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.
Anyone that has been involved with software license enforcement over the last 20 years will almost certainly have heard of floating licenses. The concept of a centralized license manager serving licenses out to waiting applications on a first come first served basis is pretty well known and understood. But as soon as you start thinking about that deployment model, you will probably start thinking about failure: failure of the license manager, failure of the network, failure of the software. When you have license manager providing centralized license control, you have a single point of installation, a single point of administration and a single point of failure. One crash, and hundreds, maybe even thousands of innocent workstations can’t get a license anymore. Work grinds to a halt. It sounds serious, right? Yet this is one of the most commonly ignored gremlins in software licensing.
Running Monetization? Let me explain.
My professional life is focused on software monetization; providing software companies with solutions to further monetize on their software offering. In my personal life, my hobby is running. I’m the traditional ISV of running. I started in primary school when I realized that I was born with a Unique Selling Proposition: endurance. While others would collapse on the sidewalk trying to release a side cramp, I just endured and came first.
SafeNet Inc. today announced that analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has presented the company with the prestigious Market Share Leadership Award for its leadership in the global software monetization market. Frost & Sullivan recognized SafeNet for its leadership in market share, growth outlook, continued commitment to the core business-to-business market, and focus on emerging cloud and embedded markets.
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.
While ISVs continue the move from traditional dongle support to software licensing and cloud licensing, it is important to note that many software vendors still use dongles as part of their overall licensing strategy. This creates an opportunity to improve how the back office functions for software activation, tracking, reporting, and license renewal, across all methods of licensing. Having a unified back-office for licensing and entitlement management that includes support for dongle, software licensing and cloud applications would greatly improve how effectively ISVs manage their offerings.
Why is managing software upgrades so tough? It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of options for how you monetize upgrades and depending on which approach you take, there are different operational challenges and process requirements.
Software monetization experts will connect on October 9th and 10th for SafeNet’s annual LicensingLive conference, being held this year in Cupertino, CA. Now in its 8th year, LicensingLive! has connected software publishers with peers, technology vendors, and industry analysts to discuss the latest software licensing trends, advice, and best practices. This year’s theme, “The Evolved Software Experience,” focuses on how cloud computing has changed the experience consumers demand from their software, and will help guide how software vendors can provide an improved cloud-comparable experience while maintaining their hybrid portfolios.
At a recent conference our CEO asked: “What’s the average price of software?”
An interesting question. I started thinking about the mix of consumer vs enterprise, the uptake of subscription based and usage based pricing, and a host of other factors that left me spinning to the point I concocted a number way off the mark. I’ll preserve a little dignity and not share my answer, but ask that for a moment that you ponder the same.
I suppose the title of this article may provide a clue. So do you have your guess?