Why it’s time for you to mix, match and hybridise your FME licences

Managing data in today’s fast-paced world is a huge challenge. You’re feeling the pressure to keep up with changes, control costs, and meet fluctuating data demands. While software licensing might not be the first thing to think about when you’re spinning so many plates, it can make a huge difference in your organisation’s data agility.

When it comes to software licensing, a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it anymore, especially with the way things are evolving. If you’re a long-standing FME user, you’re probably seeing your older FME licenses piling up, while at the same time, you need more flexibility to adapt to new demands.

That’s where a hybrid licensing strategy can make a big difference. By combining different types of licenses—Perpetual, Subscription, and CPU licenses—you can create an FME solution that fits your needs so much better than it did before.

Understanding FME Licensing Models

There are 2 core components to FME: FME Form (the application you use to create workspaces), FME Flow (the application you use to automate those workspaces). When you buy these components or additional engines to crunch your data, there are 3 FME licensing models to choose from – Perpetual, Subscription, and CPU-Credits.

Perpetual Licences

A Perpetual licence for FME is a one-time purchase model that grants indefinite access to one of FME’s core components, with costs limited to an initial payment and optional annual maintenance fees for updates.

  • Stable Foundation: Perpetual Licences create a stable foundation for essential, ongoing tasks that have minimal variability. If you’ve been a long-standing FME user, you might have a number of these perpetual licences already.
  • Long-term Cost Effectiveness: The strength of this licensing model is the long-term cost-effectiveness – with an upfront payment, the longer you use the software, the more money you can save.
  • Inflexible: Perpetual licensing though, is inherently fixed.  If you have a spike in your workload and need to buy more licences, you have to set up a new procurement and buy more licences.

Subscription Licences

A Subscription licence for FME is an extremely flexible model that allows you to pay for FME on an annual basis, in the flexible configuration you need, while reducing Capex.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability: With flexible terms, subscription allows you to adapt your FME holding, you can scale up or down and swap out FME components when needed. This is particularly powerful when managing projects that have different scopes and timelines.
  • Cost Considerations: However, if you have consistent workloads that will vary very little over time, a subscription model may be less cost effective over the long term, as that flexibility does carry a certain cost.

CPU Licences

CPU hours are FME engines licensed purely on the CPU time they consume (termed as “credits”). This model allows you to start as many engines as needed without upfront costs, only paying for the actual processing time used.

  • Scalability for Peak Demands: A bank of CPU hours is perfect for handling intermittent high-demand tasks that require substantial computational power, giving you scalability for peak times and demanding tasks.  They also enable you to main multiple clusters in different locations.
  • High Usage: However, CPU credits need to be seen as the premium solution for flexibility, and should only be used when the other scaling options are not suitable.

The Power of a Mixed Licensing Strategy

By strategically combining perpetual, subscription, and CPU licences, you can harness the strengths of each model to suit different bits of your operations. For example:

  • Core Ongoing Tasks: Use perpetual licences for core ongoing tasks, providing a stable and cost-effective foundation. You can usually roll the maintenance costs of these into a subscription too giving you less payments to keep track of.
  • Project Work: Supplement these with subscription licences to meet the demands of projects and usage growth, giving you the flexibility and adaptability you need.
  • High-Demand Tasks: Mix in a bank of CPU engines to handle intermittent high-demand tasks, ensuring scalability and efficiency.

This blended approach puts your organisation in a data-agile position, ready to tackle changing workloads and operational challenges without wasting money or running out of resources.

We’ve helped many organisations across multiple industries gain value from an FME estate that optimally matches their evolving operational needs with the most flexible and cost-effective combination of licences. So, if you’re looking to make your data management more efficient and consider leveraging so much more out of your FME estate, consider adopting a hybrid licensing strategy.

If you need a hand finding that right balance to meet your organisation’s needs, then reach out to us at info@misoportal.com for expert, no-nonsense advice on how to get the most out of FME.