By: Chris Wendt
I found a way to beat Jeopardy, especially when my software license business is at stake. When I need answers, I found that I only need to ask the right question, "What can a COTS software licensing and entitlement management system do (provide) for me that an ERP or a homegrown system can't provide?"
Software entitlement management systems are an integral part of protecting your organization's valuable IP, generating licenses, and providing the customers with a nice self-serve portal to manage licensing and compliance. But, such a system can also provide you with valuable information from which you may be able to tune your business.
An entitlement management system is often integrated with other systems such as CRM, ERP, and LDAP to perform the operations backbone for all business processes. An entitlement management system is also the system of record for software downloads, and license key generators and can provide valuable information for improving processes and increasing revenue.
Consider the following, "What can a COTS software licensing and entitlement management system do (provide) for me that an ERP or a homegrown system can't provide?"
- Determine channel velocity, or, sales effectiveness through a channel –determine the elapsed time from when an order is shipped to a channel partner, to when it is eventually activated by the customer to find interesting patterns in different partners and partner processes, helping you to improve the time to revenue, and perhaps increase revenue.
- Measure the effectiveness of new upgrade campaigns by measuring the time it takes for customers to activate new versions of products from the time the release is made available.
- Establish support business readiness parameters for support by knowing, based upon the historical time from shipment to activation, when you may receive the bulk of support calls regarding features/functions in the new release.
- Find where piracy may be occurring, or, where there are up-sell opportunities, via standard reports to determine which licenses are activated multiple times, or attempted to be activated multiple times and establish patterns.
- Find sales opportunities by looking how many demo license activations actually convert to revenue licenses, and, if in the process there are patterns around channel partner, geography or type of user that allow the tuning of such programs.
- When selling through a channel, get more real time-data on which products are selling best by looking at product activation reports.
- By viewing activation reports in an indirect sales model, tune up-sell programs by knowing which combinations of products are actually used in combination, and correlating that to geography, channel partner, or type of customer.
- By viewing patterns in activations for new product releases, determine how many products are still active for obsolete or end-of-life products, so that you can determine the need to create a campaign to migrate these customers to new releases?"
So, are you ready for some Jeopardy? If you need answers, just ask the right question, "What kind of business intelligence can I get from a COTS entitlement management system?"