Balancing Security and Ease-of-Use in the Transition to a New Software Platform
27.09.2022 Marcel Hartgerink
Many types of strategies can be employed to lengthen the product lifecycle. Businesses can add new features and functionality to reinvigorate an existing product, develop a completely new replacement product, or change business direction to stay abreast of a changing marketplace. For software companies, the product transformation may include a migration to a different development platform or switch to a new licensing and delivery strategy for their software. Some see the transition as an opportunity to introduce new technologies into their product for the benefit of the end users as well as the developer.
Each case is different, but here is a story how a leading developer of moving image analysis technology completely overhauled its entire product line in preparation of launching a new platform for its customers and integrating new technologies in the process. The Swedish company, Image Systems, is among the first providers of ground-breaking high-resolution moving image analytics technology, starting first with analog media and later transitioning to digital images. The next step in the product evolution is to move to their all-new TEMA platform (Track Eye Motion Analysis).
Moving image analytics has always been an IP and innovation-heavy discipline, particularly now with having to handle massive amounts of data with its digital images. For Image Systems, the decision to move wholescale to the new Track Eye Motion Analysis platform was the perfect opportunity to add much needed IP protection and modern monetization capabilities to its popular software. As part of the transition, they were moving from C++ to Java and repositioning their distribution channels. The company gave itself a full two years for the transition, leaving enough time for a careful introduction of the new distribution and license management system.
Image Systems chose Wibu-Systems CodeMeter for its licensing and IP protection solution. CodeMeter’s ability to encrypt and protect the newly created Java code of the TEMA platform with AxProtector Java, adding a new layer of protection against reverse engineering and piracy, was an important factor in the decision. While the threat situation had been moderate in the company’s past, IP is increasingly at risk in today’s connected world, and the ability to encrypt the original source code for optimum security at little to no disruption to end users was a definite selling point for CodeMeter.
In addition to protecting its IP, Image Systems used the transition phase to introduce a new distribution and license management system. Originally opting for hardware dongles as license containers, the company later introduced soft-based containers to keep the online distribution process as lean as possible for the end user. The move could be made without any further investment by Image Systems, since CodeMeter supports heterogenous license containers that are assigned when the protected license is created. CodeMeter License Central, the database-driven license and entitlement management solution, was used to automate the process of creating, delivering, and managing licenses for the software.
Using CodeMeter License Central, a portal was set up for the end users to activate exactly the licenses they need for the software functionality they want, irrespective of whether they arrived as direct retail customers, via OEM partners, or potentially as upgraders from a freemium version of the TEMA platform. Convenience was the key factor, and it was provided by CodeMeter’s extensive self-service opportunities supported by fully automated processes in the background.
The key message here is how Image Systems leveraged the seemingly daunting challenge of overhauling its flagship software platform as an opportunity to introduce new technologies, IP protection, and business strategies into its software. You can download the complete case study for more details on how they achieved success.
General Manager of WIBU-SYSTEMS NV, WIBU-Systems BV, WIBU-SYSTEMS LTD and WIBU-SYSTEMS SARL
Marcel Hartgerink studied electronic engineering and developed his first software protection system for Atari-ST computers in 1988. He was later involved in developing biometric authentication systems for large corporations. In addition to his technical background, Marcel is also an expert in marketing innovative solutions.
He is currently general manager of WIBU-SYSTEMS NV, WIBU-SYSTEMS BV, WIBU-SYSTEMS LTD and WIBU-SYSTEMS SARL, and is in charge of marketing, sales, consultancy and support in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltics.