Software Monetization Featured Article

LicensingLive! Gemalto's Sentinel Software Monetization Solutions Are Integral for Stryker Business Transformation

January 21, 2016

Stryker is one of the world's foremost medical technology companies offering a diverse array of innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical, Surgical, Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. And, like leading edge companies in the healthcare device industry, Stryker solutions are increasingly software-centric. 

In fact, because of the dynamism and rapid pace of change that software has enabled, Stryker is in the middle of transforming itself from a traditional hardware device manufacturer to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) business.  The drivers of the transformation are to increase Stryker’s own operational efficiencies, to be more agile and responsive to meeting the needs of today’s hospitals and surgeons where capital expense budgets are shrinking, and to create and sustain differentiated competitive value.  

To accomplish this transformation, Stryker selected Gemalto’s Sentinel software monetization solutions  to address all of their needs. In fact, Saeed Saeed, R&D Management from Stryker Endoscopy, presented their journey and results at the recent LicensingLive!  event.

Watch full presentation at Licensing Live! 2015

Stryker had been using hardware dongles to enable and enforce licensing of its SDC3 product—a comprehensive information management system that combines digital capturing, data management and data connectivity used by surgeons in the OR to enable improved surgical experiences. Through HD video capture, HIS integration, and device management that expands sterile field control and streamlines OR setup, the SDC3 enables surgeons to increase the consistency, accuracy and personalization of the patient experience.

While the hardware dongles were effective for enforcing licensing, they presented operational challenges. In fact, as Saeed noted, issuing dongles for its software was costly and time-consuming. How so? 

  • Stryker estimated that the internal costs of preparing and shipping each dongle were approximately $400 (USD).
  • From order date to deliver date, took a minimum of 3 days to reach the customer.

“It was frustrating for our customers. The hospital would have the SDC3 box sitting in front of them but would have to wait for us to ship the dongle in order to use specific features,” stated Saeed. Plus, as those who have been reliant on dongles can attest, there were dongle management and support costs. Stryker was also unable to offer full trials of SDC3 or its specific features.

“With CAPEX budgets shrinking, we knew we needed more flexibility in licensing our high-value devices – for example, instead of purchasing the device upfront, hospitals could pay only when they used the device,” said Saeed. “It was time for a change.”

The need for speed

That need for a change however, started with a requirements list. A new licensing and entitlement management system would need to:

  • Allow for shipping of license dongles for software orders and same-day ordering and activation.
  • Serve as a future-oriented platform for all of its products that could be cloud-friendly and integrate easily with Stryker’s Oracle (News - Alert) and implementations.
  • Meet changing market demands and enable Stryker to adopt new license models including trials, concurrent users, subscriptions, and usage-based.
  • Support isolated networks.

As Saeed explained, “We considered building the licensing system ourselves, but we quickly realized that it was not our core expertise. Our expertise is in helping surgeons. We are not licensing experts.”

The solution

After extensive due diligence Stryker selected Gemalto’s Sentinel Software Monetization solution which consists of Sentinel EMS and Sentinel Cloud Connect hosted by Gemalto (News - Alert). In terms of process, the Sentinel team conducted a Licensing Workshop with the Stryker licensing project team in order to identify and work through relevant use cases. Based on the workshop, Gemalto delivered a Licensing Blueprint that outlined two project phases. The goal was to hit the ground running with a demonstration of value in order to gain executive buy in for the broader deployment of phase two. 

In fact, in phase one 20 different licensing use cases were implemented. 

As Saeed explained, Sentinel EMS with Sentinel Cloud Connect was used as the licensing back-office platform to manage all license definitions, license generation, and collection of license-usage data servicing applications integrated with Sentinel APIs. And, with an eye toward a non-dongle future, Stryker transitioned from hardware dongles to cloud license enforcement for its SDC3 product to demonstrate the solution’s extensibility across the Stryker product portfolio. The stage was also set for phase two where there will be a direct integration between Sentinel EMS and Oracle and integration between Sentinel EMS and to replace the current batch job script. Plus, phase two will introduce new license models including subscription and a post-paid usage option as well as support for more use cases.


As noted at the top, the implementation has been a success on a host of fronts.  Since implementing Sentinel EMS with cloud licensing, Stryker has hit or exceeded its expected metrics for streamlining operations and cutting costs. The hard dollar savings from business process optimization have been accompanied by an improved user experience as customers now have the ability to trial Stryker products and features before buying and have instant product activations.

Going forward, Stryker is looking to add subscription licensing and usage-based pre- and post-paid licensing to ease healthcare provider issues with shrinking capital expense budgets. As Saeed, commented on the results, “Phase one of the Sentinel Cloud licensing implementation has been so successful that we had no problem showing the value and getting the executive support we needed to begin phase two.”

At LicensingLive! what was most (pardon the play on words) striking about the Saeed presentation was the recognition, by those attending, of the extensibility of the use case to their own vertical markets.  Realities are that regardless of market served, hardware companies around the world are moving quickly to state-of-the art, secure, easily-managed, cloud-friendly, customizable and agile software monetization solutions for all of the reasons outlined above.

What does this mean as the world becomes increasingly software-centric?  It means that value along with responsiveness rests in the optimization of software. This goes both for operational efficiencies as well as the insights gained about everything from compliance and tracking usage, to better packaging and pricing. From back office to customer facing, using licensing is integral to changing how products and services are delivered and managed in intensely competitive markets, and is critical to business transformation success as Stryker and others are proving.     

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere