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SafeNet Envisions New World of Software LicensingLive! 2013

October 23, 2013

Last week the cream of the crop of licensing software users converged on Cupertino to hear the latest news from SafeNet (News - Alert), and get an in-depth view of the future from customers as well as licensing analysts and thinkers.

I was fortunate to attend the event and impressed by the quality of attendees. Of particular interest were the high profile hardware companies looking to secure their firmware, vendors such as Brocade (with a nice handful of execs), Juniper and Cisco (News - Alert).

SafeNet is all about protecting intellectual property such as software. Tools like SafeNet’s are more important than ever now that more and more applications are moving to the cloud and adopting either subscription or usage-based pricing. Put simply – licensing is now incredibly complex!

The SafeNet story is all about software monetization, whether the code is on-premises, in a private cloud, hybrid, in the public cloud, or in the form of firmware.

This year SafeNet focused the two-day event on “The Evolved Software Experience”. The essence here is end users have evolved expectations of how their software works now that they are so used to the cloud.

“The rise in cloud computing has evolved what enterprise end users come to expect from the software experience,” said Michelle Nerlinger, vice president, marketing, SafeNet. “Cloud computing has had a huge impact on the software business model throughout the industry. End users are learning from their experiences with SaaS (News - Alert) applications, and they want flexible licenses, shorter commitments, usage tracking, and pricing that matches what they’re getting out of the application. Enterprise software consumers are demanding the benefits of a cloud-connected software experience.”    

The idea is to come up with licensing models that fit the vendors’ revenue and cash flow needs, but is also enticing and satisfying for customers who are today mixing cloud and on-premises deployments.

This all comes down to software monetization. So what is software monetization?

“Software monetization is really the business of software, and how software developers and software companies can go about monetizing the great products they bring to market. But also beyond that, the relationships they have with customers, the benefits the customers get out of the software. It is not just about shipping units any more, it is about building relationships and enabling customers to have positive experiences,” said Amy Konary, vice president, software pricing and licensing and delivery at IDC (News - Alert) and a lead speaker at the event. “There are lots of opportunities that creates in terms of monetizing software. The selling units works in some situations, and in other situations it is incompatible with how the customer values the software product and how the software provider themselves values what they are bringing to the table. The issue is looking holistically not just at what software is, but what is does. Encompassing all that is what software monetization means to me.”

Hear more of what Amy had to say during her presentation at LicensingLive! 2013.

A huge theme, as seen by the “The Evolved Software Experience” event name, was customer experience. “In the technology industry, focusing on the experiences of customers is something every big software, hardware and telco company is focused on,” argued Konary. “When it comes to software -- beyond the features and functions -- the customer experience is a very formative part of that experience. That is how the software is licensed, delivered and monetized, as well as how that piece of the puzzle is tracked and managed over time.”

Even with the advent of the cloud, smart vendors can accommodate customers without totally recasting their software as a service, Konary argued. Instead an array of techniques can help accommodate these market changes such as deploying new licensing approaches, changing pricing and packaging, and accompanying this with advance usage collection software.

The LicensingLive! event brought together pundits, customers and vendors. “One of the great things about this year’s LicensingLive! event is the number of different ISVs as well as the different types of software companies. Companies from across the software industry whether they are cloud, on-premises, or subscription or perpetual license, they are all looking at different way of monetizing and managing and tracking,” said IDC Konary.

SafeNet in Numbers

SafeNet, now more than 25 years old, has over 25,000 customers and protects software for Fortune 500 customers, software vendors, telcos, and hardware companies seeking to defend their intellectual property.

Clients include technology vendors such as Cisco, Dell (News - Alert), and HP, as well as Fortune 500 firms including Bank of America, Johnson and Johnson, and Kaiser Permanente.

SafeNet can also protect transactions through it security tools. Much of this is based on strong encryption, which is why some 550 SafeNet engineers focus on cryptology.

Edited by Peter Bernstein
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