X-Formation celebrates 20 years of success

X-Formation celebrates 20 years of success

We can hardly believe it–X-Formation is 20 years old this month! Twenty years ago, we could not have imagined all that X-Formation would achieve.

X-Formation was founded in Aarhus, Denmark, on March 17, 2004, by Henrik Goldman. An ambitious, passionate entrepreneurial software developer just graduating university, Henrik had a strong vision that holds true today: develop better license management solutions that provide an optimal cost to value ratio, strong software licensing protections, and ease of use for both developers and their licensed software customers.

X-Formation Team - 2008
X-Formation Team,  year 2011.

X-Formation initially developed LM-X License Manager, which went on the market in 2005 and was followed quickly by the first release of License Statistics in 2006. In 2008, X-Formation expanded to open an R&D office in Krakow, Poland. Companion tools to help simplify software license creation and distribution were developed over several years, culminating in the introduction of License Activation Center in 2013. With these three products, X-Formation was able to offer a suite of tools that together provide an end-to-end software licensing solution for every phase of license management.

Within a short time, X-Formation acquired the business of hundreds of customers worldwide. Many of the earliest adopters, including X-Formation’s very first customer, remain customers today. This level of loyalty is our reward for trying our hardest every day to bring our customers a good value proposition that helps keep costs down while offering a world-class product and quick support – something that larger companies often cannot compete with.

Beyond offering an excellent product, fair pricing and reliable support, we believe that much of X-Formation’s success has come from including our customers as an integral part of our company. From day one, we’ve seen our customers as our greatest collaborators. Your input about what’s important to you has provided invaluable guidance to help us evolve and make our products the best they can be.

Of course, our talented, dedicated employees are our number one asset. X-Formation fosters a working environment that respects and values each individual, promotes self-empowerment, and builds teamwork, enabling everyone to have an influence on the success of the company. Our vibrant company culture has lent itself to enduring working relationships, with numerous 10-year anniversary celebrations for our employees over the years.

We’re immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed to X-Formation’s success over the past 20 years, and we look forward to continuing to bring you software solutions that contribute to your own successes for many years into the future.


X-Formation Team - 2024X-Formation Team, year 2024.

X-Formation - Year in Review - 2023

X-Formation – Year in Review – 2023

It’s hard to believe–already, another year is coming to a conclusion. Looking back at the busy year that 2023 proved to be, we are filled with gratitude for all that each and every member of our team has contributed to X-Formation’s successes.

This gratitude extends to you, our customers. Since our beginnings nearly two decades ago, we’ve considered you to be our greatest collaborators. Your input about what’s important to you has provided invaluable guidance to help us to develop license management solutions that make a real difference to hundreds of organizations worldwide.

In this article, we’d like to share with you what we consider to be some of our most important accomplishments over the past year for both License Statistics and LM-X License Manager.

License Statistics

As usual, our License Statistics team has worked hard to expand and improve on all areas of License Statistics, from enhancing ease of use to increasing stability and performance. Let’s take a look at the most notable new features we added to License Statistics in 2023.

License Harvesting

We’ve added two new License Harvesting release methods–Dry Run and Suspend–that give you even greater flexibility for tracking and helping to reduce the waste of idle end-user applications.

Dry Run method

The new “Dry Run” release method is the least aggressive release method, particularly useful for testing how License Harvesting works with specific applications without taking action to close those applications.

This new method is perfect for situations where you want a history of license usage, but you’re concerned about disrupting end users’ work, as you can choose not to alert the user. In this case, application events will be detected and logged, but the end users of the monitored applications won’t receive any alerts for idle applications.

If you do choose to issue an alert, the Dry Run method will inform end-users that their application is idle and recommend that they close it. However, no action will be taken, giving the end user the choice to leave the application open or close the application, as best suits their current situation.

Suspend method

The new Suspend harvesting method gives you more flexibility in the way that you enforce the release of idle licenses. The Suspend method “freezes” the idle license so it can be released to the license pool, and issues an alert to the end user to inform them that use of the application is suspended.

