Empower Innovation With Unlimited Licensing

55 min video  /  43 minute read Download PDF


Reese Tyson

Sales Engineer III

Inductive Automation

Greg Schneider

Senior Engineer and Project Manager

Multi-Dimensional Integration

Brandon Lockee

SCADA Department Manager


Jan Madsen


Enuda AB

The high cost of conventional SCADA software licensing models can hold integrators back from delivering innovative solutions to their customers. And for an integrator embarking on a new controls project, this can feel like suffering through a traffic jam, with blocked-off roads or toll booths at every turn.

But imagine instead a licensing model that makes working on a controls project feel more like zipping down the autobahn — getting to say “yes” to nearly anything a customer wants, speedily delivering scalable solutions, and actually having fun in the process. This is the refreshing reality with Ignition’s unlimited licensing model, because it eliminates the pain points of conventional models.

Discover the pure magic of an unlimited licensing model in this webinar, with examples of real-world projects that benefited tremendously from having unlimited tags, clients, screens, devices, and more, for one single, astonishingly affordable price.

Learn how you can:

  • Ease the pain points of conventional licensing models
  • Create future-proofed, highly scalable SCADA solutions
  • Deliver SCADA solutions at a fraction of traditional costs
  • Implement your innovative ideas without needing to justify the ROI


Reese Tyson: Hello everyone. Welcome to today's webinar “Empower Innovation With Unlimited Licensing.” Today we'll be talking about how Ignition's unlimited licensing eases the pain points of conventional SCADA software licensing, and we'll see some real-world projects that illustrate just how powerful the unlimited licensing can be. I'm Reese Tyson. I'm a Sales Engineer here at Inductive Automation, and I'll be your moderator today. As a sales engineer, I actually think I have the best job in the world. I get to talk about Ignition all day, and typically what that would look like is hopping on calls with end users and integrators, or really anyone who's using Ignition, to get into the weeds on architectures, modules, best practices, and assist in any way that I can. I'm really excited to have joining me today, Jan Madsen, Founder of Enuda AB. Greg Schneider, Senior Engineer and Project Manager at Multi-Dimensional Integration. And Brandon Lockee, SCADA Department Manager at CITI Incorporated. Jan, let's start with you. Can you give us a quick intro of yourself?

Jan Madsen: Yes, sure can. Hello everybody, and thank you for having me Reese. Yeah, as you said, I'm Jan Madsen, the Founder of Enuda. We are an Ignition Premier Integrator based in Sweden operating all over Europe, and we do Ignition projects, and that's the only thing we do. So we are an Ignition-only house doing Ignition projects across many different industries in all kinds of sizes, and I'm looking forward to presenting some of our work today. Thank you for having me.

Reese Tyson: Yeah, certainly. Alright. And Greg, looks like you're up next. Can you please tell us a little bit about your role at Multi-Dimensional?

Greg Schneider: Yeah, thank you, Reese. So my name's Greg Schneider. I've been with MDI for quite a while now. I've personally worked with the Ignition platform for about eight years now, almost exclusively because, well, believe it or not, all of our customers like using it. So where there's work is, it's where we go, right? So we've been a Premier Integrator since 2012 as a company, and yeah, I'm excited to talk about some of the things that we've done.

Reese Tyson: Great. Yeah. Brandon, how about yourself?

Brandon Lockee: Hello, everyone. As the other two have stated, CITI is also a Premier Integrator. We're located in North Carolina. I started with the company seven years ago as a Project Engineer, and as nebulous as that title is, I have done things like PLC programming, instrument calibration, but most importantly for this conversation, I've converted lots of existing SCADA applications to Ignition. Over time I've been promoted to Department Manager, where one of my central roles is to ensure we follow best practices when producing a system for end customers. So happy to be here.

Reese Tyson: Great, thanks, Brandon. Yeah, I appreciate you all being here today. Before we get started, I'll quickly tell you a little bit about Ignition for those that maybe this is your first exposure to it. Ignition is a universal industrial application platform for HMI, SCADA, MES, and IoT applications. It's used by 57% of Fortune 100 companies, has cross-platform compatibility, IT-standard technologies, and has a scalable server-client architecture. It's web-based, web-managed, and with a web-deployed designer and clients. It has rapid development and deployment tools and has modular configurability. It also has an unlimited licensing model, which, of course, is the topic at hand today. So here's the agenda for today's webinar. We'll start by discussing what unlimited licensing is and why it's so revolutionary for industrial automation. Then we'll talk about the pain points of conventional licensing and how Ignition's unlimited licensing reveals, or, sorry, relieves these pain points.

