Categories: Licensing

Assigning Licenses to a new Client – The What, The Why, and The How

The What?

CodeMeter License Central has a fiendishly difficult task: To deliver the complexities of license generation and lifecycle management in as simple a form as possible. Other software products purport to do so similarly, but what sets CodeMeter License Central apart is its sheer flexibility.
One of the more recent additions to CodeMeter License Central’s growing arsenal of capabilities is license rebooking, a feature introduced in v3.20. As asset costs continue to rise inexorably, license rebooking is becoming an increasingly important topic for ISVs and end users alike, since it provides a means of recouping some of their initial capital outlay in order to help reduce the costs of new projects.

The Why

An easy way to think of license rebooking is the everyday example of owning a car: Let’s suppose you buy a brand-new E-Class Mercedes with all the trimmings. It costs you €75,000, and your plan is to run it for five years and then buy something new. Maybe you are happy with your current E-Class, so you plan to buy a newer model; maybe you like the idea of upgrading to an S-Class Mercedes; or maybe you fancy the idea of a Tesla Model X. The process is the same: You sell the old car and purchase a new one. It would be utter madness to simply throw the perfectly good E-Class away when you could get tens of thousands of Euros back for it.
Clearly, car resale is not just some whimsical desire. It is a crucial part of car ownership. Now let’s think about how this might apply to licenses, again with a hypothetical example.
Consider a company, Avocado Inc., that produces widgets and achieves this through means of a rather expansive machine, the Widget Maker Model A. This can churn out widgets at a rate of 1,000 a week. However, Avocado Inc. just cannot produce enough of them to meet demand. Everybody wants one. The problem is that the Widget Maker contains some rather complex software that is used to monitor the health of the machine and apply design tweaks to the finished widget. Of course, the company that makes the Widget Maker – let’s call them Berry Ltd. – also writes the software for it, but therein lies the problem: Nobody can leave Avocado Inc. with a Widget Maker Model A under their arm, because it is too big and heavy. However, stealing the underlying software is a very different proposition, since it is vastly more portable. Writing software is an incredibly expensive business. Quite rightly, Berry Ltd. wants to protect their software using Wibu-Systems technology and then license that technology to Avocado Inc.
Everything runs happily. Avocado Inc. can continue to make and sell their widgets, and Berry Ltd. can sit back, safe in the knowledge that nobody can steal their IP. [Obviously, Avocado Inc. also uses Wibu-Systems’ technology to license the software on their Widgets, but let’s not go there].

Then the inevitable happens: Avocado Inc. decides that the time has come to grow – they figure they can sell (and therefore need to make) 5,000 widgets every week. Fortunately, Berry Ltd. has created their Widget Maker Model B, which can handle this workload so Avocado Inc. decides to sell their Model A and buy a Model B. Cherry Pickers AG buys the Model A for a new project they have, and Avocado Inc. wants to buy their new hardware, all set to grow their business. When Cherry Pickers AG takes delivery of the Model A, they also take delivery of the underlying license. But herein lies the problem: The license is registered to Avocado Inc. and so too are all the support and service contracts with Berry Ltd.
Fortunately, Berry Ltd. was using Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter License Central for their Widget Maker’s software security requirements. It only took a software engineer a few minutes at his desk to transfer the license. All three companies were able to get on with their business, safe in the knowledge that all IP had been protected.

The How?

One of the many strengths of CodeMeter License Central is the sheer flexibility it provides the end user with performing a task. Of course, this is also the case when rebooking licenses.
The beauty of the situation is that the software driving the Widget Maker Model A will still run happily even if the machine itself has been relocated to its new home. But transferring ownership of the Model A from Avocado Inc. to Cerry Pickers AG implicitly transfers ownership of the software license, and Berry Ltd. needs to have this recorded for their own internal processes (audit, support contracts, etc.).

Fortunately, using CodeMeter License Central makes the whole process quite painless, even though the process involved is extremely flexible. In our particular example, Berry Ltd. would simply locate the original ticket used to deploy the Model A license to Avocado Inc. This can be done by using the ticket search feature of CodeMeter License Central.
The search feature provides a myriad of ways of finding the ticket. In this particular case, a simple search on the customer identity and order date is enough to locate the relevant ticket (your mileage may vary). Viewing this ticket will show exactly which licenses have been activated, where, and when.
They can then select the required license and rebook it to a new ticket which can then be associated with Cherry Pickers AG.
Some things just work…


KEYnote 37 – Edition Spring 2019

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