Software Monetization Featured Article

Broadcast Company Snell Moves to Software-Centric Licensing and Monetization

May 01, 2017

Software and the cloud are creating change and disruption in all types of vertical markets. As traditional hardware players make the shift to a software-centric business model, they are under pressure to transform how they license, manage and monetize their new breed of offerings.

The broadcast and post production technology experts at Snell found themselves in this situation recently, after a steady migration from a traditional hardware approach to their software-based Snell On Demand framework. The company made the switch out of necessity, as their customers have a growing need for file-based media processing to push out content globally on a massive number of platforms and devices. The post-production and broadcasting procedures are transforming in kind, as customers require non-linear processes that utilize commodity IT infrastructure to meet the demands of the cloud and OTT services.

Snell transformed its offerings to create the software-based On Demand framework, addressing these needs through a powerful suite of tools. This enabled the company to offer its Quasar OD and Alchemist OD solutions as software, powered by off-the-shelf hardware from companies like HP and Juniper Networks (News - Alert). Consequently, the company needed to change the way it licensed and monetized its new offerings as well as protect its valuable intellectual property (IP). Snell turned to the Gemalto (News - Alert) Sentinel solution to enable flexibility and scalability as the company expands its new software suite.

“Before we could offer our Quasar OD and Alchemist OD software commercially, we knew we had to protect our source code from reverse engineering and tampering,” said Jeremy Courtney, business leader for Snell On Demand. “We also wanted to investigate the different options for commercially licensing, and fulfilling orders for the software – and then managing it once it was in the field.” Read the full interview.

Specifically, the company needed to protect its IP from reverse engineering and tampering. Snell also wanted flexibility and scalability for licensing its new software solutions, along with an automated system for handling orders, fulfillment, activation and license management. The Sentinel solution from Gemalto met those needs, offering cross-platform support, integrated security and ongoing consulting to meet future needs. The Sentinel RMS is being used to protect Snell’s source code IP as well as to enforce a range of licensing models and packaging options for delivery to customers. Sentinel EMS is being used to manage the Quasar OD and Alchemist OD software entitlements as well as Snell’s back-office licensing operations.

The result has been peace of mind for Snell, since its IP is being strongly safeguarded. The company has also eliminated its manual fulfillment processes by integrating the Sentinel license server with its online store, reducing operational costs, saving time and removing the potential for error through tedious manual processes.

“Operating in a dynamic e-commerce space means we are dealing with an increasingly digital-savvy client base, and offering that extra security and ease-of-deployment for our software packages is what makes all the difference,” said Courtney. “What I didn’t anticipate when we embarked on this process a year ago was just how complex the licensing part of the project would be. What I like most is the fact that Gemalto are one step ahead of us with respect to licensing trends and technology. They are always thinking about the next step before it’s even a problem for us, which means there is a solution ready for us to deploy as and when we need it.”