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Image: Software License Management: Process Improvement Using Automatic Renewal

I have recently engaged with a software publisher who needed to deliver licenses to customers worldwide. For some countries, customers are allowed to divide payments into multiple chunks over time. The publisher, on the other hand, must ensure the customer performs the payments at the times expected. For this reason, the process of delivering software licenses depends on the ongoing status of their contractual agreement with the publisher: customer receives a new time-limited license with extended validity period every time the publisher receives the payment in advance for that period.

The key to making this work is to use the renewal functionality of your software license and entitlement management solution. By doing this, the software order will now generate only one entitlement line item in your entitlement and license management system and the duration will be set to the initial number of weeks that depends on the order. Using an interface program to the entitlement and license management system handles the renewal process automatically on a scheduled basis, queries the entitlement and license management system fulfillments to identify the expiring licenses and it creates renewal line items with an extended duration. The new activation IDs will be sent in one email with a link to a self-service portal to the license administrator, who will create new licenses with extended expiration date after validation of the contractual agreement with the customer. All interface operations are performed via web services.

This is a simple process improvement example and it served the purpose of increasing confidence in the adoption of FlexNet Operations entitlement management solution to handle license management moving forward.

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The picture below shows process flows and comparisons in graphical format:

Lines in black outline previous delivery process (multiple orders with same start date and different durations) while lines in green outline new delivery process (one order with automatic renewal at expiration).

The software license and fulfillment process could be improved by automatically verifying the payment status. The publisher’s subsidiary is currently responsible for verifying the payments and generating the license on behalf of the customer.

How have you solved software license and entitlement management challenges?