The cloud is here to stay. As a result, ISVs must learn to deliver software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)), and deal with the issues of licensing and monetizing SaaS offerings.
In light of this changing landscape, software publishers must ask themselves how they can enable a smooth and efficient migration to the cloud for some – or all – of their offerings. These companies must learn to deal with changes in business planning and management, technology development and operational processes that will result from the migration to the cloud.
But what software publishers need most of all is a solution to help monetize those applications in the cloud in order to create a clear and defined path to profitability. These companies need guidance about SaaS licensing and software monetization in the cloud. They need a solution that efficiently operates in a cloud environment and ensures business continuity.
The first best practice that companies who wish to successfully monetize their SaaS offerings must put in place is a user-friendly service agreement. Providers need to ensure that they are getting paid for their services. Therefore, they must track and enforce compliance in real time to avoid improper usage, requests for back payment and denial-of-use incidents. This will also help avoid rising frustrations for end users.
A software vendor must strive for visibility in SaaS licensing. ISVs need to know who is using an application, when and for how long. Ideally, this tracking should match up with the licensing agreements, as tracking down back payments from end-users can be tricky at best. It is imperative, then, that companies build a proven service provisioning and control solution into their business strategies.
A second best practice for ISVs looking to ensure SaaS profitability is having an agile product. This means that the offering must be versatile, something customers want to pay for; flexible, allowing customers to pay how they wish; and agile, with the ability to adapt to new requirements.
Versatile products are far more appealing to users. If a customer has the ability to customize an application, to utilize different packaged components of an offering to meet specific needs, that company is more likely to purchase the product. By the same token, if companies have flexible options for billing and payment, they are more likely to find a way to work with software vendors. Finally, customer wants and needs will change over time, so having software that is agile enough to adapt to new market trends or other factors can keep customers around for the long term.
One company that has a great deal of experience in the area of SaaS licensing and the best practices listed above is SafeNet. Its Sentinel Cloud services work well for a company that is using the proper techniques of cloud migration. SafeNet (News - Alert) has been specializing in helping ISVs move to the cloud for years now, and companies count on Sentinel products for making tracking and monetization of SaaS applications fast and easy.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli