Rarely does an IT system work better in a silo, so a dialogue about the benefits of interoperability seems as redundant as making the case for world peace. Interoperability is a widely used, and often abused, term, but for those that deal with it at a practical level, with poorly integrated systems, it can be somewhat of a holy grail. This is particularly true for electronic license and entitlement management systems.
Electronic licenses and entitlements are unique in that they require coordination between IT, Operations, Product Management and Engineering. They must be integrated into the fabric of a software company’s products, and work seamlessly with order processing and fulfillment systems.
I have always talked about how important it is for software vendors to include technology with their solutions to help manage their licensing policies. This can be anything from outright enforcement and anti-piracy measures to tools to measure and monitor compliance with license agreements. The great thing about putting this kind of technology in to a software solution is that it eliminates doubt, misunderstanding and audit.
Today, there is a wide array of technical solutions that allow software vendors to implement a licensing solution that removes ambiguity and allows flexibility, seemingly solving the primary issues for both the vendor and the customer in a licensing relationship. Companies like mine provide solutions that do that in pretty much every software delivery mode – i.e. online, packaged and embedded. The internet provides additional opportunities to ISVs and their customers, not only for the delivery of the license, but also now for maintaining, measuring, updating, and publishing compliance to both parties. This allows for an entirely open relationship and one that can virtually eliminate the issues faced between vendors and their customers.