Reese Tyson: After that, our guests will share projects where unlimited licensing really made an incredible difference. I'm really excited to share some of these with you all, and at the end we'll wrap up with a short group discussion, and then we'll use the remainder of the time to answer any questions that you have. And speaking of questions, if you have a question anytime during the webinar, just type it into the questions area of the GoTo Webinar control panel, and we'll answer as many as we can at the end. If we can't get to any question today, definitely reach out to one of our account representatives and we'll be happy to answer it that way. Also, I wanna make sure everyone's aware that the recording and the slides of this webinar will be available within the next couple of days if you want to go over any of this or maybe even share it with someone who wasn't able to make it today.

Reese Tyson: So, without further ado, let's go ahead and jump into it here and talk about the importance of unlimited licensing. So just a little bit of a backstory to unlimited licensing: Inductive Automation's founder, Steve Hechtman, used to be an integrator himself, and he was frustrated by the licensing models of conventional SCADA software. He knew that there had to be a better way, so he actually created Ignition's unlimited licensing as a result of these frustrations. And it's one of the pillars that our company is founded on. Unlimited licensing is really just that, it's unlimited, it's sold by the server, and there are no limits to the number of tags, the clients, devices, designer, reports. The list really goes on. On Ignition's side of things, there's truly no limit. It really boils down to what the hardware can support that is running Ignition or that server hardware, so you get everything for one affordable price.

Reese Tyson: And when I say affordable, people are often shocked at just how affordable it is compared to conventional licenses. So let's dig into why exactly unlimited licensing is so crucial and what makes it possible. First, this type of licensing model supports innovation. It eliminates all the barriers that are typically there with conventional licensing models. So if you have a brilliant idea for a control systems project, you don't need to go back to the well to get another license, incur that cost, take up time to set it up, and all of that. You can just quickly implement your idea. And then, because of how affordable unlimited licensing is, it lets you put that savings back towards things that are also important, like development, manpower, expansion, etcetera. And since you aren't wasting time doing numerous installations and setting up a bunch of licenses, you can get projects done more rapidly, which is a win-win for integrator and end users alike.

Reese Tyson: Finally, unlimited licensing also makes it easy to scale. Since you can add on the new tags and devices without hassle, it really sets an organization up for success, not only in the present, but for the future as well, as you start to realize more and more potential. The first pain point we'll discuss is about high cost of conventional licensing. Conventional SCADA software licensing has incremental charges for every little thing. For example, typically like a 1-10 tag system will cost you a certain amount, and then once you get to the next threshold of maybe 50 or 100 tags costs another amount. And this all adds up extremely fast and uses up the lion's share of an average project's budget. On the flip side, Ignition's unlimited licensing provides unlimited tags. There's no tiers that you gotta hit, clients, screens, and more, for one single price.

Reese Tyson: So since the number of tags you have is only limited by this hardware, you could have hundreds of thousands of tags before needing to get an additional license. This is how Ignition is just a fraction of the cost of conventional licensing, and as a result, the licensing costs only uses up a small part of your project's overall budget. To dive further into that last point about budget allocation, here we have a comparison of two budgets. One, using traditional SCADA software, and the other using Ignition. So in these examples, you can see how projects built in Ignition will leave you a lot more budget to use for implementation compared to traditional SCADA software, since only a very small part will be needed for things like software licensing and installation labor. And to really hit home the drastic difference in price that I was talking about, check this out as an example.

Reese Tyson: Here's a comparison of a competitor's quote with Ignition's pricing. A customer sent this a few years ago, so the prices might have changed slightly, but it kind of shows you the difference in cost between Ignition and other SCADA products. The second pain point is that conventional licensing is time consuming, and it takes a lot of effort to work with. With conventional licensing, you waste a lot of time and effort on installations, and every time you need to activate new licenses, but Ignition's unlimited licensing makes it a breeze to add on new tags, devices, clients, and more. And it helps you save a lot of man hours. Instead of spending time activating licenses, you can focus on what's really important, building innovative solutions. After you've completed a project, it can be difficult or even impossible to add on additional sensors or devices.

Reese Tyson: With Ignition, on the other hand, you're able to deliver control systems that are future-proofed and ready to scale. You can add on new sensors or devices without hassle. And the last pain point we'll touch on is that conventional licensing hinders innovation. And this is a big one, really. And since there are so many barriers with conventional licensing, it can make it hard to give your customers exactly what they ask for. If you have a brilliant idea on how to improve a control system, it can be difficult to get approval to incorporate that idea. This leads to a lot of innovative thoughts going to waste and systems that are ultimately uninspired because of those barriers. With unlimited licensing, however, you get the polar opposite experience. A lot of Ignition integrators rave about how they can now say yes to almost anything their customers request.

