Flexibility is the Key for Competitive Software Licensing
2022-11-30 Thomas Warnken
ISVs face a myriad of challenges to retain customers, generate new revenue streams, and improve operational efficiencies to achieve their business objectives. At the same time, they need to keep up with industry trends and be highly sensitive and reactive to the evolving needs of their customers. One key element that can make or break an ISV is software licensing and entitlement management. License management is critical to safeguarding intellectual property and preventing revenue loss. It is also critical to end-user satisfaction. Focusing on end user’s licensing requirements and delivering software in a manner that addresses their expectations can create a competitive advantage.
But to say that managing software licensing and entitlements from an ISV perspective can be challenging is a gross understatement. End-users now expect an array of licensing options beyond the traditional on-premise perpetual license, such as subscriptions and pay-per-use. The evolution of the hybrid workspace and Software-as-a-Service are further changing the rules for license availability and delivery. When considering licensing, ISVs also need to take into account where the software can be run e.g., in situations where there are multiple types of operating systems, deployment platforms, and network architectures. And to further complicate matters, the license containers can be either hardware, software, or cloud-based, or a combination of all three.
As you can imagine, there is no cookie-cutter approach that could possibly satisfy all of the nuances and variables that come into play across all industries. What is clearly needed in a license and entitlement management solution, however, is flexibility. One whose core protection and licensing capabilities can be readily shaped to precisely match the unique needs of each customer-base.
For example, let’s take a look at DIgSILENT GmbH, an independent software and consulting company providing highly specialized services in the field of electrical systems for power generation, transmission, and distribution, including industrial facilities and renewable energy infrastructures. DIgSILENT’s PowerFactory is the leading power system analysis software for utilities and consulting companies around the world.
Designing and managing power grids is a highly sophisticated business and the rapid pace of change in the infrastructure itself and the demand profiles call for a highly sophisticated technical software solution as well. PowerFactory uses load and generation forecasts and comprehensive network analysis to predict grid security and keep contingency and emergency plans. Complex algorithms and data models are required to facilitate essential analysis of power flows, short-circuit levels, dynamic stability, and harmonics. For fault situations, protection devices must be properly adjusted to save lives and to minimize unsupplied energy.
The users of PowerFactory range from small independent consultants to major utilities with multiple hundreds of concurrent users, each with a unique IT architecture and operational conditions. Each customer has its own unique requirements, including different numbers of end users and a choice of functionalities and types of licenses. In such a complex heterogeneous environment, DIgSILENT required a highly flexible license management solution.
DIgSILENT adopted Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter Protection Suite to secure Its PowerFactory software used by its 2500 customers around the world. CodeMeter’s AxProtector encryption technology protects the IP and technological expertise invested in the cutting-edge software and secures it against illicit use and manipulation.
In addition, they installed Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter License Central Internet Edition, which provides the required flexibility, reliability, and ease of use to manage the entire license lifecycle online. The database-driven license and entitlement management solution automates the process of creating, delivering, and managing licenses for software and digital content. For DIgSILENT, the necessary licenses are available in many configurations to suit each customer’s specific needs, with a choice of more than 40 modules. The licenses are delivered in CodeMeter hardware (CmDongle) or software (CmActLicense) containers. DIgSILENT is also actively testing Wibu-Systems’ Cloud-based licensing solution, CmCloud, for even more flexibility.
In this case, the IP protection and flexibility of the CodeMeter license management solution delivered the functionality DIgSILENT needed to address all of their customer needs. If you would like more details, you can download the complete case study.
Key Account Manager
After joining the IT world in 1998, Thomas initially worked as a Key Account Manager in broadline distribution for commercial clients. Moving on a year later, he took over the project business for HP servers and laptops, creating sophisticated server infrastructures in cooperation with IT service and consulting providers. After the turn of the millennium, he switched fields to work in business development for another broadline distributor, where he focused on marketing and sales activities for the company's own brand of products and continued cooperating with IT service and consulting partners. 2003 brought him into the field of copy protection and licensing, working as a Key Account Manager in the area before coming to Wibu-Systems in 2011. In his work, he supports the company's key commercial clients and has contributed to and completed many successful protection and licensing projects.