As medium sized companies start to embrace the cloud, setting themselves up for faster growth and success, it is critical that they don’t end up in a siloed software licensing situation that limits them.
This is according to One Channel CEO Bernard Ford, who warns against user-based software licensing models that are very expensive for businesses and extremely difficult to manage. “You license a specific user for the right to use a specific product, in a particular company, and sometimes even for a particular device. This is ludicrous in today’s highly diverse cloud environment.
“In a multi-cloud world, customers, partners and employees access data and information from many different devices, often accessing the data residing in one application through another, different cloud application. The whole point of being in a multi-cloud world is this seamless interoperability,” he explains.
Given the multiple groups of people and access points, the old-world order of user-based licensing fails completely. Paying a new fee for each different user and device simply doesn’t work any longer, and impacts both scalability and budget.
Despite this obvious fact, most modern cloud-based companies are still clinging to the outdated notion of user-based licensing because it is highly profitable. They can charge a business by each new user, charging them with yet another per-user fee to license their software.
“Imagine you set up your ERP with a partner portal so your partners can automatically fill new orders themselves, freeing your staff up to be more efficient. Sounds ideal, but in the old world of user-based licensing, each and every one of those partners would need to have a license for your ERP system, and likely a license not only for the ERP system, but for each individual device through which they planned to access that ERP system,” he says.
As spearheaded by cloud ERP vendor Acumatica, even Microsoft is now recognising the shift in licensing. It changed its policies in SharePoint 2016 to allow unlimited access for extranet devices. Previously, if running SharePoint, one would have had to purchase SharePoint Internet Connector for a substantial amount for a business and all its partners to access it.
Ford says Acumatica’s inclusive licensing is the only way to go in a modern multi-cloud world. “Our pricing model makes your ERP platform scalable and affordable, allowing unlimited access across your entire enterprise and partner ecosystem. We offer seamless, scalable licensing to our customers.”