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 …
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:
For high-tech equipment manufacturers, times are changing. It is clear that the inevitable process has begun, hardware is being commoditized and, moving forward, business will be based more and more on software. Are you ready?
Iritech is a global manufacturer in the biometric authentication equipment and software industry. As one of only two manufacturers of both the biometric equipment and the identity matching software, Iritech knew right away that preventing reverse-engineering of its identity matching software would be an integral part of its business plan to maintain its unique position in the biometrics market.
The ongoing debate around virtualization shows no signs of getting old. Virtualization has always created a ‘conflict of interests’ between those who worry about the technology (the software vendors) and those who enjoy the benefits it offers (the end customers of the aforementioned vendors).
There was a temporary sigh of relief in the world of automated license enforcement when new methods and techniques became available to bind software licenses in a more secure and reliable manner to a virtual machine . Almost overnight, all the concerns and fears of license duplication and misuse (albeit accidental or intentional) went away. The ultimate goal of eliminating the requirements for ISV’s to make a ‘VM/no VM’ decision at the time of deploying or activating their software was finally achieved. End customers could deploy applications where they liked, the vendors no longer had to care, and the world was a happy place.
Or so it seemed….
The notion of keeping valuable information, such as licensing and trade secrets, hidden while operating in a fully transparent environment poses various challenges. How do I encrypt or decrypt content without directly revealing any portion of the key or the data? How do I perform strong encryption knowing that hackers can observe and/or alter the code during execution?
White box cryptography is an alternative approach to traditional security models. As opposed to implementations where the attacker only had access to a Black box, i.e. access to inputs and outputs and possibly knowledge of the cryptographic algorithm under attack and assumed zero visibility into internal workings, white box allows full visibility of the attacker but still keeps security intact.
Frequently I hear software companies talk about how they really want to be enable an “as a Service” offering, but they don’t believe they can change the buying culture of their customers to accept such an offering. Certainly, in some cases, this is true. But before just accepting that axiom, most companies would be well served to ask a few questions about the context. Below is a list of a few of those questions, and why they are relevant in this scenario:
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.