Software Licensing and Entitlement Management Key to Competitive Differentiation
Globalization has created a tremendous amount of downward pressure on computer peripheral manufacturer margins. Increasingly customers are conditioned to differentiate products too much on price. And, customer expectations are changing. More and more customers are demanding greater configuration flexibility and changes to pricing models that better align costs with their true usage of the products.
On the bright side, industry projections call for five billion intelligent devices by 2010 and over 15 billion by 2015. "The embedded Internet is preparing to transform the world. An era of intelligent connectivity is emerging and according to the industry is about to hit the fast-forward button." (Source: Gantz, John. "The Embedded Internet: Methodology and Findings." IDC—January 2009)
To complete and win in today's highly competitive computer peripherals market, speed to market and product differentiation move to the top of the list of business imperatives. Within the computer peripheral market, many opportunities exist:
- Globalization and growth of demand (especially in developing countries) – demand is returning, but it's significantly different than before. There's also a rapid shift toward consumption-based business models
- Transformation of devices into platforms – for delivering applications as well as the functional convergence of devices – driving the need for streamlined manufacturing and inventory processes
- Globalization of supply chains – channels and markets requires new emphasis on customer insight
- Volatility, price, and personalization are driving supply chains – to a finer level of segmentation and more unique collaborative inventory models (Source AMR/Gartner)
Computer peripheral manufacturers are increasingly battling commoditization and the risk of grey market abuse of their core hardware products and many are turning to embedded software as a means to differentiate and protect their offerings in a highly competitive market. Unfortunately, too many fail to see the strategic impact of software and, therefore, fail to deploy a strategic solution for Application Usage Management.
A strategic solution for Application Usage Management leverages embedded software licensing to unlock new revenue streams, protect intellectual property and implement configure-to-order manufacturing processes that dramatically reduce inventory while enabling greater responsiveness to changing market conditions. It also utilizes back-office entitlement management solutions to streamline license management, protect maintenance revenues, implement new revenue models quickly, and establish direct relationships with customers through multiple tiers of distribution. In addition, with device lifecycle management, manufacturers are able to efficiently manage software activations, returns, upgrades/downgrades and firmware/software updates.
However, as computer peripheral manufacturers expand offerings to meet market needs, manufacturing and inventory costs can quickly spiral out of control. As a result they are looking for ways to:
- Differentiate products through pay as you grow capacity- and capability-based software licensing
- Grow revenues by offering best-fit products for each price point
- Leverage virtual appliances to completely avoid physical hardware costs
- Provide easy device trials
- Reduce product fulfillment costs
- Combat grey market abuse
- Improve and unify customer experience by streamlining back office systems and processes across product lines
- Gain insights into channel partner performance
- Re-balance capacity across devices and locations
- Monetize the convergence of devices that reduce power consumption, space and administrative costs by including capabilities from many vendors—leverage the idea of ingredient licensing
- Enable configure-to-order postponement strategies
FlexNet Producer Suite is ideal for computer peripheral manufacturers
FlexNet Producer Suite for Intelligent Device Manufacturers is the most comprehensive, end-to-end solution for software licensing, entitlement management and device lifecycle management available today.
- Embedded Software Licensing – allows manufacturers to capture customers at different price points, deploy virtual appliances and reduce the number of models and variants needed to meet customer needs while keeping costs in check with flexible configuration of capabilities and capacity.
- Entitlement Management – offers a single, holistic view and portal for customers and channel partners to manage software licenses and entitlements, capabilities and capacities embedded on devices as well as standalone software applications – enabling manufacturers to reduce manufacturing costs and complexities while improving customer and channel experience.
- Device Lifecycle Management – automates device lifecycle processes for customers and channel partners including device activation, volume activation of license servers, re-balancing capabilities and capacity across devices and locations, de-activations, upgrades, returns and moves.
FlexNet Producer Suite for Intelligent Device Manufacturers leverages Flexera Software's 20 years of industry experience to deliver embedded software licensing and entitlement management technologies that enable computer peripheral manufacturers to price and monetize their products the way customers want to buy and consume them. Its enabling technology allows manufacturers to seamlessly and efficiently roll out, manage and monetize new capabilities and capacity as adoption and market needs change.