Bill Gates once said that “The way to be successful in the software world is to come up with breakthrough software… New ideas, surprising the marketplace, so good engineering and good business are one in the same”. And who better to advise on such matters than the man behind one of the most pervasive and enduring software empires in the world? But history might not have been so kind to Gates had he overlooked one fundamental business principle: protect your intellectual property. Indeed, without proper IP protection, any one of his competitors could have easily hitched a ride on his coattails and taken his innovations to a very different place.
Introducing a new license management solution to your back office can bring tremendous value to your business. But without proper planning, the transition from legacy system to new solution can easily go awry.
ISVs have long relied on product keys (otherwise known as software license keys) to ensure that their software is only being used by those entitled to do so. Oftentimes, these product keys are also used to control use of specific features, based on the agreement the end user has with the ISV. Despite the value these product keys hold, they pose a number of challenges for both ISVs and end users.
One of the highlights of the software industry calendar, Cloud World Forum, took place on June 24-25, 2015 at London’s Olympia Grand. The two day expo was aimed at helping C-level decision makers achieve business agility through cloud, analytics, mobility, and social technologies. With 300 speakers from across the IT community, there was something for enterprises of all sizes; SMEs and startups alike. Of course, we were front and center with our presentation, “Transforming Your Business in the Digital Economy”, which sparked some interesting conversations over at our booth.
Twenty years ago, the idea of intelligent machines that could communicate with one another wirelessly might’ve seemed like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. I suppose all disruptive technologies do before their time. But there’s nothing far-fetched about the Internet of Things (IoT) and its web of interconnected, software-driven devices. Chances are it’s already a part of your everyday life.
Aesop’s fable The Grasshopper and the Ant teaches us to “beware of winter before it comes”, meaning that we should anticipate probable outcomes and plan accordingly. Unfortunately for the titular grasshopper, he lacked such foresight and was doomed to spend the harsh winter months without any food. Planning ahead in business might sound glaringly obvious, but all too often, organizations get so caught up in the development of their products, that licensing becomes something of an afterthought to their product development cycle. It’s usually only when a problem occurs that due consideration is given, and even then, it tends to be a cut-and-paste job. This is a rookie mistake, as licensing, when implemented as a software monetization program, can bring tremendous value to an organization.
About two weeks ago, I participated in a workshop for “out-of-the-box” thinking. The exercise included painting a beach scene. While I stressed about getting paint on the canvas, everyone around me was expressing their inner Picasso. Following the exercise, I found myself in a discussion as to what I enjoy doing to relax. The answer came quickly. Puzzles! I find 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles relaxing. Why? And more to the point, what does any of this have to do with software monetization?
I recently participated in the Connected Cloud Summit event in Boston that focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with the Internet of Things (IoT). There was much discussion centered on the industry disruption that is happening across diverse markets such as medical devices and healthcare, communications, industrial automation, automotive, security, and more. It was remarkable to see the pace of innovation that is happening across those industries that is being driven the IoT.
With all major players in the software industry transitioning to the Cloud in some manner, the vast majority of new software companies entering the market are doing so as “providers of Cloud services”. As a result, the $368 billion software industry is changing forever, and packaged software and perpetual license revenue is in permanent decline.
How long will it take to get up and running? Without a doubt, this is the question I get asked the most as a software licensing solution consultant. Instead of simply giving you the obvious answer nobody wants to hear (yes that answer is “well, it depends”) I will simply answer the question.