Software companies that start life in the cloud (pure plays) have advantages over those established in the on-prem world. One of the most important advantages is the ability to know – at any time – exactly how the service is being and has been used. And, arguably more importantly, how that has changed. On-prem ISVs don’t have the same advantage.
This knowledge can be used to drive a number of activities. All of which are available to on-prem – but are just harder to get and are always less real-time. “Harder to get” and “less real-time” translate to more expensive and less competitive.
Often when talking to customers I find the conversation of licensing focused solely on ensuring compliance – that is to say, making sure that their customers don’t run afoul of their license agreement. That’s like buying a Ferrari and never getting out of 1st gear. Business intelligence is one of many over looked major benefits of a properly configured licensing and entitlement management system. Most would agree that reports from ERP systems are generally not flexible enough nor tailored enough to give Product Managers the information necessary to make intelligent decisions around the future of their product roadmap and packaging strategies. To fully realize the potential of your licensing system it is important to remember the business benefits of tracking the customer use of the license. At a basic level, as a product manager, I want a licensing system to provide me the necessary information to make these decisions: