Although embedded systems and embedded software are not new kids on the block, rapid growth in the Internet of Things has recently brought them into the spotlight. If your business has set its products on the path to IoT monetization, these are two terms well worth knowing.
Two terms we often see confused in conversations with our clients are ‘software protection’ and ‘IP protection’. Both are critical components of any software development and monetization strategy, and have a significant impact on your software development ROI.
The broadcast industry is rapidly changing. We need only look as far as over-the-top (OTT) services such as Hulu and Netflix to see that traditional billing models are in a state of disruption. Streaming video over the internet has become a popular alternative to traditional distribution channels, and the creation of that content requires a powerful set of software-based tools.
I recently penned an article for Intellectual Property Magazine in which I offered practical tips for combating the rising tide of software piracy. Far from being a victimless crime, software piracy takes a significant toll on the software industry, costing developers worldwide over $60 billion a year in lost revenues.
There are various ways to implement a software monetization solution for licensing and entitlement management. A majority of the time the decision is between purchasing a commercially available solution or building one in house. When making this decision it is important to understand the unique benefits and challenges associated with each approach.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz recently proclaimed that “Mobile is eating the world” – and it’s not hard to see why. Demand for mobile software is at an all-time high, with Android and iOS completely dominating the mobile OS market. In fact, Android’s sizeable market share accounts for more than 80% of smartphones and 60% of tablets worldwide.
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?
The embedded market is currently in a state of change. In the past, embedded system vendors sold systems based on a hardware sales approach with a simple one time sale for the product. IP protection was seldom required as the systems were hard to copy and hack. Today, the various functionalities in embedded systems are more and more realized in software. There are many reasons for this movement toward software driven features which result in reduced time to market, production outsourcing, dealing with the lack of engineering resources, handling connected devices, preparing for the Internet of Things ( IoT) to name just a few.
Are you one of those ISV’s who think that you only need protection against software piracy or reverse engineering with no need for any kind of licensing? You are not alone – this is the common belief of most Independent Software Vendors. ISV’s believe that since they are selling their products through perpetual pricing models, their software protection and licensing needs are very simple and software protection is all they need.
SafeNet, working with SIIA, has released the results of a survey in which software producers openly admit that they are currently losing nearly 50% of their potential revenues. To what you ask? History may tempt you to say piracy – and the latest stories of organized attacks to steal IP of several US companies only further fuels that belief. But is that the real reason? Not according to the 620 software publishers who responded to the State of Software Monetization survey.