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Why an Entitlement Management System is Better for Software Licensing

September 05, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell, Software Licensing Contributing Editor

When running a business, it can be challenging to stay on top of the different elements that must be in place for standard practices to be in line and compliance to be met. This means not only being able to satisfy the needs of the customer base, but also ensuring streamlined operations so as to protect profit margins.

To that end, companies often deploy robust ERP systems to ensure the efficient operation of the internal processes needed to complete products and delivery to the customers. To best align these processes with customer preferences, ERP and CRM integration is ideal. For smooth operation over the long-term, software licensing must be up to date.

Today, a number of organizations are finding it beneficial to implement software license entitlement management solutions into their existing ERP and CRM systems. In a recent Flexera Software blog, David Nuckolls, Senior Consultant at Flexera Software, discussed the importance and best approach to integrating such a systems into the existing back-office infrastructure.

With an entitlement management system, application producers have access to the tools they need to enhance customer satisfaction, extend deep customer insight and to efficiently manage the entire lifecycle of the software licensing. This not only provides an efficient software operations function, it is also purpose-built to properly support and integrate with the back-office processes necessary to run the software business.

This conversation surrounding integration is key to optimal performance and it’s not uncommon for individuals in the industry to rely on a generic connector to blend the two environments of ERP and CRM. According to Nuckolls, however, such a connector is really just a myth in practical terms as they are more focused on a single use.

“Whether they use SAP or Oracle financials,” said Nuckolls, “virtually any of these ERP’s can safely be integrated in a uniform fashion and it really helps a lot if you have customers going through acquisitions or mergers. Maybe they bought another company that has a different ERP and having a more centralized standardized approach allows them to integrate from legacy systems to their existing systems. In some cases it allows them to migrate to a more advanced system without having to get rid of or make significant changes to their existing system.”

From a software licensing standpoint, Flexera Software prefers to reference the entitlement management system, as it is more than an integration framework. It allows for the connection of multiple systems from a variety of different sources into a standardized format. The advantage this creates is to ability to have multiple systems connect uniformly. This allows for the creation of a centralized repository for entitlements and license management regardless of the source of the data.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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