This is the third installment in a series of articles on monetizing SaaS (News - Alert). For part one, click here.
Licensing and Management
A properly deployed licensing and entitlement management system will automatically track all product usage right down to the feature level and provide you not only with customizable ways to report on this data, she says, but will easily integrate into other back office systems that require this data to operate including but not limited to billing, ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing automation systems.
“In the launch phase, it is critical to have an efficient way to provision, track and control use of your service. You must be able to control authorization to prevent overuse or misuse and protect revenue. You must be able to easily provision, track and report on usage to ensure a positive customer experience, enable business processes such as billing, and to have the data necessary to grow/change your business models. All of these things are core to software licensing and management,” explains Nerlinger. “And software licensing and management becomes even more critical over time as you look into how to diversify and grow your business.”
The features of a software monetization solution control authorization to features and services, enable product versatility, provide flexible licensing models, track detailed product and feature usage data, and allow for organizational agility by separating engineering and business processes. Together, these features can be leveraged to optimize any SaaS business by following five proven steps:
- Step 1 - Track all product and feature usage as granularly as possible.
- Step 2 - Evaluate that data on an ongoing basis to identify patterns (i.e., what is being used, what is not being used, what is used most, what time of day are services being used, etc.)
- Step 3 - Take that information and make decisions on how to segment your market into groups with similar usage/spending patterns.
- Step 4 - Take the information you know about how the segment gets values from your offering and test out new business models that provide the highest value to the customer and provide the most revenue for you.
- Step 5 – Rinse and repeat.
However, it’s important to note: “All of these steps are either impossible or incredibly manual, time-consuming and prone to human error without the proper licensing and entitlement management tools in place,” warns Nerlinger.
Experimentation and Implementation
SafeNet’s (News - Alert) family of Sentinel Software Monetization solutions include Sentinel HASP, Sentinel EMS, Sentinel RMS, and Sentinel Cloud, which are designed to allow software vendors to grow their business as well as work seamlessly with outside products. In addition, SafeNet’s Sentinel Professional Services team of software licensing and entitlement management experts is available to guide organizations through the setup and implementation process.
SafeNet also hosts an annual LicensingLive! event, which is a collection of online and in-person resources that give software publishers direct access to industry analysts, licensing and monetization consultants, peer organizations and solution providers to obtain the latest tips, tricks and best practices around software monetization.
“The software industry is fast-paced, competitive and evolving. End-users are demanding convenient access to their business and personal applications – anywhere, anytime, and from any device. Software publishers are shifting gears to provide maximum flexibility and reinvent their approach to software monetization,” Nerlinger says.
The next LicensingLive! event will be held Oct. 2-3, 2012 in Cupertino, Calif. The events are generally attended by leading names in the software industry and in the past have featured presentations by industry experts such as IDC’s Amy Konary and Saugatuck’s Bruce Guptill, as well as leaders from Cisco (News - Alert), Brocade, Micro Focus, Akamai, Dell Boomi, among others.
“In today’s competitive market, an effective software monetization strategy directly depends on how effectively a software publisher is able to package, control, track, and manage their offerings,” Nerlinger concludes. “Getting it right is hard work. It takes time, experimentation, and the implementation of clean, flexible software licensing and entitlement management systems.”
Source (News - Alert) – SafeNet, Inc. 2012
To register for SafeNet’s next LicensingLive event, go to www.licensinglive.com.
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