Announcing SLASCONE 2.1

We proudly announce the general availability of SLASCONE 2.1, with the following highlights:

  • Licensing Core
    • Goodwill Devices: SLASCONE allows you to control the number of devices (physical installations) allowed by a license. Let’s assume a video or music streaming service, whose vendor wants to avoid shared accounts. With SLASCONE the vendor can set the number of allowed devices to 3, preventing a 4th device from using the service. In order to avoid a poor customer experience resulting from such a ‘hard-cut’, SLASCONE 2.1 introduces ‘soft’ limits with Goodwill devices. In our example, the vendor can switch from 3 to 3 + 1 (Goodwill) devices. Goodwill devices constitute a ‘yellow zone’, in which the client is under-licensed but can still use the software. SLASCONE provides a quick overview/analysis of activated Goodwill devices, enabling vendors to react e.g., by issuing a warning after the activation of a Goodwill device or by emailing affected customers.
    • Upgrade Compliance: Until now, vendors were able to set an expiration date to prevent a perpetual usage of the software. However there are cases in which the customer is allowed to perpetually use software Version X, but not Version X+1. In order to address such scenarios, SLASCONE 2.1 licenses carry an optional maximum software release information, which indicates the latest purchased version. Once an installation is upgraded to a not purchased version, SLASCONE returns a corresponding warning/error.
    • Heartbeat Frequency and Freeride Period: These fields can be now set in the license template, regulating not only how often the devices communicate with SLASCONE, but an additional tolerance (freeride) period, in case of a failed heartbeat.
  • Analytics
    • Analytical Heartbeats: Analytical heartbeats is an optional feature, providing an elegant way to collect client data, that do not necessarily affect the licensing process. Analytical heartbeats can be used to collect any kind of data such as temperature, CPU Utilization, session metrics etc.
    • AVG/Median for numerical limitations: Limitations are numerical fields used as application restriction, e.g., number of maximum users. SLASCONE 2.1 adds to the existing distribution chart, the average and median limitation information, providing quick insights that can facilitate product management decisions.
    • Customer Type: SLASCONE 2.1 allows the definition of customer types, such as enterprise, prospect, internal/test, reseller. This classification is crucial for analytical purposes, since for example you normally want to exclude internal/test licenses from your base data.
  • Application Roles: SLASCONE 2.1 introduces 4  new application roles:
    • Global Administrator: Access to everything.
    • Service Administrator: Access to everything, except User Administration.
    • License Creator: Can add/edit customers and licenses. Cannot change product definitions or product templates.
    • Viewer: Can view license and product analytics (dashboard).

Register to our Argus Demo Vendor now in order to experience SLASCONE 2.1 live.

Software Usage Analytics Session

Our CEO Ilias is going to share his insights about Software Usage Analytics at the annual OOP conference in Munich #OOPmuc.

Despite the wide spread adoption of BI and analytics in almost every department of organizations, software products are still being mainly driven by various interests and gut feelings of its several stakeholders rather by real data.
This session argues that the collection of software usage data has to be rooted in the software engineering department, creating a software product that is proactively designed to generate analytical data, instead of being treated as a reactive, sales driven BI project. We present a case study to support our thesis.

In case you still want to register, you can use this link in order to get a 20% discount. Just type ‘Ilias Michalarias’ in the OOP advantage code field to get the discount.

Migrating from Legacy Licensing Solutions

One of the greatest obstacles for software vendors considering a professional licensing solutions is the migration from existing/legacy solutions. The introduction overhead of a new system might affect not only the software vendor himself, but also (and more importantly) the existing customer base.

The biggest concern in most cases is having to provide new license keys to existing customers. Ideally, the transition should be as smooth as possible, so that existing installations can continue to function seamlessly, without any manual intervention.

SLASCONE has several features facilitating the transition from legacy systems:

    • API for importing existing licenses: Existing licenses are typically identified by a unique license code or a customer number or a device id (hardware license). All 3 fields are available in SLASCONE when importing or creating new licenses.
    • API for initial activation: Initial license activation license is not only possible using  SLASCONE license keys (recommended way for projects with no legacy licenses), but also using legacy license codes or customer numbers or device ids.

 

Example of a legacy license.
An example of a license carrying a ‘Legacy Key’ facilitating the mapping to older systems.

