Software licensing is no longer a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Licensing software-as-a-service applications is quite different than traditional software monetization. According to Michelle Nerlinger, director of product marketing for software monetization solutions at SafeNet (News - Alert), a company that has specialized in software monetization for almost 30 years, “The experience for licensing on-premise is very linear, whereas, especially in cloud, it’s continuous. It’s always on going, you’re always optimizing, you’re always checking in with the users.”
As licensing continues to evolve, ISVs will seek best practices for SaaS (News - Alert) licensing initiatives and guidance for developing the right strategy. To give those ISVs a head start, SafeNet assembled a think tank of experts to address these issues and captured it in an on-demand webcast: “Doing SaaS Right: Pulling Together All the Pieces.”
The webinar, hosted by Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies, brought together Eileen Boerger, president of Agilis Solutions (which recently changed names to CorSource), Rich Nucci, CTO of Dell Boomi, Jake Fox, senior director of new product development at SafeNet, and Jeff Yoshimura, vice president of marketing at Zuora. This team of industry veterans shared their expertise on SaaS licensing, giving attendees practical tips on best strategies.
Kaplan pointed out that it takes a number of different points of view working together in order to create the optimum SaaS strategy. He noted that elements such as development, billing, licensing and integration must come together to create a cohesive whole. “These are four of the key building blocks which are essential for developing and delivering successful SaaS solutions in this increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving marketplace,” Kaplan said.
Speaking on the topic of moving from on-premise to on-demand, Boerger, a development expert, stressed that planning is a key. “The planning has to start with the business objective. Understanding what product you really want in the SaaS market, what’s going to the cloud and why, what your financial model will be, what really is your market. Unless you have a good understanding of that, the developers may be building the wrong product,” said Boerger.
In the session, Nucci focused on integration strategies. He discussed how and when integration strategies come into play, saying, “It impacts you during your sales cycle. From one-third to two-thirds of deals require integration as part of the solution. During implementation, integration is typically the longest part of the integration process. And retention, as an integrated customer is statistically proven to be less likely to churn.”
In addition to planning and integration, billing is extremely important as well. Yoshimura expanded this point, saying that beyond billing, it is important to consider the pricing model. Questions that companies should ask are, “What is the pricing model that I want to launch? How do I want to get to market? How do I want to attack different segments and types of customers? How am I able to sign up customers really fast? And how am I able to connect into a licensing and provisioning application such as SafeNet’s?”
Speaking on behalf of SafeNet, Jake Fox spoke about his company’s role in the space, pointing out that SafeNet has strong relationships in all of the previously mentioned aspects of SaaS strategies. “We get pulled into a lot of discussions with our customers and that’s really resonated with us and that’s driven us to form really strong partnerships from development to integration to billing, etc., because it’s a natural byproduct of how we interact with our customers.” Because of these relationships, SafeNet has been able to develop an award-winning, comprehensive software suite for SaaS licensing and monetization, Sentinel Cloud, which can help ISVs address the planning, integration and billing aspects of SaaS all in one easy, convenient package. For more information on Sentinel Cloud, click here.
Follow the experts from the SaaS Monetization Think Tank on twitter for more tips, tricks, and direct access to the abovementioned SaaS industry veterans:
· @licensinglive – general tips, tricks, and best practices surrounding #swlicensing
· @mnerlinger – #swlicensing, entitlement management, and #swmonetization
· @ricknucci -- #integration best practices and #SaaS industry best practices
· @yoshbilling -- #subscriptionbilling and the #subscriptioneconomy
· @thinkstrategies -- #SaaS industry trends and best practices
-- information on software monetization solutions from SafeNet
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli