It’s not surprising that within the circle of licensing system vendors, one of the topics that comes up time and again is whether hardware-based (dongle) or software-based licensing is better. At SafeNet, we don’t understand the question. We provide the best-in-class solutions as all software, all hardware, or uniquely, as a hybrid licensing solution.
The list of pro’s and con’s regarding one solution over another is meaningless without understanding the context in which the solution is to be applied. I’ll try to correct the misinformation that’s out there about dongles. You can judge for yourself if you think I am biased, but since we offer every flavor of solution (dongle or soft), I don’t have anything to gain in this fight.
A great software licensing system combines automation of enforcement in the product with integration in to back office CRM, ERP, marketing and fulfillment operations.
Sentinel EMS from SafeNet provides the operational interface for licensing, and while it comes with a great web based user interface, it also comes with a whole host of web-services built in. The best way to automate the process from sale through the license lifecycle of the customer is to “wire” in the EMS system in to the different applications that run your business.
Recently, we ran a survey in Europe and in North America and asked IT directors and other technology decision makers some questions about virtualization. One was “Virtual Machines – do you have it or plan to get/use it soon?” The reply was overwhelmingly (80%) yes.
Another question (to the 80%) was “What is your #1 driver for Virtual Machines?” Nearly 50% of the responses were in the category of “reducing licensing expense”. This perception is evident because the types of license agreements companies are dealing with simply do not reflect the modern age. Licenses describe installations per site/server/location, and when in a high speed networked and virtualized environment, these are increasingly meaningless concepts.