Although the user cannot use the application while suspended, the application remains visible and no data is lost. The end user can resume using the application by responding to the alert or by using the License Harvesting tray icon.

License Statistics Agent

This past year has seen significant improvements for License Statistics Agent, with enhanced license server management, auto-update capabilities, and adjustable agent connection intervals.

License server management

With the addition of server mode for License Statistics Agent, License Statistics administrators can start, stop and restart license servers directly from the Administration > License Servers page within the License Statistics UI. Previously, license server management required going outside of the License Statistics UI, connecting to the proper license server host using SSH or a remote desktop, finding the service/administration tool, and restarting the server.

License Statistics Agent server mode adds convenience and can save considerable time, especially if you’re managing a large number of servers on different hosts or you’re handling numerous requests from users to free up licenses that have become unavailable (for example, due to an application closing ungracefully and taking a long time to release licenses back to the pool).

What’s more, License Management auto-detection using Server Agent detects the services available for the license servers on the host where the selected agent is installed, and the detected services can be used to manage the server remotely (start/stop/restart).

Auto-updating of Agents

Managing License Statistics Agents couldn’t be easier with our newly introduced automatic update capabilities. Simply toggle on the Auto Update option available from License Statistics’ End User Agents page, and License Statistics will schedule updating Agents (version 6.20 or newer) as a newer version becomes available.

You can also schedule updates for individual Agents manually. License Statistics informs you when a newer Agent version is available, and lets you schedule the update procedure with a single click.

Ability to adjust Agent connection interval

We added the ability to adjust the connection interval for License Statistics Agent. Previously, this interval was set to 30 seconds (still the default) and couldn’t be changed. Now, you can increase the interval to up to 10 minutes.

When there are a large number of End User Agents, increasing the connection interval setting will reduce the occurrence of redundant connections, thereby improving performance, with no impact on functionality or difference in the data that’s gathered.

User Experience

Over the past year, we’ve made improvements that help users to better work with and understand License Statistics reports, including dynamic date ranges and improved indicators in reports that show last update time.

Dynamic date ranges

Reports that were filtered using date ranges (for example, “Last Week,” “Last Month,” “Current Quarter,” etc.) used to be static, so reports added to the Dashboard became outdated, showing dates relative to the date the report was generated.

Our newly introduced dynamic date ranges base date ranges on the current date, so reports added to the Dashboard that are filtered using date ranges always contain data relative to today’s date. This alleviates the need to regenerate such reports, saving you time and ensuring that the data you’re viewing is more meaningful.

Last update time indicators

In the last update time color indicators displayed in grids, we now use query intervals elapsed rather than time elapsed, so it’s easier to understand when the last successful query was made.


We’re always looking for ways to make License Statistics administration easier and more flexible. License storage and management simplification, availability of API resource information, ability to close sessions manually from reports, and the addition of a new Command Line Interface (CLI) tool are among the major improvements introduced during the past year.

License storage and management

In previous versions, License Statistics had to scan the entire directory to find the best license file, since the file could be kept either in the default directory or in a user-specified location. Now, the License Statistics license is stored as an entry in the database, making license management more efficient and secure.

You can also now manage the license using a new Management tab on the Administration > Licensing page that lets you easily view the current Activation Key, reactivate the key, or activate a new key. With this new approach, License Statistics Administrators will find managing the license much more straightforward.

The Licensing page’s Management tab can also be used to upload a license file. This ability is particularly useful when there’s no internet connection on the License Statistics host, the license was activated on a different machine, the license was downloaded from the LAC end-user portal, or other cases where you already have a file to upload.

The Management tab even gives you a license preview, so you can see the current license contents and when the license was last uploaded.

Ability to view API resources

License Statistics reports now let you view details of the API request used to generate the report, including the headers, endpoint and used parameters. This information can be used to facilitate integration with other applications that you want to allow to access License Statistics data; for example, PowerBI or Excel.

