Spiceworks is a community of nearly 2 million IT pros with a very active online forum. Their roles predominantly are network support, help desk and network administration pros; basically, the administrators of software products for their organizations.
One question that was posed to Spiceworks members asked specifically what their biggest headache was with a very well know software vendor. The responses flew in and these IT pros were consistent in their dissatisfaction with key licensing elements. As a software vendor, this information is invaluable in setting up your own licensing structure.
I shared the following comment with this group:
“One of the challenges with licensing schemes like some enterprise software vendors is that a lot of burden is placed on the end user to determine what type of licensing works best. Often users feel like they need Ivy league MBAs just to sort through myriad of options. Software companies that use licensing technology with customer experience in mind will look to monitor key data points, such as usage, number of assets etc, in order to determine what the best licensing option is for a particular customer or market segment. However, too often licensing technology is lumped together with enforcement which has a generally negative reaction from customers.
The challenge with large enterprise software vendors is that it’s sheer size and dominance allows it to take a stand that imposes licensing rather than focus more on customer experience. There are ways to use licensing technology in a way to really make the customer’s life a lot easier. We certainly see a lot of that at SafeNet when we engage with software vendors.
Are you keeping the customer in mind when you develop your software licensing process, or are you giving your customers unnecessary headaches too?