MSDN: Tell us about your company and the solution you have created for Windows Azure.
O’Connor: InishTech is a little bit unusual. Our Software Licensing and Protection Services (SLPS) platform is a classic multi-tenant Windows Azure application, utilizing the Windows Azure SDK, Windows Azure Dev Fabric and Visual Studio 2008. It has over 100 tenants and serves hundreds of thousands of end users. But it’s what SLPS actually does that makes us different – our customers are actually software companies building for Windows Azure. We help ISVs to make money from the cloud, and SLPS is how we do it.
SLPS can be used by anyone developing in .NET, but it’s particularly appropriate for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In a nutshell, SLPS is an easy-to-use, easy-to-integrate service that enables you to manage and control the licensing, packaging and activation needs of your software in the marketplace. This video explains why flexible licensing and packaging is so important for SaaS.
MSDN:What relevance does your solution have for the cloud?
O’Connor: Most ISVs must reinvent their business for the cloud; what we do is help work out the business end of the transition – answer critical monetization questions such as: “How can I offer managed trials for SaaS? “How do I link consumption, entitlements and limitations in my software?” and “How do I offer distinct service packages?”
MSDN: What are the key benefits of your solution for Windows Azure?
O’Connor: SLPS provides a valuable and important bolt-on service for your Windows Azure application that adds real value in three ways:
- Tenant Entitlement Management: The ability to create & manage tenant entitlements to your application based on any conceivable business model gives you the versatility to meet customer demand & the intelligence to monetize it.
- Software Packaging Agility: The ability to configure & package your application independent of the development team dramatically reduces cost and drives choice and differentiation. In this context, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- License Analytics: The ability to learn how products are being used and consumed via tight feedback loop is hugely beneficial for both a business and technical audience.
MSDN: So how does SLPS work?
O’Connor: During pre-release, your development team and product management team sit down and agree on the parameters for setting up the service for your applications in terms of products, features, SKU’s, etc. The developers then create the hooks within the application while the product managers configure the SLP Online account. Once you launch your application, it can be as automated as you like, particularly for a SaaS application where you want quick pain free provisioning.
MSDN: Is it available today?
O’Connor: Yes it is, and we’re offering a 20% discount to customers building applications for Windows Azure. Click here to visit our website to learn more.