Session closing from reports

License Statistics administrators can now more quickly and easily close sessions on the license server and return the license to the available pool using the Features Realtime Sessions and Users Realtime Sessions reports. (Currently available for LM-X and FlexNet license managers only.)

New CLI tool

A new CLI (Command Line Interface) tool replaces the use of scripts. The CLI can alternatively be used for license management as well as other administrative operations such as backing up the database and resetting the default admin user/password.

Linux installers

We’ve introduced the following new Linux installers to help make installations quicker and easier:

  • RPM (RedHat Enterprise Linux distributions)
  • DEB (Ubuntu and Debian distributions)
  • Generic, which allows for customization and/or installation on distributions other than RPM or DEB

The RPM and DEB installations will provide for automatic upgrades from v6.17 on. Upgrading older License Statistics versions to v6.17 and newer still requires a one-time manual upgrade, as done for all previous releases. However, after upgrading to v6.17, you’ll be able to upgrade License Statistics on Linux to v6.17 and newer without uninstalling.

LM-X License Manager Achievements

Over the past year, our LM-X team has stepped up to the challenge of fixing complex issues, ensuring good performance, and maintaining the stability that you’ve come to expect from our full-featured license manager solution. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we’ve worked hard to solve your unique problems as quickly as possible while continuing to deliver improvements that meet your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the new features and improvements made by the LM-X team over the past year.

Improved performance

Recognizing the need to optimize performance, we’ve made several improvements that add up to an incredible 30% overall performance increase, including:

  • Upgrading the system used for managing network connections
  • Adding caching for HAL servers state to reduce connection delay when the first server is down
  • Optimizing performance of LM-X license server and client
  • Improving client network optimization by reusing buffers
  • Making token loop detection quicker by performing it only once during license server startup

Expanded support

Many of our customers are moving their licensing to the cloud. To support this growing need, we’ve added a new CLOUD sharing type that gives you the ability to restrict licensing for cloud environments, and we’ve made improvements to optimize cloud detection.

In addition, we’ve added support for Linux 32 bit on ARM, increasing flexibility in how you license your software.

Improved logging and notifications

We’ve made several improvements that help you to get more detailed, focused information from logs, notifications and other types of reporting.

The information available in the client extended log during license checkin has been improved, including the ability to see the vendor’s environment variables, such as connection timeout. The contents of the startup log have also been improved, to give you more clear information about startup events.

In addition to improving logging to give you the information you need, we expanded other communications and notifications, including adding a new option to xmllicgen to display the expiration date, making more information available for harddisk HostIDs, and improving clock check error messages.

New filtering capabilities let you omit unneeded data, with the addition of a flag that filters out virtual ethernet adapters from the HostID list and the ability to filter out empty BIOS HostIDs.

API additions

The LM-X API has been expanded, with the addition of a new function that accommodates virtual machine discovery and cloud host detection. We also introduced brute force password protection and a new administrative API function that allows for password verification when adding an LM-X license server to License Statistics.

Installation improvements

The Linux installer checks for required packages prior to installation and does not proceed with the installation if any required packages are missing.

We’ve also replaced the deprecated license server System V init scripts with systemd init scripts, and added an option to the Windows installer to open required ports.

We want to thank YOU!

As we look back on all the hard work that’s gone into 2023 and recognize our incredible, talented X-Formation team, we want to also be sure to acknowledge you, our customers. We sincerely value the close working relationship that we’ve fostered together. Without your feedback about what’s working and what isn’t, your insightful ideas for improvements, and your willingness to stick with us as we work through tough problems, we couldn’t continue to do what we care so much about: help your business to be more successful.

Our X-Formation team extends our heartfelt thanks to you and yours, and we wish you a joyous, safe holiday and a Happy New Year!

Henrik Goldman
X-Formation Founder and CEO

Is There Money Hiding In Your Floating Licenses?

Allocating Floating Licenses Across Time Zones – Best Practices

Smart license management practices are the key to effective use of floating licenses and reducing their overall cost. If your company has many users across international time zones, you can realize a significant cost savings if you know how many licenses are in active use at any given time. License Statistics is your key to unlocking those savings.

