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Image: Software Entitlement Management Guide

IDC has published a new report on the issues surrounding software entitlement management and how suppliers can improve processes with a centralized solution.

As product lines grow and licensing models evolve, suppliers frequently struggle to maintain multiple, complex, and often manual approaches to customer entitlements – causing delays in delivery and revenue recognition, resulting in unhappy users and flawed finances.

When evaluating your approach to software entitlement management, ask yourself:

  1. Does your current system enable standardized automation for all products?
  2. Do you have insights into license compliance and overuse?
  3. Can you track usage data to highlight churn risk?

If you answered ‘no’ to any or all of the above, you’ll find the full report offers practical advice on optimizing your entitlement management strategy.

Here are some of the key points covered in the report.

What is software entitlement management?

In short, software entitlement management is the function of assigning and tracking usage rights once a purchase has been made, i.e., who is entitled to use what, and how, when, and where they are entitled to use it.

The mechanics of this process can vary within the same organization, with each product having separate systems of record and fulfilment logistics. This is especially true where multiple deployment, licensing and revenue models are in place, meaning data is often monitored and patched together via manual interventions, such as cross-referencing several spreadsheets.

Naturally, room for error creeps in as manual processes become more complicated, with common side effects including over- or under-licensing; inaccurate version control; poor upgrade management; missed expiration and renewal dates; inconsistent compliance audits; and more.

Complexity is further compounded for companies that grow through acquisitions, with newly acquired products adding to already intricate procedures, and homegrown systems piling on top of one another.

As such, centralized software entitlement management is growing in popularity, especially where entitlement data can support the move to SaaS.

Why centralize your software entitlement management?

Unifying operations with a purpose-built software entitlement management solution can open a world of benefits for your organization, including:

  • Single source of truth: The more entitlement databases and methodologies you have across your product portfolio, the more exposed you are to error and revenue leakage. Having a single software entitlement management system ensures greater speed and scalability, allowing you aggregate data instantaneously while keeping integrations to a minimum.
  • Usage intelligence: Gaining insights into usage analytics empowers you to see what features resonate with users, enabling you to design product roadmaps accordingly and ensure sales and marketing teams are well-versed in showcasing key benefits. Conversely, you’ll also be able to spot inactivity, allowing you to proactively reach out to at-risk customers and encourage them to renew engagement.
  • New monetization models: Data-driven insights allows experimentation with new pricing and licensing strategies, such as consumption/usage, timed trials, freemium-to-paid, and concurrent/floating licenses, etc. With a centralized system, the whole provisioning process can be automated.
  • Self-service: Modern entitlement management allows customers to administer licenses without the intervention of staff at the supplier, making for a smoother transaction and happier users.
  • Streamlined quote-to-cash (Q2C): API-enabled integrations with other systems – such as your CRM, ERP, and billing platform – effectively facilitate Q2C automation. The ability to rapidly fulfill orders and deliver licenses ensures happy customers, while accounting becomes more efficient, which is crucial for a successful recurring revenue model.

These are just a few of the benefits referenced in IDC’s report, and you can get more details here.

Register for February’s webinar with report author Mark Thomason:
Mastering Software Entitlement Management and Improving Operational Efficiency

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Making the case for modernization

The full IDC report has a whole section dedicated to forming a business case for centralizing your entitlement management, with details on which stakeholders to involve from across your organization and how to engage them with solid arguments for change.

As software suppliers increasingly agree on the benefits of centralized entitlement management, the debate isn’t usually whether or not to make the change, but whether to build or buy your new system.

At Revenera, we may be biased, but we have many happy customers who use our entitlement management solution to offer new business models and improve the customer experience, such as Teradici and Ikon Science.

To see what IDC say, you can download the full software entitlement management report here: IDC PlanScape – Future of Digital Innovation: Managing Customer Entitlements Efficiently