Featured Article from Software Licensing

Responsible Vendors Provide Customers with License Compliance and Management Tools

August 30, 2016

The way software is sold, licensed and used is rapidly changing in the age of the cloud and an application and services oriented technology world. Hardware companies that once gave away software bundled with their solutions are now being forced to change their sales and licensing practices to safeguard their intellectual property rights and ensure they remain competitive in a crowded marketplace.

Presenting long-time customers with these changes can prove to be a challenge for vendors, and Flexera Software has come up with some guidelines for easing the transition to a software licensing model. The company, which specializes in software licensing optimization and monetization, discussed how vendors can approach this somewhat delicate situation in a recent blog post.

One of the first things companies can do to help transition customers to the new age of software licensing is to assume the burden of compliance. That means vendors are responsible for making sure their customers are in compliance and that they manage that compliance throughout the lifecycle of their offerings. Of course this doesn’t mean customers don’t have a role in maintaining compliance, but vendors need to be more proactive, moving away from previously murky and unhelpful practices regarding customer compliance.

Vendors may easily achieve this goal by simplifying the terms of their software licensing models so customers can understand limits and expectations. Similarly, they can apply metrics to ensure customers remain in compliance as well as to provide a clear expectation of usage terms for their customers. Businesses can also offer license administration tools so customers have an active view of all licenses and entitlements. This may be provided through a simple management portal that gives both vendor and customer a clear view of solutions being used and their usage limitations.

Finally, vendors can offer concurrent licensing to their customers, which is also known as floating licensing. This lets customers apply licenses not being used by one individual to another person who may need them. This type of flexibility is extremely important in today’s business climate, where workers are on the move and wearing many hats, therefore requiring a host of hardware and software solutions to remain productive.

Software licensing and entitlement management solutions can make the task of staying on top of compliance simple for vendors and their customers. Usage of this type of offering is also a valuable add-on to a software package, giving customers peace of mind that technology is in place to ensure and manage their compliance. With the pace of progress and the shift toward the cloud and applications and services, these types of management solutions are becoming the norm for hardware and software vendors alike.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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