Identify Users by Time Zone

The first step in better allocating floating licenses across time zones is to identify the groups of users in each time zone. In License Statistics, you can use the Usage History view to determine exactly when users are actively using the software. For users in different time zones, you will see their usage rise as their work day begins, or see it drop as they finish their work days.

You will also want to check current usage above 24 hours to see where users have left software running without logging out. Assess those users separately, and create a strategy to mitigate those temporarily “lost” floating licenses. Having an accurate picture of floating license usage is the first step in reducing floating license costs.

Determine Actual Floating License Usage

Once you’ve sorted users or license servers by time zone, you have a clear picture of which users are using licenses and when they are using them. License Statistics provides many views into the data you can use to help develop a complete picture of usage. For example, the License Server Usage History enables you to sort server usage history to quickly identify maximum (and minimum) usage. The Usage by User Report is also invaluable in identifying peak users and usage.

License Server Usage History

Usage by User Report

You will immediately see usage patterns emerge from the data, and across time zones you will be able to identify times during which usage for users in one time zone drops off as users in another time zone are logging on. They are non-concurrent users; you can therefore see the opportunity to decrease the total number of floating licenses needed – you do not need licenses for users who are no longer at work!

Calculate the Number of Floating Licenses Needed at Any Given Time

Since all global users are not accessing floating licenses at the same time, you can now make a better estimate of the total number of licenses needed based on actual usage across international time zones. Thus, When users are leaving for the day in Mumbai, their counterparts in the US are just coming into work. You therefore need enough floating licenses to support one group of users, not both.

A typical starting point for determining the actual number of floating licenses needed is to begin at the 50% mark. Evaluate usage over a work week using the Usage History reports to determine how many (if any) denials are occurring, then make an appropriate adjustment. Over the course of three weeks you will have determined a solid, workable number you can use – with data backup – to justify the purchase of the exact number of floating licenses needed. 


By making a small change and then measuring results with License Statistics, you will be able to zero in on a cost-effective floating license strategy. Reevaluate floating license usage regularly with License Statistics – you will be amazed when you discover the savings hidden in your software licenses.

In a coming article we will show you how to use the License Statistics API to create your own reports and actually import data into your favorite BI dashboard.

Get to know License Statistics

A Closer Look at the License Details Page in License Statistics v6.0

We not only completely redesigned the interface for License Statistics v6.0, we provided a quick and simple way to see the status of your License Statistics licenses. The new License Details page gives you an immediate picture of exactly what is happening with your users and license servers.

To open the License Detail page, first click the Administrative menu on the left. Scroll down and select License Details to open the License Details page.

Information at a Glance

The License Details page gives you an immediate overview of license servers status, including the number of current users and number of license servers used in an easy-to-read graphic format. You can also quickly check on license and maintenance expiration dates.

The gauges tell you exactly what’s happening at a glance. In the screenshot below, you can instantly see that the number of license servers has been exceeded, and that the number of users is approaching its maximum.

A new Hosts gauge has also been added for License Statistics v6.1, making it easy to see when the number of hosts is approaching maximum.

In previous version of Licenses Statistics, it was difficult to get a clear overview of your licenses, and when your licenses ran out you had to dig through logs to determine what was happening. That’s all in the past with the new License Details page – it now goes into a read-only mode if a license reaches its limits so you can instantly see what’s happening.

Most important, you now know ahead of time when license usage is approaching the limit in one easy-to-read report. Check out the new License Details page today and let us know what you think.

3 Tips for Getting More Word-of-Mouth for Your Business

What’s the most effective form of advertising? The kind you cannot buy – word-of-mouth from your best customers. About 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends and colleagues, and that’s a number you cannot ignore.

The good news is that you can encourage people to talk about your products and services through a few consistent and intentional practices. Read our tips below and let us know what’s working for you to get good word of mouth for your business.

“Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

The comedian Steve Martin shared that advice in his autobiography. It sounds obvious, but the bottom line for getting good reviews from your customers is that the experience they have with your product must be excellent. That means your product must deliver excellent value. Fail to deliver, and people will talk; deliver the best, and people will talk about that, too. 

Ways to ensure your software product is really good:

Storyboard new user interface features and share the storyboards with your best customers. Getting them involved in the design process helps ensure you give them something worth talking about.

We always believe half of the product is the product itself, and the second half is all the people behind it. That’s why our goal at X-Formation is to respond to user requests within 24 hours, and ideally much sooner, so we can make sure they get what they want. Speaking of which…

Give your customers what they want. Maintain an active database of customer enhancement requests, track them, and let people know when their requests are implemented. Get customers involved in the design process.

Talk to your best customers – and your worst. Building relationships with your top customers pays off in many ways. Talk to your top users and listen for ways in which you can help them be more successful in their businesses. Talk to your dissatisfied customers, too. They will help you spot the issues you need to fix. By enlisting them in the process, you may well turn the most difficult customer into one of your best.

At X-Formation we work hard to get feedback, and no feedback is more important than what we get from unhappy customers. They show us where we’ve tripped up and help us ensure we get it right the next time.

Deliver Top-Notch Customer Service

To deliver the best customer service is to plan for it. And it begins with your employees. To quote Sir Richard Branson, CEO of VIrgin Airlines, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Model the behavior you expect from your staff and show them what real customer service looks like.

Ways to ensure your customer service is top-notch:

Create exceptional value. Focus your customer service team on creating exceptional value in every customer interaction. Quick, detailed responses go a long way to making a customer feel like your company really cares about their problems.

Customers respect knowledgeable, timely answers. We make it a practice to answer all X-Formation customer emails with an internal 6-hour deadline (though we tell our customers 24 hours to ensure completeness). We always want to deliver more than our customers expect, and they appreciate our prompt, straightforward answers.

Have a process that tracks customer feedback – both positive and negative – and develop a strategy for responding to both. Create a library of resolution tactics you’ve used in the past to help customer service representatives have resources they can use to soothe a dissatisfied customer.

We give every customer an option to share their feedback on every interaction with the X-Formation team by sharing a survey link at the end of every email. They tell us how we did, and we share the positive ones with the team to let them know a good job has been done. We take negative responses even more seriously, and use them to improve our processes to eliminate future mistakes. This is a big part of being a learning organization.

Deliver everything you promise. Many companies have fallen out of favor simply because they failed to deliver on their promises. Honesty is paramount when working with customers. Keeping them informed about what can and cannot be done sets appropriate expectations and prevents disappointing results.

Bugs happen! When we discover a bug, we inform our customers of what’s happened and let them know as soon as a fix is available. Hiding problems is not good customer service! The X-Formation approach is to resolve bugs quickly, and to never sacrifice quality just to ship something out the door.

Above all, be human. The more you focus on building good business relationships, the happier your customers – and your business – will be.

Ask for It

The best way to get good word-of-mouth for your products is to ask for it. Make asking customers for feedback a core component of your customer service process. When you get really good feedback, post that on your website and any social media sites your organization uses (such as LinkedIn). Treat every customer interaction as an opportunity to build more good will.

Ways to get more customer feedback:

Survey select customers periodically to rate your customer service. Always include the opportunity to rate every customer service interaction.

Two things you can do right now to make it easy for customers to send feedback. There’s always a link in our X-Formation emails and our website footers to give our customers that ability. And because customer feedback is crucial to making progress, we also have our “Feedback for the CEO” page to give our customers every opportunity to give us feedback.

Conduct quarterly roundtables by invitation with select customers on key accounts. What’s working for them – and what isn’t? Use the information you gather to create blog posts, newsletters, and informational webinars.

We don’t wait for our customers to contact us at X-Formation – we frequently ask our biggest customers for their evaluation on our progress. Without them we are nothing, so it’s important to us that we ensure their happiness. Nothing beats a “Thank you – it works” comment. 