Reese Tyson: And when they come up with an innovative solution in a project, they can add it in without needing to justify their ROI because they won't need to incur additional charges from the licensing. So now that we have a little bit of background on how unlimited licensing solves these pain points, let's take a look at some real-world examples that benefited from Ignition's unlimited licensing model. First up, we have Jan. Jan has a project that Enuda did in the water/wastewater industry. And so, Jan, I'll hand it over to you. You have controls.

Jan Madsen: Thank you, Reese. And I think, so what you just mentioned here, Reese, that is exactly the reason that we, as an integrator, act as an Ignition-only project because, as you said, affordable and unlimited, no restrictions, and scalable, and future-proof. What's not to like about Ignition, right? So we have decided to take the unlimited and the no-restrictions mindset of Ignition one step further because we are very focused on also giving the clients, our clients, the capability of being in control themselves, which is something that is appreciated. And that is also the case here with the project that I'm going to show here today. Our client Novafos, which is a water and wastewater municipality company in Denmark. And as you can see here from the numbers, it's just huge.

Jan Madsen: And we have devices in the thousands and tags in the hundreds of thousands. So they had a number of challenges when we met them the first time. We have been involved in this project for a while. And our first take on this and our first work was around cybersecurity, architecture, and building a toolbox for drag-and-drop templates for them to organize the rollout plan. So let's have a look at the problems they faced. So Novafos became Novafos as a result of a number of smaller companies merged into one huge utility company, so reasonably to act, I also think that they had a number of different SCADA systems. They had historically had different systems, from iFIX to IGSS and also others. And they were running in different versions on different servers. And of course, historically, they had no way of unifying their naming conventions or anything around that.

Jan Madsen: So, resulting in high maintenance costs, and therefore, Novafos said early on in the process, we have some business needs that we have identified, and we need something that is scalable. We don't know how this will look in the future. We know how it looks now, but we need a scalable architecture. We need something that is more cyber secure than what we have today. We expect future threats, and we expect these things to be even more important in the future, which they turned out to be. And they talked about design principles that should be aligned, and whatever we can talk about here, I'll come back to that a bit later. So based on that, they opted for an Ignition solution. So they said we replace the entire SCADA system we have today, or the SCADA systems in plural, with an Ignition-based solution.

Jan Madsen: And that's the decision they opted for. And I think the main thing they got out of this is the uniform design, uniform naming convention around that, and then the scalability. And that's one of the things where the benefits of the licensing model of Ignition really played in well here with the business needs of Novafos. So we started out with building an architecture of something like this. It has changed slightly since then. There's nothing special in this. You can actually find this as a standard Ignition architecture. It serves two purposes. It is cyber secure and can be made as cyber secure as you want, and it's scalable. And that was very, very important for Novafos from the very beginning. When you talk about hundreds of thousands of tags, then scalability is just a big thing.

Jan Madsen: And the unlimited licensing model made a difference to them. So what do they have today? They have a SCADA system based on Ignition, where they have met their business needs. And I would like to emphasize here, the fact that unlimited devices and unlimited tags, that has mattered a lot to this project. It has made a huge difference to the overall cost side of things for Novafos. And that just matters when you deal with a project of this magnitude. Furthermore, just a brief introduction here to one of the things that we've done, it's a pump station, and we have introduced high-performance HMI here, which is also one of the things they wanted, so that they had more uniform design across everything they do.

Jan Madsen: So to wrap it up, I would say essentially, our clients, they do not really care whether you call it SCADA or MES. The line between these two, that becomes very blurred nowadays. That's our experience, at least. So they have some business needs, and they think a lot about how do we create a situation for ourselves where we are less dependent on future costs, where we have more freedom, where we have more flexibility. And that's where the licensing model plays a huge role. So we have said, and that's our mantra here in Enuda that, “Start small and be use-case driven.” So have something to show for yourself. And again, here the license model plays nicely in, because as you showed Reese here yourself, you can get started at a relatively low cost.

Jan Madsen: You have unlimited devices, tags, clients, or users, it'll be end use and whatnot. So you can get started. And that means that the licensing model can actually make it possible for you to get started. And then you do not have to fear that. Yeah, but if this is a success story, what is then going to happen in the future? And when our clients really realize this, when they really understand this, that this is truly unlimited, then what we experience is that ideas just pop up everywhere from different departments and different sides of the company. And these are all great ideas, and they flow a lot. So as a matter of fact, we might have to... We do have once in a while to fight this “start small” thing because the ideas were just popping up everywhere. And so whether it's a smaller project or a big one like Novafos, the fact is that the licensing model just supports the way this is done. So with those words, over to you, Reese, and thank you for letting me show this.

