When implementing business solutions using commercial or third-party solutions, what’s the best software delivery option? Should you look for a solution managed by the application provider? Or do you buy a license and implement it in-house, using your own staff to implement, install, and manage the solution? Of course, the answer is “it depends”. In order to determine what would work best for you, the first step is assessing the options against your priorities as a business. Here are some considerations:
More than half of the companies out there that deliver B2B software have some sort of electronic license management embedded in their products. The lion’s share of this market belongs to home grown technologies, an unsurprising fact considering that the one thing software companies do is create software. The pros and cons of build versus buy have been well documented, and isn’t the topic of this article. What mystifies me is the glaring lack of metrics when it comes to this highly pervasive and extremely important issue.
Back-office software technologies are an integral part of the back-bone that supports business. However, when the “enterprise” using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software happens to be a software company, back-office systems fall short of providing critical flexible support. Manual workarounds for processes such as recognizing subscription license revenue, reconciling entitlements, and dealing with a contract paper trail have been nearly good enough in the past, but fixing operations is a key requirement for many software companies.
SafeNet, working with SIIA, has released the results of a survey in which software producers openly admit that they are currently losing nearly 50% of their potential revenues. To what you ask? History may tempt you to say piracy – and the latest stories of organized attacks to steal IP of several US companies only further fuels that belief. But is that the real reason? Not according to the 620 software publishers who responded to the State of Software Monetization survey.
The international Embedded World conference, which took place at the end of February 2013 in Germany, provided a strong indication that the traditional embedded market is changing. One theme run like a red thread through the show activities of many exhibitors: software monetization.
What is the reason behind this new focus? Vendors no longer concentrate on hardware development only; instead, the application feature side comes to the fore. With devices becoming more intelligent and connected through the Internet, the software required to enable a single device as well as a combination of devices is becoming quite complex.. For example in the automation space “intelligence” is becoming even more important, as it is “connectivity”. Both requirements are currently driving the demand of embedded software. Considering the fact that there are many more devices out there than people, the market potential is huge.
When I think of the word “integrate” there is a clear visual that comes to mind: two things fitting together and becoming something new. Fun fact about me: I love puzzles. My family and I spend many a weekend hour huddled around our puzzle table (yes, there is an entire table of the house dedicated to puzzles). We even have an upcoming Ask the Expert session on this topic titled “Integration Done Right – Using the Sentinel API’s,” which made me realize just how similar putting a puzzle together is to integrating your ERP and CRM systems.
The software protection business has matured at a slow pace over the past decade. The industry has gotten better at developing improved customer experiences through more sophisticated web portals and web services, but ultimately the model’s foundation relies on license file transfer between the vendor and the end customer.
The improvements in the area of cleaner customer experiences through web services has allowed some vendors to minimize a fair amount of the friction this style of license enforcement has introduced into the traditional delivery and deployment model.
What is so magical about the clock ticking over from December 31st to January 1st? What really changes? Your business doesn’t. Your customers don’t. Your action items roll over (unfortunately). But yet, for most corporations, there is one magical change that happens on January 1: your goals, financial or otherwise, reset! Yes, out with the old, in with the new, just like that. Like magic, starting every January 1st, you get the opportunity to be measured differently, to convince your boss why the bad things from last year can be forgotten, and to build on the good things that happened.
I’ve noticed several economic and industry trends heading into the new year, and each one presents unique opportunities for all of us. These trends will greatly influence the software industry in 2013, and as such, we all should consider how they integrate to our goals:
Guest blog post by Amy Konary, Vice President, IDC
For decades, success in the software business required executing on the following:
1. Make a Killer Product
2. Drive down Marginal Costs
3. Sell as many Units as Possible
4. Repeat Steps 1-3
Traditional software monetization models have been built to support this approach. However, today’s software customers are focused on using what they have, rather than buying more.
In software licensing automation, there are generally two phases: the automation of the business processes for the software manufacturer, and the automation of the end user processes of activation and deployment.
Phase 1: Automating the Software License Delivery Process
How we get from receiving the order to delivering the software and access to licenses to the end user is what most people consider as the complete license delivery process. As a part of this phase, the user typically receives a download link to the software and the access codes needed for activation.