The market for industrial and building automation continues to change and evolve, driven by innovation and companies' growing appetites for technology that enables supply chain postponement strategies, reduces SKUs and costs, increases flexibility to meet changing market requirements, boosts efficiencies and enhances customer satisfaction. Within industrial and building automation, many pockets of opportunity exist for manufacturers:
- Industrial wireless – new wireless networks are quickly becoming integrated with standard plant and office networks
- Embedded software intelligence and diagnostics – embedded software operating information and self-diagnostics reduces the need for expensive on-site factory service
- Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications – are unleashing a wave of new productivity such as improved asset management and new service initiatives
- Automation system security – most of today's automation and control systems use the same hardware, operating systems, and communications as broadly deployed networks, and security has become an urgent issue
- Influence of consumer technology – trends such as Internet access via cellular phones are driving the development of industry-specific applications
To battle commoditization and high manufacturing costs, many industrial and building automation manufacturers 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. This dramatically reduces 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 channel distribution. In addition, with device lifecycle management, manufacturers are able to efficiently manage activations, returns, upgrades/downgrades and firmware/software updates.
However, as industrial and building automation solution providers 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:
- Reduce the number of SKUs that must be manufactured, carried and supported to meet diverse needs
- Reduce the number of returns
- Implement and offer make-to-order channel inventory models
- Offer capability and capacity licensing
- Get a clearer understanding and picture of their channel
- Improve and unify customer experience by streamlining back office systems and processes
- Differentiate products with features tailored to specific needs and markets
- Enable reconfiguration, upgrade, update and up-sell opportunities that can be electronically activated
FlexNet Producer Suite is ideal for industrial and building automation providers
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, yet 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 industrial and building automation manufacturers to reduce manufacturing costs and complexities through postponement of final configuration, SKU reduction and the ability to dynamically enable new capabilities after purchase. Its enabling technology allows manufacturers to monetize product up-sells while empowering them to seamlessly and efficiently roll out, manage and monetize new capabilities and capacity as needs change.