STEM newsletter

STEM 7.1 release

30 April 2007

STEM 7.1 was released on 30 April with an integrated sensitivity analysis tool heading a strong cast of new features designed to boost your business modelling output. The new version is available to all users with a current maintenance agreement. Please contact support@impliedlogic.com for your new password to access the STEM download site if you have not already been involved in the recent beta-test programme.

Focused analysis, immediate links and clearer outputs

STEM 7.1 introduces a range of new features and improvements designed to provide you with more insight into model results and their dependency on critical inputs, and to further simplify the process of linking STEM model data to an Excel interface. The headline features include ‘snapshot’ charts, sensitivity analysis and tornado charts, advanced depreciation options, a new Break Even result, and the ability to automatically create Excel named ranges from existing STEM data.

  • ‘Snapshots’ of results – STEM now enables you to generate snapshots of results at a particular point in time – typically the final period of the model run.
  • Sensitivity analysis and tornado charts – a new Sensitivity element allows you to rapidly determine the impact of variations in key parameters on the model results. In addition, new charting tools in the Results program clearly present the relative importance of these sensitivities.
  • Break Even result – a new derived result measures the elapsed time required for the NPV to reach the break even point – that is, when the NPV crosses zero on the y axis.
  • Exporting model data to Excel – STEM can automatically generate a spreadsheet containing the data in the right format to readily link into STEM.
  • New options for the depreciation of an asset – it is possible to assign a residual value to an asset; specify a depreciation schedule as an explicit time series; and bring forward the depreciation schedule of an asset in a case where its business life is re-planned (calendar override).
  • New results and additional refinements – including improved portability options for the STEM add-in for Excel, a revised Resource pop-up menu, an Independent option for Traffic Calculation, up to 120 parameters as global user data, and an easier interface for linking Transformations.

These new features were described in more detail in the January 2007 newsletter, and are fully-documented in the STEM 7.1 manual and online-help files.

D-STEM users will particularly welcome the updated add-in for Excel which offers significantly improved portability when copy STEM model packages to other computers, addressing previous issues with locating both model files and the add-in file itself. Note: it is necessary to delete a previous STEM add-in toolbar using the Customise command in Excel in order to access the extended toolbar supplied with STEM 7.1.

Time-limited dongles and soft licensing

Most clients use a hardware key (dongle) to authorise STEM, and most clients have migrated from the original parallel keys to the more convenient USB style. Dongles are easy to understand, and convenient for sharing between colleagues on a team. However, there is always the risk of leaving the key ‘in the wrong bag’ or, worse still, simple theft.

In response to a number of recent situations, we are developing new approaches to copy protection. For dongles, we are now issuing time-limited dongles, which we can replace on an annual basis, with the advantage that any infringement arising from a theft is limited. If you misplace a time-limited dongle, we can replace it much more readily (and without any administration charge) if there is no lingering uncertainty over the whereabouts of a perpetual key.

We will be pleased to issue replacement time-limited dongles if you would like to take advantage of this arrangement.

In addition, we have been trialling a soft-licensing alternative which removes the need for a physical key altogether. Instead, a soft authorisation code is generated which will enable STEM to run without a dongle. In order to take advantage of this facility, a user must first obtain a serial number for the licence from Analysys. Then the soft authorisation, which lasts for 90 days, is obtained or updated directly from within STEM via the Internet.

This means that we can provide immediate access to the commercial software without having to wait for the physical delivery of a dongle, and there is no risk of losing the key. If you get a new machine, you can simply request a new soft authorisation for that machine. (We track these requests and would notice any regular excessive requests.)

The soft authorisation is specific to the machine it is installed on, but because if its temporary nature, there is no lasting concern if the machine is stolen. However, this means that a soft licence is currently not suitable for regular sharing within a team. We plan to implement a verifiable licence-surrender event in future which would make such an approach practical.

Please contact support@impliedlogic.com if you would like to know more about this option, or if you would like to switch from using a dongle to a soft licence.

Demonstrating new features via the online desktop

Timed to coincide with the launch of STEM 7.1, we have just established an online desktop solution which will enable us to run online training and familiarity sessions on the new features. In the first instance, we plan to incorporate these topics into the regular advertised schedule of online sales demos, but we will be pleased to arrange separate technical sessions for existing users if there is sufficient interest.

We hope that you are going to get a lot of value out of the myriad new features of STEM 7.1 and look forward to your feedback, as always, to support@impliedlogic.com.

       Buy SSL

© Implied Logic Limited