Blog Entry

Feb 27
2013 

Software Protection: The Rules Have Changed

The software protection business has matured at a slow pace over the past decade. The industry has gotten better at developing improved customer experiences through more sophisticated web portals and web services, but ultimately the model’s foundation relies on license file transfer between the vendor and the end customer.

The improvements in the area of cleaner customer experiences through web services has allowed some vendors to minimize a fair amount of the friction this style of license enforcement has introduced into the traditional delivery and deployment model.

It has worked for the most part. Vendors have undoubtedly reaped the financial benefits of restricting access to paying customers through software protection tools.

But the problem is that the traditional license enforcement model has only given vendors two thirds of what they really want.  The software business is in the process of a tectonic shift. The rules have changed.

Software vendors come to us with 3 things on their wish list. Item #1 is to protect revenue by implementing tools that ensure users can only use up to their entitled limits.  Okay, great.  Check.

Item #2 on the wish list is to have a operational efficiency and scalability in their licensing backoffice. Check.

Item #3 on the wish list, also known as the game changer, is to have insight into the software the customer is actually using.  Having insight is now in high demand from software vendors.

The reality over the past decade is that “2-out-of-3 ain’t bad”.  Vendors have been happy if they can get product protection at a reasonable operational expense and good customer experience. They live with the fact that item #3 (customer product usage for applications running on-premise) is extremely challenging. There are ways to do it, but they have been far from clean, easy or inexpensive. For the most part, the 2-out-of-3 rule has been good enough.  Until recently.

The cloud and virtualized environments have brought the need for usage-based pricing and licensing to the forefront of the industry. Nearly every vendor with whom I have spoken over the past few quarters either has an immediate need for usage-based software offerings or it something they are planning within foreseeable future.  Vendors want to deliver software and services to their clients to be used on any device, anywhere, at any time and charge for what is used in both pre-paid and post-paid models.  Vendors are demanding more insight into what software features are being utilized, by whom, when and for how long.  As well, consumers want usage-based pricing on a subscription basis.

Sound familiar?

SafeNet is the only vendor uniquely positioned to address these needs. Talk to us.