Adapting to the Complex Software Licensing Landscape
03/09/2019 Rüdiger Kügler
The digital transformations occurring across all segments of society are unfolding at breakneck speed. From autonomous vehicles and smart cities to digitized healthcare delivery, all facets of our connected world are evolving in ways seemingly unimaginable just a few years ago. With smart technologies built into phones, wearables, home appliances, and just about any other device, consumers are assimilating new technologies into their daily lives as fast as they are introduced.
Digital transformations are also driving cultural change. Consumer preferences are evolving dramatically, particularly in the way products are purchased, delivered, and updated. As a result, tried and true business models are no longer the norm and only those companies who possess the foresight and ability to alter their business practices to cater to the digitized consumer will succeed.
Let’s take a look at the effects these changes are having on the software industry and software licensing in particular. For an ISV, the days of the traditional perpetual license with maintenance contracts are long gone. Software users now expect to pay only for what they use and for the frequency in which they use it, and payment might take the form of a monthly subscription vs. a one-time upfront payment. Software updates and feature upgrades can be delivered via the Internet, and in some cases, users may want to try the software prior to purchasing. And, some consumers may be more comfortable with on premise software applications while others may prefer cloud application deployments.
The scene is just as complex, or perhaps more, for embedded software developers who need to be capable of delivering their software across multiple development platforms, architectures, and operating systems. They also need to be able to deliver updates in a secure fashion, particularly in the IoT and Industry 4.0 world where cybersecurity is paramount.
The bottom line for ISVs and embedded system developers is that the software licensing tools they use must be readily adaptable to the new purchasing and delivery models that are required to address the expectations of the next generation consumers.
Take, for example, the case of Vector, a German developer of advanced software tools and embedded components across a wide range of industries. They sell thousands of product licenses annually for products such as electric car charging, automotive safety and security concepts, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, AUTOSAR adaptive platform, and an array of other electronic systems. With such a diverse customer base, the company was facing several challenges in managing their license entitlements. First, they wanted to protect their invaluable Intellectual Property from piracy with a secure license delivery mechanism. Secondly, each of the industries that they served had unique licensing preferences and requirements and they were using disparate tools to address their needs. Ultimately, they wanted one integrated solution that would fit into their existing SAP back-office environment.
While their requirements for a modern licensing management system are not uncommon in today’s connected landscape, their array of such highly complex products for so many diverse use cases represented an interesting challenge. Wibu-Systems, in conjunction with our SAP integration partner, Informatics Holdings, provided a flexible license and entitlement solution that met all their requirements.
At the heart of the solution was CodeMeter License Central for the creation, delivery, and management of licenses. With the integration of CodeMeter License Central into Vector’s SAP system, Vector is now able to manage all its licenses centrally with ease, making for leaner support and more efficient sales processes. Depending upon customer requirements, licenses can be delivered securely via software-based binding technology or hardware-based dongles. It is an interesting story with an innovative solution and I invite you to read the entire case study.
VP Sales | Security Expert
After completing his physics degree course in 1995, he was head of project management for software protection, software distribution, internet banking, and multimedia projects. In 2003, he joined Wibu-Systems and, as part of his role, contributed substantially to the development of Blurry Box® technology.