Licensing as a service and software monetisation work as one in the cloud.

Author:Baissac, Mathieu

Increased cloud adoption has signalled a major shift in how consumers and businesses use products. This shift has left many software producers needing to offer a cloud-based deployment for their products, and to ensure that they can transition their software licensing processes to the cloud.

Software licensing in the cloud (Licensing-as-a-Service, or 'LaaS') makes it easy to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy modern applications (built in the cloud, for the cloud) or transition heritage applications from an on-premises/perpetual licensing model to that of cloud/subscription.

Software producers and virtual appliance manufacturers who want to leverage the cloud advantage, require a software monetisation platform which can ensure that their IP is protected as well as enable newer, more flexible monetisation models like pay-as-you-go, freemium or outcome-based compensation. When LaaS is leveraged as part of a software monetisation platform, consumers can gain insight into how, even down to the granularity of a functional sub-module, their products are actually being used, how frequently and by whom. Consumers are also able to proactively monitor/feature applet utilisation--leading to factual and timely feedback in support of optimised engineering decisions for software producers, and procurement decisions for end-users.

Producers leveraging laaS also benefit from intellectual property (IP) protection against piracy and overuse as well as revenue advantages. A cloud based approach enables multiple software licensing models and deeper customer insights via reporting on customer usage.

When delivering LaaS on Azure software, producers need the ability to integrate scalable and secure software monetisation components within applications designed to leverage the Azure Marketplace Go-To-Market platform, an online applications and services marketplace that allows application producers to offer their solutions to Azure customers around the world. In effect, LaaS helps provide a swift, transparent on-ramp into Azure or the Azure Marketplace. This enables software producers to leverage consumption and usage-based business models to proactively manage their business for maximum profit generation. In addition, integration into back-office billing platforms, processes and corporate revenue models can provide lifecycle management and rapid time-to-market.

An example of how one producer, Thinkbox Software, has implemented LaaS in Azure, illustrates its...

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