Software vendors are losing customers and possible revenue by not being transparent on licensing.
Chris Holland, vice-president of software rights management at SafeNet, claimed that despite the way that software is delivered, users need to know how it is licensed, how to manage their licences and what the cost and security implications are.
Holland said: “If the suppliers do not communicate this clearly to potential customers, the widespread adoption of the solutions will be limited.”
From experience, Holland claimed that a lot of companies are saying that they do not know or do not know how to figure out what they have, and are seeing new technology as an inhibitor.
He claimed that vendors are missing an opportunity to be clear and concise on their offerings, as this will give a competitive advantage.
Holland said: “If you're clear on the advantages, even if it costs more, if you're upfront it is a driver for adoption. There is no clarity because the users have no clear plan for virtualisation and they are fearful of being incorrectly licensed – so independent software vendors (ISVs) are missing the point.
“They have the opportunity to expressly say how licensing works in the virtualised environment but they are missing out by not addressing it, they are letting stuff get away from it.”
As part of SafeNet's Licensing Live event in central London, Holland claimed that he had asked for a show of hands from vendors in the audience, how many had addressed virtualisation through licensing? He claimed that one person put his hand up (out of a possible 40) while one said that they were trying to figure out how to do it.
“Clarity in licensing drives competitiveness, it is time for ISVs to get up and address virtualisation in licensing, a new trend says that people are not intentionally using virtualisation to cut costs, so ISVs are not taking advantage of it,” said Holland.
Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer at Webroot, said: “I do think that licensing and license compliance in the traditional software world is a very difficult problem. Not only because of the differences in licensing models, but also the variety of deployment options it requires major effort and focus from the customer to get it right.
“There is no question, the SaaS model is significantly simplifying the licensing challenges for an organisation, as it allows license monitoring and enforcement, and therefore licensing compliance from a centralized perspective, while only paying for what is needed.”