Interview customers and create case studies that highlight the successes they are having with your product. Let them tell you how they’re getting the most out of it. You can do case studies in an informal podcast or webinar format, or create a case study article you can use for newsletters, blogs, and marketing handouts.

Here at X-Formation we use blogs and customer meetings to ensure all feature requests get evaluated and taken seriously for future improvements. We’re big believers in customer-driven development. By letting our customers tell us what they really need, we can keep a clear focus on creating the right features.

Customer word-of-mouth is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have at your disposal. Create good relationships, deliver exceptional value, and communicate with your customers and clients as part of a planned process built into your customer service organization.

Diversity in technology industry: no longer a nice-to-have

At X-Formation we believe our company culture is one of our most valuable assets and the key for our success. We started in 2004 with just one person and today we employ around 30 people from different countries such as Denmark, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, Belarus, and Hungary. As a result, our company is a small melting pot of cultures, behaviors and habits and we continue our upward trajectory :-).

Not only did we recognize the importance of adding international dimension to our company, but we have also become a place welcoming both men and women. (Two years ago there were only two women working in our company full-time, but this number has quadrupled since that time.)

At X-Formation we know that there is a tangible value to diversifying the enterprise and … it is ultimately customers who win. Why? Well, extensive research, including the report Diversity Matters prepared by McKinsey&Company and the study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, makes it clear that diversity in the workplace, including gender diversity, can bring such advantages as:

  1. greater ability to keep high performers
  2. increased creativity and problem solving
  3. increased productivity
  4. enhanced communication skills
  5. more synergy in teams
  6. above-average financial returns
  7. more customer satisfaction

In many companies there used to be a concern–which was never formally expressed–could women balance work and home? Attitudes have changed, though, and the outlook is brightening now as gender equality in the workplace is the best it’s ever been. This is possible thanks to “results-only” work environments adopted by many firms that let their staff work whenever and wherever they want as long as they accomplish their tasks, changing parental roles, or flextime arrangements present in many companies (such as ours!).

There are more and more opportunities for women who work in the technology industry, whether in a regular post or rising to hold high-octane jobs because companies recognized that women:

  1. are more “supportive and rewarding” in leadership roles
  2. accept more challenges
  3. are more persuasive and score higher than men in it comes to assertiveness and persuasiveness
  4. are more comfortable showing their emotions and communicating things

Women value teams and bring in empathy and better stress tolerance, whereas men contribute with their negotiation skills and determination.

Though certain differences exist in male and female attitudes that may drive a wedge between feminine and masculine roles, having a more diverse set of employees, both in terms of nationality as well as gender, means you have a more diverse set of skills. 🙂

Customer first, everything else follows

At X-Formation we put our Customers at the very center of the entire company—this is why we encourage them to share ideas, ask questions and suggest new features in our software products and we plan what will be included in a given release based on what our Customers tell us they want and need.

We regularly review such feedback internally to be able to provide frequent, stable updates that solve real issues for our 600 Customers and thousands of their end users. With our customer-driven development methodology, we are ready to deliver the solutions our Customers want quickly and efficiently.

But our customer-centered approach goes far beyond responsiveness to customer feedback—we care about our Customers even when our business relationship comes to an end.

As a proof of how much we value close relationships with our Customers we would like to show you a letter we sent to one of them as a sign of appreciation of our long-standing cooperation.

Why happiness at work really matters

Thousands of companies around the world say they are increasingly investing in the well-being and happiness of their employees because happy people tend to work better. But are such claims mere hype or are they scientifically proven? Well, recent research shows that happiness indeed boosts productivity by 12% and that happier people are more supportive of changes and learn new things quickly so there must be a grain of truth hidden somewhere within.

Some companies seem to know no bounds when it comes to pampering employees: they offer countless vacation days, fat paychecks or free flights, while other offer only “meager” benefits in the form of flexible work schedules, gift vouchers for Christmas or charity days. But do such benefits really make employees happy? In fact happy employees credit their bliss to … minimal supervision and great work-life balance. At X-Formation we recognized it long ago — our company is the right place for people who simply wanna great job . We do the most we can to make our employees happy by offering them minimal supervision, flexible working time and great modern office.

But back to theory …

According to a Harvard researcher and international best-selling author, Shawn Achor, there is a link between positive psychology and success.

According to the author, optimistic and happy people are:

  1. 37% more successful in sales
  2. 3x more creative
  3. 31% more productive
  4. 19% more accurate
  5. Up to 10 times more engaged

Although it may seem like a no-brainer, the fact is that happy brains are more productive and motivated. Happiness fuels success, and the thrill of creative effort makes people perform better at leadership roles and achieve far better organization results.

Put simply, to keep your employees happy, you should:

  1. stop micro-managing and make your employees feel that they are trusted by encouraging them to think on their own
  2. create a pleasant environment
  3. improve work/life balance to give people time to let people enjoy their life
  4. promote growth and development by providing opportunities for training and development
  5. ask what could be better, listen and respond to your employees’ feedback
  6. give feedback
  7. encourage socialization

Remember: employees that are content are usually more willing to contribute cheerfully and they don’t moan about daily operations. Try to contribute to overall happiness level in your company as much as you can 🙂

6 Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Experience

Have you ever wondered why Ikea, world’s largest furniture retailer, continues to do much better than upmarket furniture stores? Here’s the answer: in addition to transparency and great customer service, Ikea sells practical, ready-to-assemble, Scandinavian style furniture and home accessories.

But the real secret lies somewhere else: Ikea constantly reminds its customers that it’s OK to bring back the products that did not meet its customers’ expectations. (To be more precise: according to Ikea’s policy, you can “return any product, even if you assembled it, as long as it’s in re-saleable condition”.) It is clear that a customer ranks very high on Ikea’s priority list and… makes the entire business thrive!

Such customer-centered approach has accompanied us at X-Formation from the very get-go. Ever since we started developing our great software products, our objective has always been clear: deliver value to our customers. Over 11 years we’ve understood that when our customers feel valued, they’re more likely to remain loyal. And loyal customers are our most precious asset. We know that there’s nothing unusual or unreasonable about a customer who considers each purchase of a product or service from a self-centered point of view. After all, they’re paying a price.

Our customers’ opinions have always determined our course of action at X-Formation, and today we’d like to share with you some fundamental lessons we’ve learned over the years on how to continue on an upward trajectory and make your customers feel valued. We take pride in our customer retention rate of a stunning 96% so you can trust us on the following key findings:

1. Deliver value to your customers.

Every day do as much as you can to deliver value through the experiences you create around your products and services. Build your reputation on great quality and customer-friendly, knowledgeable employees. Try to quickly and thoroughly investigate any issues your customers may have with your products. (Think about Apple — the company has built a strong reputation based on superior products and great customer service provided by its friendly employees, not special discounts and deals.)

2. Listen to your customers and be responsive to their needs.

Let your customers’ voice be heard. Enable different channels of communication with your customers and regularly review their feedback. Keep development on track with your customers’ needs so that they know that you add new features to your products, or rework old ones based on what they tell you they want and need.

We developed our X-Formation feedback page so that our customers can ask questions and suggest new features in our products whenever they want. In addition to that, our ability to roll out frequent, stable releases that solve real issues for our user community is attributable to our customer-driven development methodology.

3. Deliver great quality products accompanied with great service.

Make sure you the products you sell to your customers have been thoroughly tested and evaluated. Deliver only quality products. Delivering simplified and personalized purchasing experience is very important, but you need to make sure you’re selling premium quality products.

Also, you should remember that when your employees are knowledgeable about the products and services you offer and put trust in the products they sell, they will handle even the most complicated transactions under challenging circumstances.

4. Remember that it’s not about the money, it’s about the customer.

We’ve learned that the total value of a customer is not about a single transaction: the real measure of customer value is about taking a long-term view of company’s relationships with customers. And we know that value must be defined from the customer’s perspective, not anyone else’s.

