February 18, 2016
Best-fit Business Means Flexibility in ISV Licensing
Software is the backbone of business. When you’re an ISV, it is more than your backbone, it is your business. Keeping your product continuously up to date and staying relevant against the competition is increasingly difficult with everyone, including your 7-year-old niece, creating software these days. Traditional methodology is to stake your position in the market by differentiating your product based on features. Another option, that can be more profitable, is providing alternative licensing models that better align with the needs of your end users.
However, providing these additional options can be difficult for ISVs to achieve because they often license other technologies to embed within their own product. These technologies have their own licensing requirements and constraints. Managing the complex licenses of others is, well, complex and creates additional overhead on the cost of software production. This is particularly true when the license models of those providers are rigid, forcing you to license your software around their constraints rather than meeting the needs of your market.
FairCom recognizes that each ISV has a unique set of needs. We understand that by focusing on end users’ licensing requirements and expectations, an ISV can create a competitive advantage in their market. Accordingly, we engage directly with our ISV customers to provide the right model for the specific scenario. End users’ expectations are changing and ISVs can seize opportunity here by providing options when it comes to licensing models. For example, our customers leverage our flexibility to offer a variety of options from perpetual licenses, to subscription-based licenses, to hybrid approaches that fit in between. Many times, no single licensing model works for a given ISV.
Other times, it’s not profit that drives the need for license flexibility. FairCom also works with our customers to provide solutions that are a win-win for everyone involved. We want to help our customers with both their business and philanthropic missions.
You should be thinking that with many options and great flexibility comes greater complexity in license management. Does the cost of management overhead exceed what we gain in license flexibility? This is an important concern to keep on your radar as you expand or reinvent your licensing models. Our answer to this question at FairCom is, “No”. Our approach is to partner in such a way that we keep license management simple and straightforward. For example, some customers have great difficulty tracking individual licenses and activation keys because of the volumes involved or special arrangements with distributors. In such cases we offer options that can simplify the license management overhead by listening to how the ISV issues/tracks their own licenses and closely aligning our licensing model with theirs.
Related to this issue is the question of license protection and enforcement. How do you offer flexibility to your own customer base while protecting against possible license violations and track licenses for your database (or other) vendor? The answer is to find a vendor that listens to your needs and collaborates with you to develop a fair and manageable solution for your needs.
Licensing strategies are an important criteria in software selection. This creates a significant opportunity to distinguish oneself from competitors by offering a model that fits seamlessly with end user expectations. As a service oriented company, we strive to offer flexible software licensing to support the way our customers work and run their business. With FairCom ISVs gain a partner backing them to ensure they keep pace with end user expectations and stay competitive. Our ISV partners achieve the right model for every scenario, something we call best-fit for business.