When it comes to semiconductor enterprises, intellectual property, license use and design are critical to the business. The use of design software and design licenses can involve millions of dollars. Needless to say, licenses have to be managed properly to ensure the right employees have access, are up to date and are still being used. A ServiceNow license manager was developed with the Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP to achieve just that.
“Getting things done and delivering working solutions that really work and improve ‘the business’ is what drives me professionally”
As the digital revolution unfolds, hardware has to keep up pace. One of the reasons it can do so are new generations of chips that support the devices we rely on every day. Semiconductor manufacturers use electronic design automation (EDA) for the design of these chips. With this software, they can design and test the next generation chips before they have even been manufactured. Thanks to EDA software, design flaws and operating errors are eliminated on the drawing board, which makes chip design very efficient. In addition, hundreds of other licenses for the design, testing and manufacturing of semiconductors are in use at NXP.
Early 2018, two issues arose regarding license management. The first was that the license managing tooling that was used had become outdated: all changes had to be processed manually. Secondly, after NXP acquired Freescale Semiconductor in 2015, a no longer supported license managing tool was inherited, which also needed replacement.
Customization as guiding principle
Initially, NXP chose a commercial solution, but during a POC trial, it turned out the new entity that had been formed by the acquisition of Freescale couldn’t be serviced properly. As NXP already made use of ServiceNow, eventually the choice was made to adopt tooling that was built on the Now platform. A major benefit of developing a license managing solutions on the Now platform is the ease of use, uniform aggregation and presentation of data to all users regardless of their role and the possibilities for logging and reporting.
The result was SLAM: a ServiceNow License Access Manager. This solution offers in depth insight into access rules, which previously was the prerogative of the license admin. In addition, design enablement now also had access to an overview of all active, expired and retired licenses, which enabled them to save a lot of time requesting information from license managers. Also, configuration of licenses can be changed with SLAM. Add to that automated deployment with Ansible, including verification of deployments, and the whole process of license management has become more reliable and less time consuming for NXP.
“Plat4mation was able to quickly get to the essence of our complex use case and propose a solution that exactly fits our needs. We were really happy with the collaboration: the people of Plat4mation really became part of our project team. They have seen the project through from start to finish and felt every bit as responsible for successful completion as we did.” – Maarten Kelderman, IT manager NXP Semiconductors
The development of SLAM was a true team effort. By means of a DevOps approach it took only 6 months from the first discussions about requirements to realization and full implementation. One of the main benefits for NXP of SLAM is that it can be completely customized to fit organizational needs, even as these needs change. Thanks to SLAM, NXP can set the pace for chip development for a long time to come.
“The solution we developed in cooperation with NXP is really cool from a technical perspective and also from a business standpoint. The people at NXP had the audacity to think differently and choose a custom developed solution for their license management challenge. When you think about it, given the stakes involved, this is a bold move which really paid off and better fits NXP’s needs then any out of the box solution available.” – Ketul Patel, consultant at Plat4mation
Want to know more about license management supported by the Now platform, or other industrial solutions we have developed or can develop tailored to your needs? Feel free to contact us.
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