How Intelligent Device Manufacturers Are Using Embedded Software to Grow Revenue

Overview

Increasingly, the value of your intelligent device is based on the software or firmware delivered with the device. The flexibility of software allows you to sell many differentiated products while streamlining your manufacturing process.

Protecting your software R&D investment is critical to monetizing your platforms and ensuring a steady revenue stream. But the fact is, paper- and trust-based licensing programs are no longer adequate. Moving to electronic licensing allows you to protect and grow your revenue, without complex changes to your manufacturing processes.

This whitepaper describes how you can use electronic license management technology to protect and enhance your products, and how to distribute updates and upgrades to your already-deployed device, regardless of your industry: networking, telephony, imaging, printing, medical devices.

Creating Differentiated Products

Chances are, you are already enhancing your devices with significant software development. It’s time to monetize that investment using electronic license management, which ensures that your devices are used in a manner consistent with your license terms.

In addition, it is likely that you are facing intense competition, resulting in your devices becoming commoditized, thus driving down your profit margins. If you are looking for creative ways to increase margins without re-tooling your manufacturing line, look to differentiating your devices through their software capabilities.

Rather than relying on special configurations to differentiate your devices, using software that implements new capabilities lets you ensure that those capabilities are only available to users who are entitled to them. These multiple configurations will set you apart from your competitors and provide better delineation within your own product lines.

Flexible Device Configuration

Many intelligent device manufacturers today are simplifying their production lines by manufacturing the same device for multiple models. They may package model-specific software with that device. To differentiate the device, they include model-specific configuration of both the device and software.

A License as a Tamper-Resistant Configuration

Today, you may already differentiate device models by their configurations, but how easy is it for someone to intentionally or unintentionally copy that configuration to a device licensed for a less-expensive configuration?

Robust license management systems are designed to encode configuration information in a human-readable form, whether it is a device or software configuration—and then to enforce the limits of that configuration. While in this form, if the configuration is unintentionally or intentionally changed, the license management system can detect such a change. Furthermore, once the configuration is bound to a device, it can’t be copied to another device without the consent of the intelligent device manufacturer.

Does this mean that the intelligent device manufacturer must manually approve all transactions where a customer has a legitimate reason to move a configuration from one device to another? Not at all. Automated license entitlement and license fulfillment systems can be employed that allow customers to self-manage their fulfillments within parameters you define. Such systems can be made to implement business policies that prevent abuse; for example, you can allow the customer to move/rehost a license to another device once every six months.