Knowing when to embrace software virtualization poses serious business challenges to software vendors. Some software vendors view virtualization as merely a trend - others as a new revenue opportunity. Regardless, it is something to manage effectively so that it brings new value to your customers and to ensure that your business can fully monetize the opportunity.
When it comes to software virtualization, there are no easy answers. In fact, a software virtualization trends survey of software vendors conducted by Flexera Software indicates that the top two licensing related issues of the most concern to the software vendors relate to how to license and manage entitlements for customers using their software applications in virtual environments. While not taking specific actions, many respondents are at risk of losing revenue due to compliance and piracy.
If you're like most software vendors, you're probably not yet addressing the software virtualization wave. You know that your enterprise customers are thinking about—or currently running—virtualized environments and you think there are ways to improve revenue. You need an appropriate strategy in place to address licensing for your software running in virtual environments.
Your customers are virtualizing software: are you ready?
Application virtualization continues to make significant inroads into enterprise organizations, and software producers must develop and communicate software licensing policies that take into account the impact of virtualization on license servers and applications. Server virtualization has moved past the early adopter stage to that of strategic business opportunity. In fact analysts say that more than 2/3 of enterprise IT departments will be adopting some form of server virtualization in the next few years.
Software virtualization starts with successful installation
Any software experience is made or destroyed when the application is installed on the computer. With virtualized environments, the complexities grow. Being able to ensure that every installation of your software, whether in a traditional Windows environment or virtual environment such as Microsoft App-V, VMware ThinApp, succeeds enables you to reduce the technical support costs associated with these installation issues and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Enforcing software license agreements: protect revenue in virtual environments
There are several ways to protect revenue and ensure software license compliance when you enable your software to run on the range of virtual platforms—from Microsoft App-V, Citrix X—with virtualized software. To protect revenue and grow your business, you must first think differently and develop new go-to-market strategies. Questions to answer:
- How do you protect software revenues in a virtual world?
- How do you enable customers to successfully install your software in their virtual environments?
- How do you detect whether a customer is running your software inappropriately in a virtual environment?
Look for solutions that will enable compliance through hardware binding, per CPU licensing, per CPU core licensing, per operating system instance, or per user licensing. Which option you select will depend on your go to market strategy, your overall strategy for software virtualization, and how you want to work with your customers going forward.