There has been a lot of dialog about how cloud computing is changing our industry, yet at the core one could easily make the argument that the trend we are witnessing is just another entry in the long history of attempting to reach one, simple goal: reaching your target audience in the most accessible fashion. For many software publishers, the target audience is either the CIO or somebody who reports into that office, and the confusion and consternation we are watching unfold with the emergence of cloud computing is the classic case of trying to predict reactions to change.
However, as IDC analyst Amy Konary recently wrote , the issues really haven’t changed all that much. While her article was really directed at private cloud implementations, the implications for software publishers are really the same as they were in the antiquated pre-cloud era. How do you bring your offering to market in the cloud? What are the “right” ways to sell it? Do you have a platform and offering that allows you to a) scale, b) manage and c) adapt? Moreover, within the public cloud the scalability responsibility also shifts somewhat. The opportunities available to a startup publisher in the cloud vs. an established player begin to look startlingly similar as Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels recently mentioned at Cloud Connect. To use one example, he mentioned that some services which would have historically only been available to large enterprises in an on premise world are now available to company’s of all size in the cloud, such as encryption and security . An inability to scale can no longer be attributed to lack of resources when you are in the cloud, but must now come down to more fundamental questions of ensuring that your offering can secure appropriate monetization through its own value.
Churn is something we all have to deal with in the software industry, whether it is repeat customer churn (hard to measure) or subscriber churn (easier to measure).
Repeat customers are those that come back for more (seats, years etc…) – and in order to measure churn you have to define what period of time needs to pass before you decide they are not coming back. Subscribers sign contracts that have known end dates – so it’s much easier to keep track of churn.
Software companies that start life in the cloud (pure plays) have advantages over those established in the on-prem world. One of the most important advantages is the ability to know – at any time – exactly how the service is being and has been used. And, arguably more importantly, how that has changed. On-prem ISVs don’t have the same advantage.
This knowledge can be used to drive a number of activities. All of which are available to on-prem – but are just harder to get and are always less real-time. “Harder to get” and “less real-time” translate to more expensive and less competitive.
Today SafeNet announced the release of Sentinel Cloud Services, the industry’s first and only software licensing and entitlement management service delivered from the cloud for the cloud.
Sentinel Cloud Services make it quick and easy for SaaS and PaaS vendors to build and manage their service offerings, ensure service agreement compliance, and simplify all of the operational processes associated with cloud service contract provisioning, authorization management, and usage tracking.
“SafeNet Sentinel Cloud Services provides a viable alternative to traditional billing and payments services because of a catalog-driven licensing and entitlement management solution that integrates with back office ERP, accounting and installed base billing solutions, either in the Cloud or on premises,” said Mike West, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Saugatuck Technology.