A few years back, I found myself with a few colleagues in a bar in Amsterdam having a conversation around the merits of online consumption of music. We were converging to a common view point as to why anyone would want to pay 99 cents for downloading a single song when you could buy the entire DVD in any retail store complete with jewel box and lyrics for $10-15. Besides, you can always upload songs from CD to the electronic devices; this sounded like the better option to us, a win-win. Proud of our intelligent conclusion over a beer, we were soon up for a rude awakening when the person sitting next to us declared that we are nothing but a bunch of old fellas who don’t know what is going on in the new world.
In today’s tough economic scene where cash is king, everyone is being driven to conserve cash. As a result, buyers are asking for discounts from their vendors, converting from CAPEX to OPEX or license optimization or a combination of these. Any of these mechanisms can reduce revenue for the ISV. CAPEX to OPEX movement is of specific interest recently as this usually leads to discussions on pay-per-use and/or subscription pricing models. ISV’s typically think of migrating into SaaS offerings when they consider offering these new pricing models. Offering SaaS has its own set of challenges including requiring a hosting infrastructure, collecting payments, R&D efforts to build the new SaaS platform and its impact on current product roadmaps.
Are you one of those ISV’s who think that you only need protection against software piracy or reverse engineering with no need for any kind of licensing? You are not alone – this is the common belief of most Independent Software Vendors. ISV’s believe that since they are selling their products through perpetual pricing models, their software protection and licensing needs are very simple and software protection is all they need.
Software Protection and IP Protection: These terms are often confused. Both should be considered prior to implementing a software licensing solution. Both of these (or lack of them) definitely can impact your software development ROI. But, do you know how these terms differ?