Category Archives

61 Posts for Licensing Operations

Jun 13
2012 

Software Licensing in a Mobile B2B World

Software Licensing in a traditional B2B world is a mature concept, familiar to many. The idea of utilizing technology to enforce the use of a software license has evolved over many years. We have even almost managed to cement some standardised terms along the way to help define what kind of license we are talking about – seat, volume, floating, site, and so on.

Software licensing today is far more than a mechanism for securing revenue streams. It is a business enabler, with software vendors experiencing significant increases in revenue from new selling and distribution models, as well as simply recovering losses from the ‘non payers’.

When mobile software applications first gained popularity, they were very much isolated from this licensing ecosystem. But now however, we are starting to see a clear convergence between the mobile and traditional worlds and there are two factors which are influencing this trend the most:

May 10
2012 

There’s No Debate: ISVs Need to Consider Pricing, Virtualization Options

If you live in US or follow the news about US, you know that we are in middle of a political election season. You can’t go a week without watching the back and forth between Presidential candidates over topics that range from relevant to mundane, game-changing to ridiculous. One of the more serious topics (and probably at the top of the voters’ mind) is job creation, or the lack thereof. The US economy is growing but job growth is not keeping pace. At the heart of the issue is productivity: when the chips were down during the peak of recession, most companies learned to be very efficient. That is, they learned how to get more out of the resources they have. One of those efficiencies is increasing use of IT to improve productivity of employees. You could say job growth has given way to use of more software systems and tools.

Apr 24
2012 

How Sage Software Cured Their Acquisition Headache

Acquisitions are good, right? Sure they help your company grow, but what other baggage do they bring? Obviously, you will gladly expand your customer base and available resources. But what are you going to do about an inherited homegrown licensing system that is completely incompatible with yours? Read how one company expanded, without the additional headache of managing disparate licensing systems.

Sage is an international business software, services and support company working primarily with small and medium sized businesses. Throughout the years, acquiring other companies has allowed Sage to continue to expand globally. However, these acquisitions also led to multiple homegrown licensing systems that did not work cohesively.

Apr 13
2012 

Exploring the Four Aspects of a Comprehensive Software Monetization Strategy

Software monetization can be viewed as the adoption of any variety of measures an organization takes in order to increase the profitability of their intellectual property, in this case, software. These tactics can range from sophisticated anti-piracy and IP protection techniques to creative pricing and packaging strategies. It is important to note that no individual software monetization technique is greater than the combination of multiple techniques. No matter what type of software application has been developed or how that application is being delivered to the end-user, a comprehensive software monetization strategy hinges on four key factors – how effectively the software publisher can package, control, manage, and monitor, their offering(s).

Mar 29
2012 

What is Your Software Licensing Headache?

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?

Mar 28
2012 

Do software vendors intentionally allow ways to bypass their enforcement mechanism?

This is a juicy question was posed on Quora (http://b.qr.ae/HmF392). I was intrigued by a couple of the responses and added my own.  Here is my view…

The answer is yes but mostly no. Confused?

Here’s how it usually works…

First, software vendors separate compliance strategy from piracy prevention because they are inherently different beasts. This can be done by placing their customers along a compliance continuum.  On the left you have customers who go to lengths to be compliant and will gladly pay for software they use regardless of whether the software has license enforcement or not. On the right you have users who intentionally use pirated software and wouldn’t pay for it if they couldn’t steal it. The vendor’s focus is clearly on the left end of the scale since this offers the largest revenue opportunity.  The right is often nothing more than noise.

When vendors introduce license enforcement, the most common philosophy (by far) is to consider the enforcement a tool that will help keep their honest customers doing the right thing and to facilitate creative licensing models. All software license enforcement tools have some level of vulnerability. However, the software market usually considers the higher-end commercial enforcement products more than adequate to cover ~90%+ of their continuum, working from left to right.

That 10% is essentially the topic of the original question posed in this post. The software vendor asks itself if it really cares about investing additional time and resources making the enforcement more air-tight to further prevent piracy by users who would never pay them.

All said, there is always a point of diminishing return and vendors choose to not care a whole lot about usage where they’d never see any revenue.

I agree with the premise that many companies would rather see users stealing their software than paying a competitor. However, applying the notion of the compliance continuum, the real money is typically on the left end of the scale with companies that wouldn’t use pirated software in the first place so the revenue in question is likely a fudge factor at best.

What do you think?

Mar 23
2012 

The Top Five Barriers to Software Monetization Success

We recently ran an article on our software monetization channel that discussed the common barriers that prevent ISVs from building an effective monetization strategy.    Are you looking to improve or even define your software monetization plan? Here are five barriers that you should prepare for:

  1. Control
    Control is twofold. Preventing the unauthorized use and distribution of your application protects revenue by ensuring all use of your application is paid for. Equally important is your ability to protect the source code of your application from being exposed to accidental or malicious parties alike in order to prevent code manipulation and reverse engineering. Keeping the product usable and efficient, while providing maximum protection of your valuable IP, can become a big problem for ISV’s if not considered early in the development and software licensing process.
Mar 1
2012 

5 Ways that an Entitlement Management System Can Help Your Company Work Smarter, Not Harder

As your company continues to grow, you may find that you have acquired a varied collection of licensing systems.  Each product line has its own registration process, and its own set of problems. This may be manageable for awhile, but eventually multiple product lines affect almost every department within your company, and the repercussions are reaching your customers. A disparate licensing system can hinder internal communication and wipe out resources.  Your staff is no longer focusing on your core competencies, but rather spending all of their time on your licensing system.

With an entitlement management system, streamline your back office and create one cohesive licensing system to maintain. Here are the 5 ways that an entitlement management system can help you empower your employees to work smarter, not harder.

Feb 20
2012 

Building Your License Enforcement Business Case, Part 2

My last blog discussed building a business case for implementing a software license enforcement system.  A key component of the case should be a plan to minimize negative impact on the customer base. This article offers a handful of practices designed to help you ease your customer roll-out.  While not every practice can apply to all cases and to all business, each should provide some food for thought.

Jan 25
2012 

Sentinel Cloud Wins CODiE Award for Best DRM Solution!

 

Last night, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced the winners of the 2012 CODiE awards – an awards program 27 years in the making dedicated to recognizing excellence in the business software, digital content, and education technology industries. I am pleased to announce that SafeNet’s software licensing and entitlement management solution for cloud services, Sentinel Cloud, was awarded the industry’s Best Digital Rights Management Solution CODiE award!

SafeNet's CODiE Award
Prakash Panjwani with SafeNet’s CODiE Award for Best DRM Solution