SLASCONE thus provides a native foundation for transitioning from legacy systems.

Successful Day at Microsoft’s AzureStack Hackathon 2018

SLASCONE is proud to be the very first online licensing solution running on Microsoft Azure Stack. After a challenging day at Microsoft’s AzureStack Hackathon in Munich, guided by Microsoft Cloud Solution Architects and our development partner white duck, we made it! Thank you!

Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud computing software solution developed by Microsoft based on the company’s Azure cloud platform. Azure Stack is designed to help organizations deliver Azure services from their own data center.

AzureStack

This means that SLASCONE customers now have the following deployment options:

  • Microsoft Azure Cloud
    • Using their own Azure subscription (suitable for customers with existing Azure resources, or EA agreements)
    • Through an Azure subscription  by SLASCONE GmbH (suitable for customers without Azure resources)
  • Microsoft Azure Stack (Private Cloud)
    • Suitable for private or hybrid cloud requirements

SLASCONE Editions

Licensing requirements can substantially vary among software solutions. It is not uncommon to find complex software solutions with just basic licensing requirements or fairly straightforward software solutions with complex licensing requirements.

In order to address a wider solution spectrum and particularly software solutions with basic licensing requirements, SLASCONE introduces a new edition model. The (new) SILVER Edition allows software vendors to use SLASCONE’s licensing core, without paying for additional features such as advanced analytics.

The GOLD Edition unleashes SLASCONE’s full functionality. Although its pricing remains individual depending on the number of end-customers, software vendors can still choose between:

  • Subscription-based: fixed monthly/annual price.
  • Shared-Revenue: percentage of the monthly license-revenue achieved with the product.

Announcing SLASCONE 2.0: Heartbeats and brand new UI

We proudly announce the general availability of SLASCONE 2.0, with the following highlights:

  • Heartbeats: enable the collection of real-time data such as Software Version, Location (based on the client’s IP) and Operating System.
  • Product Dashboard: consolidated view of a product’s key metrics, filtered by license properties such as activation status.
  • Brand new UI design: provides (device independent) optimized user navigation and overall experience.

This releases unleashes the power of SLASCONE to product managers and sales representatives.

Register to our Argus Demo Vendor now in order to experience SLASCONE 2.0 live.

 

Activation using QR Codes

QR codes is a well-established means to enabling payments, website discovery and more. SLASCONE enables devices equipped with a camera or a scanner to use QR codes for their activation.

Similarly to traditional alphanumeric license keys, QR license codes can be sent via email to the authorized persons. Alternatively, the authorized persons can log in to their SLASCONE account in order to fetch the QR code.

Monetizing your IoT and Intelligent Devices

Software licensing solutions are usually associated with desktop or server software applications. Nevertheless, hardware and intelligent device vendors, both in industrial and consumer space, are becoming software vendors too since:

  • Hardware is becoming a commodity
  • Software has traditionally higher profit margins than hardware
  • Accompanying software modules enrich the offered product
  • Device vendors require business model flexibility

Consequently, most IoT and intelligent devices contain software modules with permanent or at least sporadic network (http) connectivity. This connectivity is a game changer and the bridge to a professional licensing and usage analytics solution facilitating:

  • Feature Enablement: In the majority of cases, vendors want to be capable of easily turning on/off device functionality, eliminating the necessity of physically producing different devices. This facilitates up-selling, which can be even triggered by the end-customer through a dedicated self-service portal. After such a process, the device communicates with the cloud licensing solution in order to fetch the new licensing data and accordingly turn on/off functionality.
  • Configuration/Parametrization: Centrally setting and changing parameters controlling the device’s behavior. This is, beyond feature enablement, an additional way to create differentiated solutions and achieve market segmentation.
  • Subscription or usage based models: Due to the connectivity with the cloud backend, vendors can capture billing relevant data. For example, a 3D printer vendor can charge a monthly fee or a fee pro printing job or a fee for a volume of printing jobs.
  • Analytics/Diagnostics: Beyond monetization and billing, the collected data can be used for analytics, e.g., gaining insights about the actual usage of the device, or for diagnostics, e.g., troubleshooting or predicting component failures.

These are usually very convincing arguments for both business and engineering departments of device vendors.