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.
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 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.
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“.
Are you a former flower child? Do you remember the first steps on the moon, gas prices at $.35/gallon, the classic VW bug, or Woodstock? Then, you’ll feel right at home on LicensingLive in September.
We’re taking a trip back to a simpler time, complete with hippies and classic rock with our new contest titled “Peace, Love, and Licensing.”
This year at SafeNet, we have been truly honored to receive recognition in a very competitive, challenging, and evolving software monetization market. Most recently, SafeNet was named to the 2012 SD Times …
This question recently appeared on Quora, and I thought it would benefit our readers to hear the answer.
“What is standard practice for when companies want to “switch seats” in a SaaS licensing context? I run an early-stage SaaS company and we sell on a per-seat basis. Occasionally I’ll get a request to switch a seat from one user to another. Sometimes this is because someone left a company and in other cases it’s because a user isn’t very active and they want to switch to someone who will be more active. What is standard practice here for this? Obviously we’d prefer that a new seat license be purchased rather than transferring a license but we also want to try to be flexible given that we’re a start-up”
This question reaches outside of the SaaS domain and applies to many per-user or named-user license models in the traditional on-premise environments.