Here is a little secret – I love shopping. Yes, I admit it. I like shopping for clothes, shoes, wines – you name it. But I hate malls, stores, and I especially hate being followed around by a pushy sales rep!! When it comes to shopping, I have my own routine and associated expectations. I research my options, look at competitive alternatives (brands), seek a good deal without having to bargain, try to have it shipped to me (if possible), and should I need to return it, I want to be able to ship it back and get a replacement. My favorite online retailer meets all of my expectations, whether I am buying clothes or shoes for myself, and yes, jewelry for my lovely wife when I have messed up. This raises the question, why shouldn’t I enjoy the same experience when it comes to licensing software?
A topic I enjoy talking about is end customer experience. This is still a very much overlooked aspect of software licensing. We spend a lot of time talking about security and piracy protection, and we talk much less about how that security impacts the end customers, especially the legitimate ones!
The build versus buy licensing dilemma is the oldest debate in the industry. After all, managing the licensing of your software is an important aspect of any commercial application, but it is not the core product you are selling.
The build vs. buy debate centers around the balance between providing the features and functionality your customers want in your software, with your need to protect access to your software through licensing systems. Developers approach this strategically and smartly, and prefer to not reinvent the wheel, utilizing libraries, previously written code, and third party services to provide the license scaffolding around the software solution.
As software vendors move to software as a service, how are they handling the challenge of adapting their pricing strategies? Recently, IDC’s Amy Konary sat down with TMC’s Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing, to talk about the evolving pricing model in the software monetization market.
According to Konary, software monetization in the cloud naturally lends itself usage-based subscription models and increased transparency for tracking. Automated tracking of entitlements and license usage down to the feature level has become expected, and cloud application developers need to carefully consider how they plan to integrate tracking and reporting into their solutions.
In large scale software deployments, it is common for organizations to solicit the expertise of a professional services team to ensure a successful rollout. However, this happens less frequently in the case of software licensing projects. This is due in large part to the fact that expertise in all aspects of software licensing is not easily found. Unlike ERP deployments, when it comes to software licensing, requirements can vary dramatically from organization to organization.
As an engineering and product management team tasked with designing license enforcement into your products, you have many decisions around how your products will interact with the licensing code. Here’s a proven technique that will help you control how licensing gets implemented across your product lines while making the product teams’ lives easier at the same time: build an abstraction layer.
When you decide to manage your organization’s software licensing and entitlements with the aid of technology, you quickly realize just how many non-technology factors need to be considered. You really don’t necessarily require technology to manage licensing or entitlements. In fact, several organizations manage these via audits and manual updates to internal systems. Manually tracking entitlements and licensing is an approach with its own set of shortcomings, the most notable being the inability to exact any measure of control or perform any kind of true audit. Organizations generally tend to favor software overuse, except when it comes to specialized software where enforcement and restrictions are commonplace and expected.
What do you really want from your software licensing solution? Strong, robust protection is great for you and your company. With piracy and reverse-engineering threats lurking around every corner, you need a solution that will strengthen your security. But what else should you be looking for out of a software licensing solution?
When technical entrepreneurs build their companies, they don’t really know how to make money from their invention, and they invest more time on building their product without thinking of optimizing revenues. In the last couple of years, I’ve been engaged with some startup companies that have a great and existing product but no clear business model of how to actually monetize their software.
Cloud applications and services are not a trend anymore, and most of the new startup companies build their product in the cloud in order to minimize time to market and expand distribution. But, without a real business model, even the most helpful product on the market can have problems when it comes to software monetization.
Sind Sie ein ehemaliges „Blumenkind“? Erinnern Sie sich an die erste bemannte Mondlandung, an die Erstausstrahlung der Quizsendung „Allein gegen Alle“ mit Hans Rosenthal und daran, dass Gustav Heinemann als erster deutscher Bundespräsident die Niederlande besuchte? Dann werden Sie sich im September bei LicensingLive ganz zu Hause fühlen.
Wir reisen zurück in eine einfachere Zeit, komplett mit Hippies und klassischem Rock, mit unserem neuen Contest „Peace, Love and Licensing“.