Software Monetization Featured Article

Business-to-Business Software Monetization Goes Mobile

September 07, 2012

In the modern business-to-business world, software licensing entails more than merely securing revenue by enforcing service agreements. The right software monetization strategy acts as a business enabler, creating significant increases in revenue by enabling new packaging and distribution models. As mobile software applications have continued to increase in popularity, companies have tried to figure out whether to handle mobile and traditional software separately from a licensing perspective or to integrate them.

One trend that is pushing many toward the convergence of mobile and traditional applications is that applications are getting smarter. Though the mobile app world first took off with a prevalence of 99-cent widget apps, meant to provide basic functionality on mobile phones, recently there has been a trend toward “smarter” apps. More and more, mobile apps are becoming more complex and feature rich, getting more expensive and replacing more traditional B2B software.

Another factor that is contributing to the convergence of these two worlds is the restrictions that app stores place on their software. Companies that are accustomed to selling more traditional B2B applications may balk at the terms and conditions set down by app stores. These restrictions can scare away many B2B software vendors, causing them to swear off app stores for good.

Many companies are deploying “mixed mode” software, with conventional and mobile applications coming together. For example, vendors may offer a mobile version of existing software as an alternative to a traditional version, and these companies want the software licensing solutions for both versions to have as much commonality as possible.

For these reasons, many licensing enforcement strategies are starting to cross the boundary between traditional and mobile worlds. Vendors want to have control over all aspects of mobile B2B application licensing in a fashion similar to what they have been doing for traditional software. They want to control everything from usage terms (e.g., feature-based, time-limited) to operational aspects (e.g., activation and back-end integration) and they want the controls to be platform agnostic.

From the point of view of the end user, the prevalence of mobile devices like tablets within the organization can cause a number of headaches, especially if these devices have unique licensing needs. Their IT staffs are looking to minimize the number of licensing agreements they have, and having separate licenses for mobile and traditional software from the same vendor create havoc for them.

One company that has experience in both the conventional and mobile software licensing spaces is SafeNet (News - Alert). It offers a variety of solutions for on-premise and SaaS licensing needs, offering award-winning solution suites backed by decades of experience. Click here for more information on SafeNet’s software monetization solutions.

Edited by Peter Bernstein
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