Proper Vetting, Implementation Can Make or Break a Software Intelligence Program

Tip 5:  Proper Vetting, Implementation Can Make or Break a Software Intelligence Program

Jurassic Park

If you’ve been following our series this summer, you’ve likely:

  1. Decided that you’re well-prepared to dominate the “Blockbuster Movie Quotes” category should it make an appearance on Jeopardy, and
  2. Completely bought into the value of software compliance intelligence and are strongly considering making a purchase.

To ensure that you maximize value for your business, you’ll need the right combination of software and services to get actionable intelligence that drives new license revenue from unpaid use.

Helloooo dinoAs we look toward the selection and implementation phase, we draw some lessons from the movie that saw Seinfeld’s Newman (Wayne Knight) say hello to dinosaurs and made Velociraptors everyone’s new favorite dino: Jurassic Park.

When we meet the team, the park’s implementation seems to have been flawless. The paleontologists along for the pre-opening tour are slacked-jawed as they get their first glimpses of dinosaurs peacefully eating leaves, and giant creatures roaming free in the prehistoric microcosm (Disney Wild Animal Kingdom-style). “Maybe dinosaurs and man can coexist with ease,” they think.

“Pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

Then, of course, things start to go, um, sour. As he tends to a dinosaur-injured Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), the park’s founder, John Hammond, brushes off the impeding mayhem, saying, “when they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!” To which Malcolm replies, “Yeah, but John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

Here’s the thing. When planning for a project to go live and be successful, the phrase “it’s not only about the technology,” is as recognizable to software business professionals as the Jurassic Park theme is to anyone who lived through the 90s. But Hammond’s statement reveals that he fundamentally doesn’t understand that. He had the technology to regenerate that dino DNA, but he didn’t add the expertise he needed to ensure success until it was too late.

Focusing only on things “working,” he launched it without regard for the context of the unique environment, and missed things quite obvious to the experienced paleontologists (who may also have advised him to pass on breeding carnivores), things that would prove to be the park’s downfall.

“God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers.”

Software usage intelligence compliance programs must strike the difficult balance of preventing your “Pirates of the Caribbean” from eating your software revenue, while ensuring that the ride the rest of your paying customers are on is smooth. Striking this balance is much more than a technology or engineering issue. When deploying software intelligence systems, the stakes can be high, as problems can directly impact your customer’s experience and your ability to deliver new features and versions on time – threatening to erode the very revenue you set out to shore up. Without experienced partners, you’ll find yourself in a thoroughly unfamiliar world, huddling in your Jeep as pirate predators continue to shake your revenue foundation to the very core.

“God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers.”

What can you do? When vetting a solution, asking the right questions can make the difference between that proverbial “eat or be eaten” thing. Remember to look at the solution as a partnership between your company and the vendor – and ask questions that reveal things about both the technology and the vendor’s approach to key deliverables and future innovation. Here are ten crucial questions:

  1. Can the software intelligence functionality be implemented without disrupting your customers’ user experience?
  2. Does it integrate with existing licensing management solutions?
  3. Does it run on all your supported operating systems?
  4. Can the new software intelligence capabilities be embedded in a library or wrapper to simplify integration for plug and play accessibility by different product groups?
  5. How easy is day-to-day management?
  6. If the software intelligence solution is cloud-based, what are the uptime parameters? What are the backup and security options?
  7. For on-premise deployments, what management tools are available? Are they easy to use and well documented?
  8. What support and troubleshooting resources are available? Is there strong support for technical integration and deployment issues, as well as questions you may have analyzing data after go-live? Will there be a single point of contact?
  9. What training and sample applications are available to support integration and deployment?
  10. Is the partner available for code review of your implementation, as well as configuration and application testing?

Once you go live, the best partners help you monitor data activity, train your staff on investigating the data and help in administering and customizing your dashboard.

Hammond knew he needed top paleontologists to vet his park – he just brought them in too late. The best software intelligence programs are a relationship between the ISV and the software usage intelligence vendor, a partnership that draws on decades of experience working with software publishers in your industry to recover lost revenue.

With a partner that has a clear track record of success, a robust product roadmap and a strong portfolio of customers you can talk with ahead of your purchase, you can implement a software usage intelligence program that scales with the ambitions inherent in Jurassic Park, sans the dinosaur-induced madness.

For more advice on selecting software usage intelligence, download our “Buyer’s Guide to Software Intelligence Solutions.”

Summer – the perfect time to sit by the pool, soak in the sun and of course, contemplate your company’s software piracy problems. As you consider just how much you are losing to piracy, we thought we’d lend some lessons from another industry that is by no means immune to it – the movies. That standard of truth Entertainment Weekly recently ranked the 30 biggest summer blockbusters of all time. We’ve found that in each, some of the most memorable quotes and characters lend advice that can be applied to building strong compliance programs. Each week during this summer, we’ll share one of EW’s picks, and our take on how that particular classic lends lessons on designing a revenue recovery strategy that will break all box office records.

Software License Compliance Summer Blockbuster Series

 

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