Customer satisfaction must come as first, everything else will follow. Make a deliberate commitment and focus on the customer. Use it to drive decisions affecting clients and employees.

5. Forget timely tips. Think Agile.

Tips abound about how to boost your productivity and do more in less time. Some of the techniques are quite obvious (write a “to do” list for each day, try multitasking, learn to say no, prioritize things, and so on), while others, such as the “Swiss cheese method” tell you that when there’s a job you really dread doing, you shouldn’t keep putting it off, but rather make “holes” in it by breaking in into smaller tasks, doing them one at a time and setting a time limit.

OK, much as we appreciate the methods, we decided to develop our own methods and workflow: at X-Formation the capacity of each team is determined per cycle (2-week sprint) and each sprint consists of a collection of to-be-performed, prioritized tasks that we put in the backlog using JIRA issue tracker.

Think of your own method. Listen to your employees, observe their working patterns and only then choose the method that will work best for them.

6. Establish great rapport with your customers.

Over many years we’ve learned that connecting to our customers on an emotional level and providing them with a unique experience by proactively anticipating what they need and expect—and exceeding those expectations every time — is the key to establishing a long-lasting relationship.

Therefore, we always strive to offer as customized and personalized customer experience as possible, even if it requires two or three of us spending lots of time on helping this one, special customer.

Remember: the more value you create, the more valuable you will become.

5 things you don’t know (but should know) about managing your software assets

Knowledge is power.

Having accurate information about the license usage across your organization can help you save amountain of expenses, because software costs can represent a large part of your company’s budget. Before anything else, organizations should see the full picture of how software assets are deployed and utilized across their networks. Read about5 thingsyou probably didn’t know about managing your software licenses.

1. The financial overhead and hassles associated with managing your licenses can be enormous.

Companies overspend by around 30% on licenses that are not being used — this amount very often represents a large part of the entire IT budget. With License Statistics, X-Formation’s software license monitoring toolwhich lets you track and report software usage in real time or through log importation, you can:

  1. prevent over-deployment of software
  2. minimize maintenance and staff training costs
  3. drive down your operational costs
  4. improve your company’s ROI

Find out which licenses are under and overused and plan your ongoing management and purchases accordingly. Sounds smart, no?

2. There are different causes of over-licensing.

Over-licensing takes place when an organization purchases more licenses than needed which can be caused by a number of fluctuating users with each having different software needs. Another reason underlying over-licensing can be attributed to “buying too many licenses just in case” which is often an unnecessary step taken by IT managers. With License Statistics you can easily get a clear picture of your license usage and prevent over-licensing.

3. License Statistics is easy to be used by everyone.

License Statistics is easy to install and use — a few clicks is all it takes to get it up and running , so its installation is simple and hassle-free; you don’t need to install different modules, components, and clients anywhere, sparing yourself lots of time and effort.

License Statistics reportsgive you a high-level overview of your license usage, including most-used features, licenses nearing expiration, features checked out for over 24 hours, license servers being monitored, and other, allowing you to make well-informed budget decisions.

License Statistics is a powerful tool which in an automated way gathers usage statistics from the monitored license servers. This is a simple answer to a difficult question: “What is going on with my software licenses?”

4. Depending on your unique needs, you can generate different reports on license usage.

License Statistics reports target the usage details you need to stay on top of to be able to plan your future software purchases accordingly, including:

  1. Current Users
  2. Usage Per Feature
  3. Usage Per User
  4. Realtime Utilization
  5. Realtime User Count
  6. Expiring Features
  7. Realtime Borrowed Licenses

5. You don’t need a crystal ball to be able to precisely forecast your future licensing needs 🙂

Once you gain insight into users that were denied access to applications, identify unused licenses and get information about important events that affect users’ access to licensees, including license utilization rising above a specified rate, features nearing expiration or licenses servers going down, you will know how to plan your purchases and budget accordingly.

If you would like to find out more about our software give us a call or download a free 30-day License Statistics evaluation.