While the IT world has largely embraced the cloud as an enabler of innovation and an efficient ax for cost cutting, traditional software vendors are left reeling. For one thing, the switch …
Some recent articles I found online got me thinking about a post I made a little under a year ago – One Man’s License is another Man’s Poison. When I looked at it again – it took me a minute to figure out the chart.
Charts that take more than a few seconds to figure out are not very good charts.
So I decided to re-do it.
Licensing is a unique experience for every organization, with distinctive business goals and custom business process. More often than not, the challenge to making licensing work is far from a technical problem; it is a business integration or project management problem. To be successful, software publishers need to adopt a top down approach: defining their software licensing vision and then fine-tuning their license enforcement and management processes and technologies. Consensus must be built, processes must be defined and technology must be aligned with these objectives. This is where I come in. With over 18 years of experience building, managing, and evolving some of the world’s most complex licensing ecosystems the least I can do is share some of what I have learned!
“The revolution will not be televised”, the singer Gil Scott-Heron once famously sang. I think he was trying to say that information and truth, cannot be packaged up in a nice “made for TV” special. In fact, by the time it’s happened, it’s probably already passed you by. I can’t help but feel this way about virtualization. We’ve been hearing the hype for years. No one denies the unbelievable impact it has had, and the value it continues to promise. This is not one of those technologies where you think “if”, it’s really more of “when” and “how”.
For many years I sold a Software as a Service (SaaS) only application. When selling to organizations there was kind of an unwritten rule. Small to medium size businesses would be resourced strapped and culturally more open to the idea of a SaaS application. Larger organizations would have dedicated IT resources and potentially feel threatened by outsourced applications. The conclusion was simple – the SMB market was much more fertile while when selling to larger organizations never forecast above 50% no matter what unless you heard from the CIO him/herself that they would be ok with a SaaS application.
There are many virtualization related debates underway right now (even as you read this!), but one that I recently came across seemed to stand out above the others. It was all about who should be dictating the direction software companies should take to tackle software licensing and virtualization. Treating that topic independently, there are essentially 3 players involved:
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.