Miami-Dade signs new enterprise license agreement

Editor's Note: This story was updated Dec. 8, 2005, at 11:07 a.m. to reflect that the enterprise licensing agreement is worth $600,000.

Officials in Miami-Dade County, Fla., recently signed a new three-year, $600,000 enterprise licensing agreement with Autodesk that will make better use of the various software applications countywide.

Jose Otero, division director of the county’s Information Technology Department, said Miami-Dade will also save more than $200,000 under the new agreement.

“The beauty of the agreement is that it’s an enterprise license that doesn’t define what user is sitting at what seat,” he said.

In other words, departments that used Autodesk software defined the number of seats each would need and pooled that into one agreement, Otero said. This concurrent usage of the software license allows for more efficient use rather than each department negotiating separate agreements, he added.

Otero said Autodesk software is installed on distributed servers linked together, which allows any department to use it. Departments were concerned about the availability of the software under this arrangement. But he said that if a department exceeds its allotted number of licenses, a license will automatically be activated at the next server for the next user in the department.

Judy Zito, the county’s chief information officer, said this type of arrangement will enable the department to better track the licenses the departments use.

It will also increase efficiency. For example, some departments have excess licenses and instead of reducing them, they can be transferred to other departments that could keep them active. Zito said the agreement also provides the flexibility to increase usage seasonally for some departments.

The county uses Autodesk software for numerous applications, including computer-aided design for architects and designers, 3-D visualization for civil engineering applications, geographic information systems and others. “We pretty much have every single title,” Otero said.

The process took about six to eight months of reaching out to the agencies, finding out what they needed, assessing their financial situation and then negotiating the new agreement with Autodesk, he said.

Zito said the county has a centralized and a distributed IT function. She said the IT shop, which has about 650 employees, provides numerous services for small to midsize departments and other functions for all departments. But about a dozen larger departments, such as police, water and sewer, and transportation, have their own IT units for their specific needs.

In her role of coordinating policy and consolidating IT, she said moving toward an enterprise agreement was best for the county. Zito said Miami-Dade is moving more in that direction and has similar arrangements with Microsoft, Datastream and Oracle’s PeopleSoft software.

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