Reese Tyson: Yeah, yeah, certainly. Yeah, appreciate that. I love that mantra, “Start small and be use-case driven.” It just allows the project, and you showed this during your project and your explanation of how innovative it can be with that initial seed. Great. Yeah. Thanks Jan. So next up we have, excuse me, Greg, so I'll hand it over to you, Greg.

Greg Schneider: Sounds good. Thank you, Reese. So today I'm gonna be talking about some of the work that we've done for JLG Industries. So JLG is the world leader in aerial work platforms and access equipment. You've probably used some of their equipment if you've been to a new job site. Essentially, JLG, within their manufacturing, maybe like a decade ago. They have to do a lot of processes to build their products between fabrication, painting, finishing, assembly, all that. And so their processes are very diverse, and they constitute a lot of different platforms, different OEMs, and previous to Ignition, things were fairly disconnected and really not integrated at all from process to process. So we recommended the Ignition platform, because it would allow them to gain that visibility of their processes across multiple PLC platforms. It would also allow us to bring in all of those processes to a central location to view the status of the facility.

Greg Schneider: And because there was no limit on the number of devices, tag screens, and all of that, they were able to expand at their own pace as they were able to do more projects as they acquired funding. So one of the first projects that we've done, or sorry, before I get into that, I should just mention the architecture because everything that we did for JLG in the earlier days just used the most basic Ignition architecture that you can think of. I'm sure we've all seen this from the Inductive [Automation] website. They started with just a single gateway, and from there, we're able to expand out to all these things I'm gonna show you.

Greg Schneider: So one of the first projects that we did for JLG was in their shot fill area. So this particular area is used to weigh down the frames and add additional material to make sure that the frames are heavy enough to allow for users of the equipment to reach the heights that they need to reach. And previous to integrating Ignition, it was a completely manual process. It started with just literally writing the weight of the frames on Sharpie on the side of the metal, and then an operator basically holding a button until it looked full, and then welding in that material. That was pretty much it. So we integrated a digital run schedule where we would capture the weight of that frame in the fabrication area and print a barcode so that when we, or when they brought the frame to the shot fill area, we already knew what the weight of that frame was, and based on the part number, they were able to know how much material needed to be filled for that specific frame.

Greg Schneider: We also integrated recipe management to accomplish that, and we gained full visibility of the process and fully automated it. One thing I should note is this particular customer saw a lot of value in having screens that were as realistic looking as possible. Their thought process here was as new technicians and operators were brought on, it took minimal time to get them spun up on the system itself because they could look at the screen and look at something in the real world, and it looked fairly similar. So they were able to minimize some troubleshooting in doing that. This is one that provided JLG with a lot of value. So in the final assembly area, they had a specific line that had a conveyance equipment that was provided by an OEM several years ago. And it had no HMI, no lights indicators, or anything. It was just in the PLC, completely hidden from any visibility. So we integrated Ignition to provide full visibility of the entire process as well as all of the inputs and outputs of the equipment.

Greg Schneider: And previous to us doing this, if the line got out of sequence or they ran into any kind of issues, they really just kind of went down to the line and started tripping limit switches and moving things to trigger proximity sensors until the line eventually got back into sequence without really fully understanding what the issue was. So by adding in real-time visualization of the live inputs and outputs, as well as laying out a specific process that the... And or specific sequence that the equipment goes through, they were able to decrease downtime substantially. The maintenance department went from multiple calls a week where they would see hours of downtime a week to maybe one call a month down to basically no calls a year. They might get two, three calls a year if that.

Greg Schneider: But for the most part, everyone in that area is now familiar with what the sequence needs to be. If it gets outta sequence, they can go to the screen, look at where the process got held up or where the fault occurred, trip that limit switch or trip that proximity sensor if needed, and then they're off to the races. Customers saw a tremendous amount of value in this project, and they were able to implement this project without buying any new Ignition licenses. The paint area is another example of multiple pieces of equipment from multiple OEMs completely disconnected, some panels even having just fully electric relay logic and no PLC control. So we integrated, updated some PLC hardware to just bring it into the 21st century a bit and provided one cohesive control system as opposed to a bunch of segmented control panels.

Greg Schneider: Again, this is another scenario where the customer saw a lot of value in making the screens look as realistic as possible, which really helps their technicians be able to look at a screen and identify where the problems are so that they can run out to the line and address the issue very quickly. These are a couple more screenshots from that paint line. We've all seen these classic P&ID screens, but again, we tried to make these devices look as realistic and match the real-world look of those devices, leveraging the symbol factory. They also had a main control screen that we put in that just gave them one place of reference, so that they could see the status of every single function and process within the line to know where the problem areas were so they could immediately jump into action and get the line running again.

