ways to manage this more efficiently.

Overall the benefits of concurrent licences outweigh the challenges and they are therefore what we recommend. Just be sure they are managed correctly.

You can read the first and final parts of this series of blogs here:

Part 1: ‘What is Concurrent Licensing?

Part 3: ‘Concurrent Licensing – Controlling & Optimising Costs

Part 4: ‘Concurrent Licensing – Engineering Software Optimisation and Contract Renegotiation

For further information on how ITAMS can help your organisation with Concurrent Licensing please download our ITAMS_LM Service Overview.

Alternatively you can contact us on: 03704 050508 or email your enquiry to