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.

One way to accomplish this is by leveraging back-office infrastructure for software and cloud licensing and extending it for better dongle support.  Being able to support a hybrid licensing environment would significantly improve operations between the end user and software vendors.

Cloud licensing typically requires a network connection and allows for occasional offline support and periodic connections.  Software vendors who utilize cloud licensing solutions also have the ability to control licenses remotely and gain a better understanding of how the end user is utilizing the application by collecting data more efficiently.  The same functionality can be applied to on-premise applications utilizing dongles, creating a unified licensing system.

Could this same approach apply to mobile device licensing?  Users expect to be able to use the same application’s license between their own desktop and their mobile device, so what if the back-office infrastructure could support this automatically?  It would certainly help ISVs with customer retention and product satisfaction.

Vendors like SafeNet offer this capability which could dramatically improve your ability to monetize your software.  If you could unify your on-premise, software, and cloud licensing solution into one single back-office management platform, why wouldn’t you?