Greg Schneider: This is some facility utilities that we integrated as well. So the project on the left is a septic system, which again, was a fully electrical relay panel in a pretty remote location to the facility with absolutely no visibility. We integrated some PLC control here with redundancy and gave them that visualization of that process and of that area. Previously, if there was an issue where, maybe the pumps weren't working or a breaker got tripped or something along those lines, there would be a light with a horn that if someone just so happened to be out on their smoke break and they heard maybe they would call maintenance to come over and look at it, maybe not. And now they have alarm notification and full visualization of that area so that they can jump into action and resolve the issue before it becomes catastrophic.

Greg Schneider: We also integrated with their air compressors via Modbus to be able to provide real-time status of that equipment, as well as the temperature regulation of that particular room since the air compressors let off a lot of heat. May have lost control here, give me a moment. There we go. This is one of the more innovative projects that came out of the maintenance department. They saw that the supervisors were struggling to figure out where their materials were and where parts were throughout the facility, so we did a proof of concept where we added RFID tags and strategically place RFID scanners throughout the facility so that we knew from fabrication to shot fill to painting to assembly, where the frames are throughout the facility, and having that real-time status that way, it just eliminated a lot of people walking around the yard to try to find where frames were to keep things moving. The only license that needed to be added here was Sepasoft's Track and Trace Module, but everything else used the same licenses.

Greg Schneider: So to bring this all together, I have this picture that I really love of the dashboards that we have in the maintenance department, every process that we added, and as we continue to add those processes, they get added to these TVs. So at any moment, if a maintenance tech comes back to the shop, they can look up, see what the status is of the entire facility. If they see that there's a fault, they can click on any of these areas, and it populates in the bottom right screen with the same application that is out on the line. So they can navigate through that application just like they would if they were sitting at the HMI, and they can figure out what the issues are, which again, just minimizes that troubleshooting process and tries to shortcut us back into getting parts produced. So overall, they've seen a tremendous amount of value with Ignition. It's become their standard when it comes to all visualization, and it really has provided them a ton of value and brought them into a bit of a more modern control system with their automation, and allow them to improve their processes. So, Reese, I'll give it back to you.

Reese Tyson: Sure, yeah, thanks. Thanks for sharing that project, Greg. I always appreciate a good screen. There are a lot of great visuals on there, as well as a good story on how Ignition was able to take two phone calls a week and almost completely erase those calls at an annual rate. So really great stories and great example there. Up next, we have Brandon from CITI. So, Brandon, I've given you control. Go ahead and take it away.

Brandon Lockee: Thanks Reese. Before I talk about how Ignition has impacted customers CITI has worked with, I'll give a brief overview of my experience. My first project for the company was converting a water treatment plant from Lookout to Ignition version 7.8. And I think one of the best testimonials for IA University [Inductive University] is that I had zero previous experience with Ignition and yet was able to convert an entire facility after completing the training course. So over the years, I've had experience working with version 7.7 all the way to version 8.1, and I've created applications for wastewater treatment, water treatment, water distribution telemetry, and wastewater collections. Over the past seven years, I've had the opportunity to convert 18 different applications to Ignition, and about 300,000 tags are represented across those applications.

Brandon Lockee: And finally, just to give you an idea of the type of conversions, some were one-to-one, meaning we maintained the original 3D graphics, but others were transformative. So we went from a fully rendered 3D graphic to high-performance HMI graphics. It's been my experience with these conversion projects that Ignition becomes the preferred solution because of the competitive pricing and the unlimited licensing structure Inductive Automation uses. I'm sure many of you on the call can relate to the nature of a competitive bid project. In the water/wastewater industry the majority of projects are carried out this way. So we have found that in those situations Ignition really stands out from other offerings. In fact, in all of the 18 projects I've personally worked on, Ignition's price came out at the same or often far less than the other SCADA products approved for use in the project. And just as a side note, I personally have seen that Ignition has made really good inroads in this industry because, over the past three years or so, I've seen it written into specs by name.

Brandon Lockee: So I wanted to share some specific ways that Ignition has stood out in our projects. Firstly, the unlimited number of tags has been a significant benefit. So over these 18 projects that I've been a part of, normally they are at 30,000 tags or so, which is very often the middle tier of a traditional SCADA license model. So my experience has been once a customer sees firsthand how easy it is to manage tags in Ignition and how nicely tags can be structured versus a flat tag structure that is common for other vendors, they will immediately reach back out to us to convert other systems. So as an example, we had a customer that asked us to pilot Ignition for them. And just from that single facility that was piloted, it opened the door for doing nine other facility conversions. Secondly, the unlimited clients have also been a great selling point.

