Flexera Software Extends Compliance Management Solution for Application Producers to Embrace the Subscription Economy
Support for usage-based "trust but verify" software licensing models helps software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers generate new revenue streams and capture lost revenue
This latest version enables application producers to automate compliance management for usage-based, trust but verify licensing models, and helps them to capture actual customer software usage, accessing that data through a portal, reconciling it against the license agreement terms to determine a compliance position, and if appropriate, send the data to an external billing system to invoice the customer for licensing fees owed. Enterprises also have access to a portal that presents customer usage data, usage trends and compliance status.
Automating Software Compliance and Enforcement
Application producers can monetise their software through a variety of licensing models outlined in the license agreement (i.e. Named user, concurrent use, node-locked and transaction-based), which are designed to capture the value of the software and dictate its permissible use. Noncompliance occurs when actual use exceeds licensing terms, in which case the license agreement may provide the enforcement options available to them.
Increasingly, application producers are shifting from strict enforcement models (i.e. denial of service) to trust but verify and subscription offerings, such as SaaS, and are implementing usage-based models as a means to monetise their products. Visibility into their customers' actual software usage and the ability to compare that to the license agreement terms and conditions, is critical to supporting these new license models. As it's difficult to have visibility into customer usage, determining a "single version of the truth" is virtually impossible, which makes fair enforcement and/or re-negotiation of licensing terms difficult at best, and marked by suspicion, mistrust and animosity with customers, at worse.
"Flexera's solution automatically provides the hard data to prove to both the application producer and customer whether usage has exceeded the license agreement terms, by how much, and if additional payment is warranted, the means to accurately bill customers for the difference," said Mathieu Baissac, vice president of product management at Flexera Software. "With this 'trust but verify' capability, application producers have flexibility to implement the most appropriate licensing and enforcement mechanisms for their business - knowing they will have the data needed to verify use and get paid for their intellectual property."
"Software licensing continues to evolve. Driven by the demands of their customers and competition, application producers increasingly are implementing new models, many of which are usage-based," said Amy Konary, Research Vice President - Software Licensing and Provisioning at IDC. "Having the flexibility to support the full spectrum of software licensing models is a competitive advantage."
Monetising the Full Array of Usage-based Pricing Licensing Models
Fully and accurately monetising traditional software licensing models has always been hugely challenging for application producers. But usage-based models have grown more prevalent and popular in SaaS, virtualised and cloud-based deployments and are pushing many application producers beyond their capabilities. For instance, by offering usage-based pricing options (i.e. charges based on number of gigabytes of data stored, peak usage, pay per use or burst of use, to name a few), application producers can simultaneously create new software revenue streams, cater to new and emerging markets, and address changing demands for how customers want to consume software. However, most software companies lack the flexible licensing, usage tracking and billing capabilities to accommodate the growing licensing and software monetisation options available to them.
Flexera Software's compliance management solution now enables application producers to overcome this limitation by supporting the full array of software licensing models and metrics across the licensing spectrum. They can now can quickly and easily create different licensing models for their software, or package specific features and functions to sell under different licensing models.
The compliance management solution will compile a statement showing actual usage, entitlements compared to the product use rights in the license agreement, and a compliance statement accessible to both the application producer and its customer via a portal, making it easy for them to easily track individual customers' software usage, as well as that of the entire customer base. Moreover, the compliance management solution manages the back-end operations associated with collecting and reporting on usage data, as well as sending that data to the appropriate billing systems for collection.
"New licensing models are constantly emerging, which if leveraged can open up significant new markets for producers," said Baissac. "However manually building out the infrastructure to accommodate these licensing models is complex, costly and constantly changing. Keeping up diverts precious resources from a company's core software development competencies. With our compliance management solution, application vendors can now quickly and easily implement any software licensing model that makes sense for their business, without having to worry about how to implement the licensing model or bill for software use."
Flexera Software's compliance management solution is built upon FlexNet Embedded and FlexNet Operations On-Demand, which are part of the FlexNet Producer Suite. FlexNet Producer Suite is comprised of:
- FlexNet Embedded: FlexNet Embedded empowers intelligent device manufacturers and software vendors to unlock new revenue streams by utilizing software licensing, pricing, and packaging to monetize intelligent devices and equipment using embedded software, as well as offer virtual appliances.
- FlexNet Operations: The most comprehensive entitlement management solution empowers software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers to support new revenue models easily and efficiently while streamlining and automating complex back-office processes.
- FlexNet Delivery: Provides electronic software delivery and electronic software distribution to eliminate physical fulfillment costs and ensure that customers downloading software are entitled to do so.
- FlexNet Connect: Automates business processes, lowers operational cost and increases customer satisfaction through electronic delivery of software updates, patches, data and messages directly to end-users' systems without IT involvement.
- FlexNet Publisher: Makes it easy for software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers to monetize, manage, secure, enhance, and grow market share through flexible software licensing, pricing, packaging, and software IP protection.
Flexera Software GmbH
Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions- from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization - to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.