Uniloc USA Inc., a provider of physical device recognition for IP protection and license management, unveiled its top five software licensing strategies for improving the software user experience, reducing software piracy and driving increased sales.
Software publishers finding themselves faced with the complexities of customer service, hacker-based revenue loss and evolving market demands seek guidance to remedy these issues. Assisting software publishers, Uniloc CIO Casey Potenzone provides strategies for growing software organizations by applying next-generation software licensing technology.
Software publishers are frequently challenged with maintaining customer satisfaction to drive product adoption while counteracting piracy. Furthermore, models of distribution are evolving with new and ever-expanding partnership and affiliate channels, overseas distribution mechanisms and new licensing models such as software-as-a-service bringing new complexities.
Regional levels of piracy vary dramatically, necessitating more flexible licensing models that can adapt to such variations. Recognized as some of the industry's toughest problems for software publishers, they are readily addressed with the right approach to licensing.
In a paper titled, “Strategies Addressing the Top Five Software Licensing Challenges,” Potenzone presents strategies, technologies and guidelines for taking software publishers to the next level from a licensing and IP protection perspective:
1. Don't lose touch with your customer when expanding sales channels. Second only to a quality product, a publisher's software sales and marketing strategy is at the core of its ability to sustain and grow revenue. Retail, channel and direct distribution models are complemented by a variety of e-commerce and electronic distribution solutions that often separate the publisher from the end customer.
Each of these channels represents significant upside for the publisher, but also creates additional walls between the channel and end user. This separation between publisher and user all but prevents the publisher from delivering timely information such as patches, upgrades, new features or other product messaging.
2. Implement licensing that lets your business develop. Properly implemented licensing technologies should allow sales and marketing professionals to rapidly create new and forward-looking business models around customer needs and next-generation requirements. Increasing opportunities for affiliate distribution and partnerships require publishers to be able to rapidly and securely create new product bundles and licensing configurations, such as subscription and run-based meters, without creating increased development or operational costs.
A publisher's success in new markets is typically dependent upon their agility. Exploring new distribution opportunities should not have a six-figure engineering price tag, nor should it involve risking your core IP. Uniloc's SoftAnchor licensing solution allows software publishers to create new models and product bundles without involving development teams and can often be accomplished in just a few hours, without compromising security.
3. Design polite copy control around your audience. There are several simple principles for software licensing that cannot be neglected. When a user loses a piece of hardware to equipment failure, the software should not fail. Tolerate change to an end user's computer, including installation of a new hard drive, sound card or other replacement.
Empower your users with self-service mechanisms. Power users will understand your licensing policies and are often very vocal. Provide a simple help system that tells them how many licenses they have and what they can do with them. Also provide users with the ability to uninstall a license and move it to a new computer.
4. Be flexible, regardless of the medium. One-time product activation works. Users understand products are licensed to their computers. Depending on the presence of a disc ensures you have to ship discs to grow revenue. Instead, allow the disc to become the distribution medium and activate the device. Leverage a solution that ties product activation to the physical device, not the operating system or the disc, and certainly not the dongle.
5. Knowing your piracy impact with 100 percent accuracy drives smart decisions. The well-documented and publicized bane of software publishers is software piracy. While the threat has always been estimated, it has been impossible for most publishers to perform real-time audits — until now. New technologies allow auditing with 100 percent accuracy and provide software publishers with a real-time metric on their software piracy. Global piracy auditing will become a fundamental business measurement of software publishers who will use this data to defend corporate IP and increase profitability.
“The common thread of the top five software publishing challenges is the maintaining balance across piracy controls, licensing flexibility and the user experience. With new technologies, including polite software copy protection, license auditing, license throttling and global piracy tracking, the tools to maximize profitable revenue streams are now available,” said Potenzone.
“Another benefit to these new technologies is that they are developed for fast and seamless integration into existing software offerings, significantly reducing time to market. The future for the software industry is bright and strategies that include such tools will help take software publishers to greener pastures.”