LM-X License Manager v4.8 out today!

Recently we’ve been working hard to address some issues as well as bring more enhancements to LM-X, our software license manager. And today we’re proud to announce that we have just launched LM-X version 4.8 as part of our continued commitment to software excellence for our Customers.
Here’s a quick recap of what was done in this release:
  • Due to Google’s depreciation plan aimed at removing NPAPI support as of September 2015, LM-X GUI applet has been converted to an independent application, LM-X License Server Client, which you can easily access using end-user tools.
  • Added support for Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10.
  • Improved the speed of loading a blacklist from secure store.
  • Dropped support for AIX PPC64 and HP-UX (64-bit) IA64.
  • Considerably improved LM-X License Manager security with regard to generating licenses.
  • Eliminated a couple of issues found in previous versions.
Be sure to read the Release Notes for all details.
Interested in evaluating the latest version of LM-X License Manager? Submit your request for evaluation today.
Already using LM-X? Download the latest version of the vendor LM-X SDK and see what’s new.
As with all of our product improvements, the improvements and fixes in this release were made in direct response to customer feedback. We do our best to listen to you and incorporate as many of your suggestions and requests as possible.
This interactive process is ongoing, so please continue sharing your comments to help us make LM-X License Manager even better for you in the future.
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The power of plants in the office

It is known far and wide that flowers can perk up almost any setting. Placing a vase of flowers in the areas of your home that you spend the most time in or putting a potted plant on your nightstand so it is the first thing you see when you wake up makes you feel more energetic and happier.
 
But flowers are about something more than just brightening up your home space. They’re also a great way to up your productivity and happiness at work, so what about spicing up your office with a bit of greenery? Well, there must be a grain of truth in saying that offices devoid of pictures, flowers or other decorations are often considered toxic and unfriendly. No one likes to work in a minimalist, cold, lean office where… less is just less…So how do flowers raise your productivity and happiness at work? Read on.
Certain flowers have the power to clean air: sansevieria trifasciata, also known as mother-in-laws’s tongue (yes, we do have it in our X-Formation office too!) improves indoor air quality and absorbs toxins. The so called “money plant” (pictured left) purifies air, aloe, with its thick, pointed leaves, can be used to clean the air and … treat skin injuries, while red-edge dracaena considerably refreshes the air and acts as an anti-pollutant.

If you want to find out more about which plants deserve wider recognition, we strongly recommend that you to watch a TED conference by Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air.
A study conducted in Harvard showed that participants felt considerably happier when they worked in a green office. The results can be attributed to plants’ ability to reduce anxiety, improve memory and boost concentration. Another study conducted by a Texas-based scientific society found that:
  • people working in environments with flowers and plants demonstrate more innovative thinking and generate more ideas as compared to environments with no decorative objects
  • solutions to problems generated by people working in green offices are much more creative and flexible than those of people working in “lean” ones
It also goes without saying that flowers add a sense of “homeliness” to any area which increases the sense of attachment to the office and creates a stronger bond between employees.
Psychologists found that introducing greenery to lean workplaces led to a 15 per cent increase in output. The findings also indicated that a green working environment is  more enjoyable for employees, more conducive to concentration, and more productive for the business than its lean equivalent.
At X-Formation we believe that there is nothing better than an office full of happy people. We discovered a simple and sweet way to keep everyone in a good mood long ago – flowers! Exposure to flowers boosts employees’ mood and innovative thinking.
We’re always happy to see our flowers grow together with our staff and we continuously refine and embellish our genuinely smart office… obviously with plants!
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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:
  • 37% more successful in sales
  • 3x more creative
  • 31% more productive
  • 19% more accurate
  • 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:
  • stop micro-managing and make your employees feel that they are trusted by encouraging them to think on their own
  • create a pleasant environment
  • improve work/life balance to give people time to let people enjoy their life
  • promote growth and development by providing opportunities for training and development
  • ask what could be better, listen and respond to your employees’ feedback
  • give feedback
  • 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 :-)
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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.
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A new, major release of License Statistics is out: See More, Save More

