Software can be licensed in many different ways. Concurrent licensing is based upon a number of simultaneous users that will have access to the software at any one time. For example, a company has purchased 100 licences; meaning that a maximum of 100 users can be accessing the software at the same time. Access request 101 will be denied or prohibited, until a licence becomes available.

This can be for applications both on-premise and in the cloud, with access managed by the application itself or via independent software metering tools. Although users will need to be registered so they have the correct credentials to log on to the application, the cost is linked to the number of concurrent licences and the features required, rather than the total number of users (seats) that require access (named user licensing). Using this method of access to applications means that you cannot be non-compliant, but cost optimisation can still be an issue.

Concurrent licensing is also known as Active or Passive Metering:

Active: Caps on the peak number of simultaneous users, preventing access (‘denials’) or at least notifying requesting users of unlicensed use.

Passive: Reporting on use profiles to enable trends to be tracked.

Applications that most commonly use concurrent or named user licencing are those that are highly specialised, particularly those in the financial, engineering/manufacturing and design industries. This type of software is expensive and to use this method of licensing can help control costs. There are many known software vendors in this category, but end user organisations also develop their own applications, using licensable components.

The cost of this type of software is often greater than the total infrastructure software spend. Often, due to acquisition and the size of the company, the same software is used by different parts of the organisation, independently, which can lead to overspend as denials in one area cannot be satisfied by spare licences in another.

You can read the next three parts of this series of blogs here:

Part 2: ‘Concurrent Licensing – Challenges & Benefits

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