Tag Archives: Licensing

How Do You Bridge The Supply Demand Gap?

Interview with Jim Hogan, CEO, SView LLC

Situation: The rapid evolution of mobile devices creates new opportunities to build mobile enterprise application businesses. However for businesses there is no clear path to mobilizing business applications. How do you bridge the gap between supply and demand in mobile enterprise apps?

Advice:

  • There are three legs to the stool of a successful SMB business model: developer platform, go to market strategy, and licensing and maintenance sales strategy. There is a consolidation play available for a small company that can generate traction in all three.
  • As to developer platforms, Microsoft originally got traction for Windows by being maniacal about building great developer relationships. Over time they leveraged this and just got better and better.
    • There are several platforms available that show promise, including Rhomobile, Mobile Nation HQ, and Appcelerator.
    • All are small now – in the $1-20 million revenue range. Their principal challenge is identifying a viable go to market strategy.
    • Another platform that shows promise is IBM’s Eclipse IDE.
  • Next is go to market strategies. Yahoo recently launched a search engine for mobile apps in Yahoo for Mobile. This is important to the creation of a viable market place for apps regardless of platform. If a viable platform developer can do a deal to generate a market for business apps this will go a long way to developing a successful go to market strategy.
  • The third leg, development of a long-term licensing and maintenance sales strategy, will most likely occur through acquisition of a company with the first two pieces. The lead would be an initial developer platform but could spin off to others.
    • Apple has started looking into this play with its iCloud strategy; the challenge for Apple will be making it enterprise-friendly.
    • Who else could do this? RIM and Microsoft both have a long history serving business customers, huge customer bases and  and the marketing capabilities to support mobile business applications. The wild card may be HP – currently the largest hardware purveyor in the enterprise and consumer space, and with the new WebOs platform from their purchase of Palm
  • It will be fascinating to watch how this market develops.

You can contact Jim Hogan at jahogan@jahogan.net

Key Words: Mobile, Device, Enterprise, Application, App, Opportunity, Scalable, B2C, Gap, Supply, Demand, Developer, Platform, Go to Market, Licensing, Maintenance Sales, Rhomobile, Mobile Nation HQ, Appcelerator, Microsoft, Yahoo, RIM, HP, Palm

How Do You Reset Pricing When The Game Changes? Five Parameters

Situation: The Company sells customized products and pricing has been per product/per customer. A large client has proposed to purchase product rights across a number of products and uses. The technology is early in its expected 5-year life span. How should the Company set pricing to this customer?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Start with a series of questions:
    • What is the value of your technology to the customer?
    • How much competition do you face?
    • What other solutions are available to the customer?
  • Based on this framework, ask contacts within the customer company open-ended questions that will reveal what is important to them including:
    • Licensing objectives,
    • Planned use of the technology, and
    • Any protections that they seek.
    • You need to understand these before you can make decisions on pricing.
  • There are several pricing scenarios:
    • Set up a scale with a declining pricing driven by volume.
    • A large lump sum payment now, non-transferable if the customer is acquired by another company.
    • A large annual fee to cover a preset number of uses and volumes, with small increments for additional purchases.
    • The final arrangement will depend on the priorities of the customer.
  • Find out what the customer is willing to pay, but you set the terms.
  • Ask what guarantees they desire to protect their position. This includes:
    • The customer’s key risk factors.
    • Whether they want exclusive or usage rights. Exclusive is worth more.

Key Words: Pricing, Custom, Technology, Life-span, Value, Competition, Licensing, Objectives, Protection, Scenario, Scale, Lump-sum, Annual Fee, Guarantee, Exclusive, Usage