Case Study

Realtek Semiconductor Corporation

Streamlining production and improving compliance through concurrent licensing solution

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Challenge

  • Difficulty in maintaining efficiencies across product lines that require frequent installer updates 
  • Schedule impacts due to sorting and managing through multiple versions of installation licenses 
  • License access and compliance worries when performing onsite work with customers 
  • Underutilization of team’s engineering staff

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Solution

  •  Realtek uses InstallShield concurrent licensing to streamline production, ensure compliance, and improve collaboration.  
  • InstallShield replaced node-locked licenses for enhanced efficiencies.

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Benefits

  • Saves time, eliminates manual process steps during production  
  • Flexible deployment allows opportunities for use both in-house and offsite with customers 
  • Consistent licensing model increases confidence in, and usage of, key InstallShield features 
  • More productive staff focused on strategic areas due to rapid, streamlined processes 
  • Compliance worries addressed

CURRENT APPROACH SLOWING MOMENTUM

Realtek prides itself on a tradition of excellence in all aspects of the business. One of these business aspects is the production line, where software installation is performed for a broad range of products. To meet their software installation needs, the company deployed node-locked instances of InstallShield®. But over time, the company discovered this approach was limiting their in-house capabilities as well as their ability to service customers efficiently offsite.

The node-locked InstallShield licenses were installed on a set of individual computers, each license purchased at a different time and having a different version. Because of these variances, the staff was required to perform manual verification steps during installation to ensure the production database files were synchronized and that the versions of InstallShield were aligned. Additionally, because Realtek has multiple product lines, they tended to create/update installers for the drivers and applications more than 10 times a day across the company. This type of frequency, along with inefficient but necessary process steps, negatively impacted Realtek’s cycle time for creation of installers and product releases.

CONCURRENT LICENSING MODEL A POSITIVE STEP

When NetApp released the initial version of their NetApp ApplianceWatch PRO solution, they used the open source installation development tool WiX to build their installer. However, it had been a struggle. “WiX is extremely difficult to use, especially if you aren’t already an expert in Windows Installer and XML,” says Rajesh Rajashekar, software developer for NetApp. “Building our initial installation with WiX took way too long. And WiX lacked many of the tools and technology support we needed.”

NetApp also were concerned that WiX didn’t have any technical support staff to provide assistance. “Not being able to call technical support whenever we encountered an issue with WiX was frustrating,” says Rajesh. “Plus as an open source tool, they have a fairly unreliable release schedule. We couldn’t count on them to stay current with the latest technologies.” 

OPERATING WITH CONFIDENCE

Using the InstallShield concurrent license model has made it easy for the purchasing and legal departments to manage the license. Instead of managing a disparate set of nodelocked licenses and versions, the purchasing department only needs to manage a single serial number, a single maintenance plan and a single renewal date. With a concurrent license, the purchasing department has also reduced the worry and efforts associated with using licenses at customer sites. From a business development perspective, the consistency brought by the InstallShield product and concurrent licensing model has been invaluable. This has allowed Realtek to increase product competitiveness during the proposal and bid phases for new business.

The production staff agrees as well. The concurrent licensing has allowed them to remove several manual process steps. This has enabled a more speedy and agile approach for not only new product releases but also for relevant updates. Additionally, because the universal installer interface can be used more consistently across products with this licensing model, the installation process is simpler. It reduces the number of instances where Realtek usually coaches end users, and as a bonus it frees up time to be spent in more strategic areas.

We knew we would be gaining advantages by automating product licensing, but we wanted to make the transformation as seamless as possible for our customers. We felt we were well-positioned to take what had and integrate it with our product line and create an offering attractive to our customers.

CHUCK SCHWERIN SR. PRODUCT MANAGER OF LICENSING TECHNOLOGIES, MAPINFO

BRINGING VALUE TO THE CUSTOMER

Using the InstallShield concurrent license model has made it easy for Realtek to better serve its customer. The Realtek Engineer Manager said: “Sometimes based on a customer requirement, a team member must create an installer on a business trip to a customer location. The concurrent license solution enables our team member to conveniently utilize InstallShield while maintaining compliance with the license.” The service team now knows they are using the same, consistent approach as if they were onsite at Realtek. The team also feels confident using InstallShield features more often given the overall consistent coverage with the concurrent licensing model. For example, when Realtek provides the standard installer to end users, there is often feedback asking for changes in the installation process and interface. The ability to use the flexible script design capability has helped reduce the time required for customizations and better ensures the quality of the changes. InstallShield is also highly compatible with Microsoft Windows, which helps to reduce the time involved in identifying mistakes and errors in the installers

WHAT’S NEXT

InstallShield and its flexible, concurrent licensing model helped the company create a more efficient installation process, remove worries, and shift more time to their own strategic initiatives. “We are really glad that we do not need to worry about being out of compliance, which helps our purchasing and legal teams. They do not need to spend time being concerned whether we are using InstallShield license correctly. Overall it has helped our teams to work more collaboratively and more efficiently!” said the Realtek Engineer Manager.

ABOUT INSTALLSHIELD

For over 25 years, InstallShield has been the gold standard for building Windows® software installations, used by virtually every major software company in the world. More developers trust InstallShield to give their software a flawless localized installation experience, keeping their end users happy and support costs down.

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