License Statistics has seen some developments lately, and today we’re proud to announce that we’ve just released a fresh, enhanced upgrade: License Statistics v4.21. The improvements made and issues addressed in this release add up to a much more stable and sophisticated product that makes it easier to manage and interpret your license usage data than ever before. Here’s a summary:
  • Renamed grids in the Dashboard for better consistency in naming: License Usage Above 24 Hours grid to Current Usage Above 24 Hours, Users Using Features On More Than One Host grid to Current Usage On Multiple Hosts and Realtime Utilization to Current Utilization.
  • Added a new, Current Usage On Multiple Hosts report to the Reports page.
  • Added a new, Current Usage Above 24 Hours report with the option for customizing the display of the results (see below).
  • Added the License Server pick list and more feature details (name, version, type) to the Expiring Features report. Furthermore, added a new chart displaying information about features expiring in the next 12 months to this report (below).
  • Renamed Realtime Borrowed Licenses report to Currently Borrowed Licenses and the Activity tab in the License Servers page to Current Usage and Realtime Usage in the Features page to Current Usage.
  • Made minor visual enhancements to Error Log.
  • Changed color of Unknown license server status for imported license servers from grey to green in the License Servers section of the Dashboard.
  • Improved user experience by linking the name of each license server in the Create/Edit License Server Group dialogs to the License Servers tab to help users quickly view report details.
  • Addressed an issue with concurrently executed queries being delayed in time and data not being gathered efficiently where a license server was querying more than 50 servers.
    On top of that, we made a couple of other fixes and improvements, so be sure to read the full release notes.
As always, we listen to you. The improvements and fixes in this release were made in direct response to customer feedback. We do our best to listen to you and incorporate as many of your suggestions and requests as possible. This interactive process is ongoing, so please continue sharing your comments to help us make License Statistics even better for you in the future.
Haven’t try License Statistics yet? Try out the online demo or download a free trial to find out how easily you can reduce business risks, cut software costs by up to 30% and much more.
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Office closed for a public holiday

Dear Customers,
Our office in Kraków will be closed on Thursday, June 4, for a public holiday. Our sales and technical staff will not be available on this day, so answers to your questions may be delayed.
Kind regards and apologies,
X-Formation Team
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License Statistics v4.20 is out!

License Statistics v4.20 is now available and includes the following important improvements:
  • Enhanced License Server Activity report with new information about License Reservations.
  • Increased user experience by significant improvements to the License Server Activity report in the License Servers page; for example, by including more information about each feature such as its version and type.
  • Dropping support for embedded 32-bit MySQL installers and introducing one universal database folder named mysql (64-bit) for both Windows and Linux.
  • A new notification slider informing about the existence of old, inconsistent data in the database.
  • New, enhanced SQL Console.
  • We’ve also made fixes in many areas, including parsers, data accuracy and report performance, so be sure to see License Statistics v4.20 Release Notes for full details.
We’d love to know what you think of our products so drop us a line.
If you haven’t used License Statistics yet, try our online demo.
If you would like a free 30-day trial of License Statistics, click here.

 

 

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A new video on generating a License Statistics report using Excel

Recently we have made a video in which we guide you through the steps of generating a License Statistics report using an Excel spreadsheet.
Knowing how to easily create a nifty graphical representation of a License Statistics report may come in handy especially if you want to quickly convert the license usage data to a visually attractive chart to get a clear picture of your license usage.
In the video we used the Usage Per User report, but you can use Excel to view any of the License Statistics reports.
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Case Study: Pemex Exploracion y Produccion uses License Statistics to explore areas for savings

About Pemex Exploracion y Produccion

PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion, part of Pemex, the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, is dedicated to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons across Mexico. Company’s main activities involve oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation, conveyance, storage in terminals, as well as first hand commercialization. PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion dominates the rankings in offshore hydrocarbons production and scores very high in crude production and crude reserves.

The Business Challenge

Before discovering License Statistics, PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion didn’t use any license management solution. However, with the increase in reserves and production of hydrocarbons, the company began to recognize the need for an efficient license monitoring software with powerful reporting capabilities that would effectively measure and manage license usage and optimize software costs.

The License Statistics Solution

PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion chose License Statistics, because X-Formation’s software monitoring tool turned out to be a flexible and adaptable solution that let them measure the volume of demand for software products to optimize investment costs. Through better planning, the company was able to stay on top of its license requirements. What PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion appreciated most about License Statistics was its ability to show license usage based on how many licenses were used for how long and the percentage of utilization for these licenses.

Summary

License Statistics proved to be a reliable technology for measuring the utilization of licenses and providing effective and precise measurement that allows to make well-informed decisions regarding software spend during the entire process in PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion. In addition, License Statistics’ pay-per-use option enables them to appropriate license costs for each of their divisions based on real license usage.
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Public holiday notice

Dear Customers,
Please be advised that our office in Krakow, Poland, will be closed on Friday, May 1st due to a public holiday. Our sales staff will be unavailable on this day, so answers to your questions may be delayed.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and greatly appreciate your patience.
Kind regards,
X-Formation Team
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