Brandon Lockee: Often, it's opened the door to an expansion of the systems after the conversion is complete. So for example, we have a customer who has a water telemetry system. In the original, there was one client running at each of their three plants. Slowly, over time, they expanded the number of clients to three per facility and an additional two at another facility, just for the purpose of maintenance personnel to monitor how things were going. This was very simple for them to do since they had no need to procure a separate client license. So they didn't even have to necessarily involve us with that process at all. It was something that could be customer-led. As a side note, I was very impressed how well these clients performed over a low-speed, high-latency network overall. Second example I have is we have started utilizing the ability to launch an unlimited amount of clients to replace traditional types of OIT interfaces.

Brandon Lockee: So this would give us the benefit of managing local control interfaces on the same gateway as the complete SCADA system. Making changes is also much easier and faster than changing the program via a traditional application. As an added benefit, even when we elected to use Ignition Edge, the price of the computer plus Ignition Edge was still more affordable than the traditional local control interface. And that control interface we compared against, by the way, was around 15 inches compared to a 22-inch, 1920 x 1080 PC that we put in its place instead. I can say it's been my experience that customers really appreciated having a full-size monitor when they're trying to start up or they're in person to troubleshoot a complex process. Another point I have is with unlimited PLCs. So I've noticed that our customers now are often choosing to connect directly to these network devices instead of trying to poll them through an already established PLC topic.

Brandon Lockee: So this makes it much easier to add extra points as needed. Instead of having to change an existing PLC program to poll another PLC, you can simply add that network device to Ignition, add the points you need, and everything is done. So having that new connection automatically established on the backup gateway is also much simpler than the legacy systems that the customers have had to work with before. And of course, since they're adding this topic directly in Ignition, there's the added benefit of better troubleshooting of the topics because the Ignition system can much more easily alarm on a connection lost instead of monitoring points that are evaluated in a separate PLC. So the other two points I wanted to make are around the flexibility of modules and the simplicity of the licensing. I've found that even with a very small facility, we can get them started with Ignition by simply starting small.

Brandon Lockee: In those situations, we propose the core platform, the Perspective Module, and the Tag Historian. With just those features they can have a fully functional system, and down the road they can add more advanced features such as the Reporting Module or the SMS alert module [SMS Notification Module], or you can look on the website there are plenty others to choose from to add more features. But having all that functionality across the modules of things like alarm notification, a tag historian, and visualization, and all of that being wrapped in one license, makes it much easier to deal with the yearly support billing. And we've never had to worry about a customer growing to a point of needing to purchase an expensive tag count upgrade.

Brandon Lockee: So overall, I would say that Ignition has made it much easier for our customers to achieve their operational goals. We can not only achieve the functionality they had previously in the system we converted from, but with Ignition, we have been able to build useful dashboards, built-in reporting, freeform tag history exports, and even SCADA bug tracking systems. So between the ability to build extra functionality and the affordable pricing structure, these conversion projects have all been very successful. And with that, I'll turn it back over to you, Reese.

Reese Tyson: Great, yeah, thanks, Brandon. Appreciate all of the different insights that you had personally as you're creating all these different projects and whatnot. Great stuff. Yeah, and thank you everyone, really, for sharing with us today. Those are some incredible projects. I know that's extremely helpful to see some of the different examples and see how unlimited licensing really made such a big difference for everyone. Now, I'd like to take just a little time to have a bit of a group discussion about any future opportunities you might be excited about that unlimited licensing will make possible. And so that we all don't talk at once and talk over each other, Jan, why don't we start with you?

Jan Madsen: Yeah, thank you, Reese. Yeah, well, I think I would like to then start out with the title of your webinar here, where you talk about driving or empowering innovation through the unlimited licensing. I think all the stories we hear today and what we talk about here today, they are just testament to the fact that, as I said earlier, that when you get started, and you can get started at a fairly low price, call it a beginner's package, if you like, around $20,000, as you had in your presentation there early on, that will get you pretty far. And then, as I said, we start seeing all the ideas flowing in all directions, also as both Greg and Brandon told us here. So the fact is that we are truly empowering innovation using the built on or based on, if you like, the unlimited licensing story. And that reminds me of one of the internal jokes here in Enuda. We talk about that a lot. So there's this question we get from the client sometimes, "What is the best thing about Ignition?" And that's one of the cool questions we like to get, of course. And we always say that, “Hey, the cool thing is, or the best thing about Ignition is, of course, that you can build anything you want.” And of course, they are then tricky and they say, “Okay, so what is the worst thing about Ignition?” And we say, truthfully, “Well, it is that you can build almost everything you want.”

Jan Madsen: And that is a joke, of course, but the fact is, as we have seen here in these examples, you can almost build anything you want based on the license you have without being afraid of huge costs. So I think that's my answer.

Reese Tyson: Great, yeah, I love that joke. I also appreciate the beginner's pack. I think I'm definitely gonna steal that, for sure. Great, yeah, thanks, Jan. Greg, what about you?

Greg Schneider: You know, for me, I think the most exciting thing of any project is, or at least the most exciting time of any project is right after we implement it, because you get to go down to the shop floor and talk to the people in the plant, and you see this light bulb go off in their head when they realize the possibilities. So for me, the most exciting opportunity is listening to those people and learning what some of the problems are that we didn't anticipate, and trying to find solutions for those problems. I don't think we've ever done a project where we haven't talked to someone and they've come up with some idea that none of us ever thought of, even our direct customer contact in the facility.

Greg Schneider: And it's always exciting taking those and then trying to implement them as quickly as possible in solving those problems for those people.

Reese Tyson: Great, yeah, thanks for that. Thanks for that, Greg. Brandon, do you have anything you'd like to share on this topic as well?

Brandon Lockee: Yeah, I would say that my experience has been with our customers. We've started on this journey of converting to Ignition sometimes coming up on 10 years ago, predates the time that I joined the company. And so when you have customers that are used to having an unlimited license model for that long, they start to really expand what they think are the limitations and what is possible with their system.

Brandon Lockee: So I'm excited to see, maybe in the next 5-10 years, an expansion of tying in all of these different systems under one overarching Ignition gateway. So, not really so much for the process of control, but for the idea of giving upper management the ability to quickly look at key dashboards and key performance indicators to really know how the entire system is running. And that can be something that is more of a casual look, or it could be something that drives a tremendous amount of return on investment on some strategic investments that the customer may want to make.

Brandon Lockee: So I think having the ability to put those tools in the customer's hands down the road and knowing that because it would be unlimited, an unlimited amount of people can potentially tie in and look at that system is a tremendous, exciting opportunity.

Reese Tyson: Yeah, certainly, that's something that we've been kind of talking about throughout this whole webinar, right? How can we utilize unlimited licensing to provide innovative solutions that aren't hindered by different barriers with conventional licensing and that type of thing. So, yeah, great stuff. Thanks, Brandon.

Reese Tyson: Alright, so we've been talking about Ignition and all the possibilities that come with that platform. And as I've seen some incredible projects from these folks, really, if you've never tried Ignition, you can actually download a free trial of the most recent full version or any of the previous versions. Actually, just released 8.1.37 yesterday. So there's a download button at the top of our website. It's a quick download, takes about three minutes, and you can use that in a trial mode for as long as you want. And so a great example of how you could utilize this is create a proof of concept using a trial license, resetting a trial every two hours. And you can reset that as many times as you want, and then come back and purchase a license for the system. There's a very common way to start small, as we've been talking about, and grow the system at a cost-effective way. So feel free to start diving in into the platform and exploring and create some projects that we've seen today. And to help you along with that Ignition journey, we have an abundance of learning resources to help you learn all about how to use Ignition.

Reese Tyson: And I'll mention just a couple. Here, as you can see on the screen, there's Inductive University, which is a free online training website with literally hundreds of training videos. So you can learn Ignition step by step at your own pace. There's also a comprehensive online user manual that you can refer to at any time. And it's not listed on here, but we also have a very, very active forum as well. So if you have questions or wanna see if anyone else had a similar question, you can certainly check that out. So definitely look at the links on the screen if you want to advance your knowledge of Ignition. For those of you outside of North America, we want you to know that we have a network of international Ignition distributors who provide business development opportunities and sales and technical support, in your specific language and time zones. So if you wanna learn more about the distributor in your region, please visit their website listed on the screen, where you can contact our International Distribution Manager, Yegor Karnaukhov, at the email listed there.

Reese Tyson: If you'd like to speak with one of our account representatives here at our headquarters in California, please call 800-266-7798. Or if you wanna reach out to our new office in Australia, please call 1300-10-8088. So let's get into the Q&As. As a reminder, you can type any question into the questions area of the GoTo Webinar control panel. So go ahead and throw those in there. Any questions, fair game. It looks like there's quite a few of them. We might not get to all of them, but we'll see what we can do here. So the first question we have here, Aaron asks, “Does unlimited licensing mean that there can be multiple gateways? Are multiple gateways even necessary for physically separate sites?” And that's a really great question to clarify. So unlimited licensing here means that the license is applied per server. And then we can add modules on top of that Ignition gateway for the functionality that we want to extend. So if you have multiple sites, really, it's up to your network and how operations are done in your specific scenario. But if you wanted to put two separate gateways, one for each facility, for example, that would be two separate licenses. Those licenses have unlimited tags, clients, designer connectivities, all those different unlimiteds that we've been talking about today. So it is unlimited per server or per gateway, and the license would be purchased for each of those gateways. A great question.

