Increasing Revenue and Customer
Satisfaction with On-Demand Service
Increasing Revenue and Customer Satisfaction with On-Demand Service
Flexera Software: FlexNet Producer Suite White Paper Series2
Increasing Revenue and Customer Satisfaction
with On-Demand Service
Electronic licensing is an increasingly popular and valuable tool
for software publishers and intelligent device manufacturers who
want flexibility in the way they sell and license their software,
while at the same time maintaining and enhancing control of
their intellectual property.
According to industry analyst IDC*, 84% of software is
electronically licensed. While electronic licensing and other
digital rights management technologies can have significant
upside for software producers and intelligent device
manufacturers in terms of increasing sales and reducing revenues
lost to unlicensed use, such technologies must be effectively
managed to avoid creating new operational issues and costs for
the software producers and intelligent device manufacturers.
For an electronic licensing program to be successful, the software
producers’ or intelligent device manufacturers’ customers must
accept it. This requires that the licensing program be fast,
accurate, and easy for the customer to use, ideally in a self-
service model. Meeting these requirements can be a challenge
for producers and manufacturers who must create the processes
and technology to:
• Generate licenses based on specific entitlements (orders)
• Deliver licenses securely
• Process returns and exchanges
• Manage version upgrades and platform changes
These challenges are compounded when the software producers
and intelligent device manufacturers have more than one
licensing technology. FlexNet Publisher®
has been leading the
industry for more than 20 years, but there are homegrown and
other technologies available. From mergers and acquisitions to
partnerships, multiple technologies are common today and very
likely tomorrow. Even if they are lucky enough to only have one
technology, many have very different licensing strategies and
business rules for different product families and for
By using Flexera Software FlexNet®
Producer Suite on-demand
service to securely and cost-effectively deliver and manage
electronic licenses alongside the licensed software itself,
software producers and intelligent device manufacturers can
take advantage of the benefits afforded by electronic licensing
without incurring the costs or complications inherent in
developing, managing, and maintaining an electronic license
delivery solution in house.
Electronic License Delivery Models
Just as there are many kinds of contracts under which software
producers and intelligent device manufacturers choose to sell
their products, there are many models for the electronic licenses
that enforce those contracts. Fortunately, these various electronic
licensing models can be grouped into a few broad electronic
license delivery categories, each of which the FlexNet Producer
Suite on-demand service supports.
Many electronic licensing approaches (e.g., time-based, feature-
based, and unit based) can be fulfilled through a transaction
or entitlement-based electronic license delivery approach. In an
entitlement-based approach a unique license key is generated
and delivered, based on a combination of the attributes of the
product being licensed and the attributes of the entitlement
transaction (or order). For example, if a database server product
is configured for licensing based on the number of CPUs and
a specific order is for an eight CPU license, then a license key
would be generated which allows the server to use up to, but no
more than, eight CPUs.
For entitlement-based license models, the on-demand service
supports two approaches to delivering license keys:
1) If existing process for generating license keys is based on
an order, you can continue to use existing processes and
use the on-demand service to securely deliver license keys
to users the same way the software is delivered. You can
use the service to deliver the key at the same time the
software order is placed, or if key generation is a separate
* IDC 2005
Increasing Revenue and Customer Satisfaction with On-Demand Service
3Flexera Software: FlexNet Producer Suite White Paper Series
process, the key can be added to the order and delivered
at a later time.
2) Use on-demand service to generate the license key. Flexera
Software typically will host the key generation algorithm
on its servers and will extend the on-demand service to call
the algorithm when an order is received.
For software producers and intelligent device manufacturers who
do not need the licensing granularity provided by entitlement-
based licensing, another approach is product-based licensing.
In this model the license key (sometimes called a “serial key”), is
tied to the product and not the customer. In some cases, product-
based keys are unique to each instance of the product, that is,
each user gets a different key.
In others, every copy of a particular product uses the same
key. FlexNet Producer Suite on-demand service can be used to
generate and deliver license keys in both of these scenarios.
In the former case, a unique key for each instance of the
product, the on-demand service can be configured to distribute
keys from a pool or to generate keys based on an algorithm.
Typically the key is generated at the time the order is processed,
but it can also be triggered by other events, such as when an
end user explicitly requests a license key.
In the second instance, where a key or serial number is unique
to a product or release, but the same for all users, the software
producers and intelligent device manufacturers typically provide
the license key along with the product or upgrade. Again,
FlexNet Producer Suite on-demand service can be extended to
pull the key from a pool or to generate it based on an algorithm.
One of the advantages of using the on-demand service for
product or version-based licenses is that the on-demand service
makes it easy to ensure that users always have the correct key
or serial number for the version they are downloading or using.
The on-demand service will typically also update the software
producers’ and intelligent device manufacturers’ internal
CRM or ERP system linking the newly delivered key with the
A final form of electronic licensing requires the end user to
provide site-specific information in order to generate a license.
For example, the identity of the specific machine on which the
license will be used. This can be done explicitly by the user
through an interactive Web form, or implicitly as part of a
product installation process where the installer contacts a license
server and provides the machine information in exchange for
a valid license key. This sort of license also typically requires
that the license key be tied back to a valid entitlement or order.
The on-demand service is easily extended to provide the user
interface and/or to support an automated client. The same
capabilities discussed above are then used to actually generate
the license key.
While site specific licensing can be among the most effective
methods for curbing unauthorized use of a software producers
and intelligent device manufacturers product, this approach also
has the highest operational support costs. In particular, the need
to allow users to move licenses between machines (re-hosting)
can be very labor intensive for software producers or intelligent
device manufacturers. The on-demand service can significantly
reduce this cost by providing an automated web-based self-
FlexNet Producer Suite on-demand service provides a scalable,
secure, 24/7 infrastructure and application to support
automated generation and delivery of any type of
Using FlexNet Producer Suite on-demand service for electronic
license delivery is one more way that partnering with Flexera
Software enables a software producer or intelligent device
manufacturer to focus on building and selling software while we
take care of the logistics of delivery.
How Flexera Software Professional Services Can Help
Flexera Software Professional Services enables software
producers and intelligent device manufacturers to accelerate
and increase the value your organization receives from Flexera
Software. Our experts average more than 20 years’ experience
in software entitlement, licensing, installation, and packaging.
Through subject-matter expertise and a proven methodology,
we can help you implement and evaluate current or potential
strategies to achieve your business objectives.
About Flexera Software
Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions
for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering
continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value
to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software
is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on
our comprehensive solutions- from installation and licensing,
entitlement and compliance management to application
readiness and enterprise license optimization - to strategically
manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results
realized only through the systems-level approach we provide.
For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com
Learn More about FlexNet Producer Suite
If you wish to learn more about the capabilities
of FlexNet Producer Suite, please visit the Flexera Software
Web site at http://www.flexerasoftware.com/solutions.htm