The Matrix - new licensing deal from GeoQuest breaks the mould. (April 1998)

A new software license pricing structure,integrated into a $7 million - 3 year deal with Lasmo is set to change the way E&Psoftware is sold.

A recurrent complaint from IT managers working with the high-cost software deployed in E&P shops is the lack of flexibility in license costs. If a user wanted occasional use of n licenses for a product, then by golly, they had to buy (and maintain) n licenses. London and Scottish Marine Oil (LASMO) - one of the largest independent exploration and production (E&P) companies in the world - have just announced a technology partnership with GeoQuest that sets out to revolutionize the way in which E&P software licenses are sold. The new deal is the "Matrix", a pay-as-you-go license which caters for the varying usage that typifies the E&P department. This new technology partnership calls for GeoQuest to provide LASMO's world-wide operations unlimited user access to a wide range of GeoQuest software for three years. "We think this is going to be an enormous benefit to LASMO by allowing us to standardize on applications software," said Hugh Banister, LASMO's E&P systems manager. "Database and application integration is key, and LASMO took a strategic decision to go with a single supplier to achieve this."

$7 million deal

The deal - described as a strategic supplier agreement - is for an initial three-year period and is worth $7 million. It is planned to have software installed at all LASMO offices by the end of the first quarter this year. Before installation, LASMO will conduct site visits to evaluate the current information technology infrastructure, as well as local internal support for hardware, software and data management. "This partnership will help us better understand the needs of LASMO," said Jan Erik Johansson, Business Manager of GeoQuest Europe and the CIS. "As technology partners, we share the common goals of improving efficiency and reducing cycle time in the exploration process." Adds Banister, "Our partnership will lets us be more flexible in delivering software, services and training to personnel. If we open a new office, all the software required by the geoscientist to perform their duties can be in place the day it opens."

The Matrix

The Matrix License – a new concept in licensing from GeoQuest - uses the Flex License Manager (Flex LM) to meter the use of each product. The license payment is initially based on an anticipated utilization, but extra licenses are available at all times to cope for overload. At the year end, Flex LM indicates the true usage and billing is adjusted accordingly. Existing client site licenses mat be incorporated into the Matrix. Barry Taylor, Software Products Sales Manager with GeoQuest told PDM "Our customers want more flexibility. They are sick of filling in capex forms for new purchases or having to pay on a per license basis. They want the ability to scale up and down as workload demands – hence our Matrix marketing concept.". The GeoQuest software suite has been chosen as the standard for all LASMO offices. LASMO will also benefit from the release of new software modules and technology under the agreement. "This is going to be an enormous benefit to LASMO by allowing us to standardize on log analysis, seismic interpretation and data management software," said Banister who continued, - "Our partnership will allow us to be more flexible in delivering software, services and training to personnel. If we open a new office, the core software needed by geoscientists can be in place the day it opens.". Banister told PDM "LASMO wishes to remove the inadequacies that have been introduced in the past by technology and administrative limitations".

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