Reese Tyson: Looks like we have another question that came from Dylan. And this one, I'd like to throw it over to the folks on the call, the panelists here. Dylan's question is “I was wondering what percentage of projects these companies develop Perspective clients for versus Vision.” It looks like it's kind of a Perspective versus Vision question.

Jan Madsen: Yeah, that's a great question. That's a great question. So if, well, from Enuda, we're located in Europe. We only do projects in Europe. And if I look at what we're doing now and what we've done over the past, what we're doing now, it's 100% Perspective, 100%. We still have some clients using Vision, and we maintain that, of course, and we develop something, of course, if they want to, but everything new we do, 100% Perspective. Vision is never on the table. That's what we see here in Europe.

Greg Schneider: Yeah, I'm gonna talk to what we do at MDI. So the portion that I was presenting, those projects occurred before Perspective was released. So those were all in Vision. We've since converted all of those projects, though, to Perspective. I would say if you have existing Vision stuff, then we typically would just continue utilizing Vision, but I'd say probably 80 to 90% of new implementations are all in Perspective. Really, we only look to Vision if there's features that Perspective doesn't have yet that the customer needs.

Brandon Lockee: I would echo much of what the other two panelists have said, with the slight caveat that we also keep in mind with some customers who have had previous other facilities developed in Vision. We may have to have a conversation with them when a new facility comes up for conversion to ask them, do you want to have one that's in Perspective or do you want to continue with all the great tools and templates and things that we have built for them in Vision going forward? So it becomes somewhat more of a customer-driven question in those cases. But for areas where we kind of have free rein to make a decision, we're also moving to 100% Perspective.

Reese Tyson: Great, yeah. Thanks, everybody. It's always interesting to hear that from an integrator standpoint to see kind of where the trends are moving. Another question that we have here is, “Is this unlimited licensing one of the licensing options? I would think for small systems, it might be cost effective to purchase small amount of tags. And as the system grows larger, then purchase unlimited licensing." And so I'll speak to that. And then, actually, I think, Brandon, you might have a good answer on that. You touched a little bit that on your slides. Maybe I'll throw that over to you after I answer this first part. But unlimited licensing is our licensing plan. That is the only licensing plan. And in fact, someone else asked another question, if… What's our plan in the future? Are we planning on changing that licensing plan? And we do not have anything planned as far as changing our unlimited licensing. That's a part of our pillars here at Inductive Automation, to allow as much freedom and innovation as possible to the end user. But Brandon, you mentioned on your slide that you had looked at a couple of different options when you were speccing out projects as far as pricing goes. You wanna mention a little bit more about that?

Brandon Lockee: Yeah, for sure. It really depends on the individual who asked the question, what they define as small. Typically, when we're doing even really small package plants, you're talking about a couple thousand tags potentially. And I still find that that's competitive with Ignition. One option, just as a tip, you can potentially start the project out with just an Edge Panel license, which is far cheaper. But I believe it's been announced that that is also moving to a somewhat more unlimited structure itself. And I believe you can run a local plus a additional client from that. So depending on the customer's use case, that may be a good option. There's also options in configuration where you can choose a five-count Perspective session versus unlimited. And I think that's part of probably what Inductive Automation has offered as a way to scale things down if needed. And then later on, if you go past that scale, you can easily call up your sales rep and get the license modified. So I would just encourage, have a conversation with your sales rep. You'll be impressed by what they may be able to work out or recommend that will make this system possible.

Brandon Lockee: And I agree with you, Reese, don't go back from unlimited. It is the way to go.

Reese Tyson: Yeah, certainly. Yeah, I think that's a great tip there that you mentioned, Brandon, with the Ignition Edge is certainly a more cost-effective, lightweight version of standard edition. So definitely check that out. In fact, you can check all of our pricing out on our website. We're very transparent with that. If you go to inductiveautomation.com, there is a pricing section, and all of our pricing for a base platform and the modules are listed on there. So feel free to check that out as well. And I know we're getting close to time here. So I think I'm gonna wrap things up. Weren't able to get to all of the questions here. But I just wanna say thank you for jumping on here, panelists, and appreciate you sharing your project examples. But that's gonna conclude all that we have for today. Our next one will be on February 29th, our next webinar. So be sure to check out that and keep an eye out for it so you can register. But until then, stay connected with us on all the social medias. Subscribe to our weekly news feed email. You can also stay up-to-date on Ignition industrial automation through our blog. We have articles, case studies, podcasts, a lot more. There's a ton of helpful content for you to explore on our website. So be sure to check it out. But yeah, thank you so much for joining us today, and take care.

Posted on January 9, 2024