1. What is ‘seat-based’ licensing?
Simply stated, seat-based licensing is obtaining the rights for an individual to use software on one computer at a time. A package of software to do our taxes, to inventory our household possessions, or to track our personal financial info, is licensed to use “by the seat,” meaning that it is secured and licensed for use in a single computer location by a single individual.
Likewise in the business world, a license and security rights for Microsoft Office®, Microsoft Windows®, or WinZip®, is obtained for use by a single individual within the business.
In all of these cases, the company who develops, sells and supports the software (and the company who acquires the licenses) is able to know who is using the software on which computer. This allows the company to control accountability for its use. It also allows the software developers to learn more about their user needs over time, and to tailor their customer support and future software development based on this more customer-intimate relationship.
“Seat-based licensing” is distinct from “site-based” licensing, in which a single copy of the software is issued to a business location, one that allows multiple copies to be made and installed, without knowledge of who has copies, who is using the software, what their hardware limitations might be, or what their specific problem areas are.
2. Will MiTek move toward seat-based security?
Yes. Because we (and many customers) believe seat-based security and licensing has benefits for the truss industry, and is also good for our individual businesses, MiTek has begun development of a simple, efficient application that we will apply to all of our software. Early in 2008, we will begin implementing this secure approach to managing software usage. We are currently working with customers and will implement a practical approach to incorporating this feature within our products. Our goal is to introduce it seamlessly into our software, and to give you the assurance that you know who has design software within your team, and is qualified to use it on behalf of your business.
3. Why does seat-based licensing make sense for the truss industry?
Consider the following:
· Improvements in precision and knowledge consistently lead to better quality. That is true in the manufacturing process and it is true in the world of software.
· Liability concerns are causing fabricators to improve the control of everything they produce and everything they offer to their customers. Better control allows them to improve the quality of their processes, their products, and to reduce the likelihood of risk in their business.
· When it comes to understanding your customers, the more you understand their tools and how they use them, the more effectively you can service their needs.
All of these factors make seat-based licensing an improvement to our industry; it is an approach that is more secure, more productive, and a more sensible approach for our industry - just as it has proven to be for other industries well ahead of ours.
4. Are the benefits real?
To the Truss Industry:
1. Better control of software distribution and training improves the selection and the quality of licensed users, and so improves the output of the software. This also helps eliminate ‘renegade’ designers that introduce liability risk and erode the design value-add that is core to the industry.
2. Better understanding of user-specific configurations allows software developers to enhance the quality of training and support for licensed software users; this improves the quality of their design process, their efficiency, and the accuracy of their work.
3. Higher quality designers with improved design processes provide stronger design integrity and support for the truss industry overall.
To Component Manufacturers:
1. Improved visibility of individual users and software distribution control for the component manufacturer
2. Reduced liability due to unauthorized use of software licensed under your name
3. Improved quality and efficiency of technical support, training, and software development
4. Opportunities for user certification
To the Software Supplier:
1. Protects the software from unauthorized distribution
2. Preserves the value of the intellectual property, and the financial return that keeps the development company investing in industry-leading development for fabricators.
3. Allows the issuing company to provide more effective and efficient support to their users, by giving them insight into which users require specific functionality, and to isolate those areas that require urgent and important support and development.
We continue to welcome your feedback to us, and we will keep you informed of the specifics and the timing as we approach implementation of this important feature.