Basics of Software Licensing
Software manufacturers offer different license models.
Software licensing is usually per single user (named user, client, node) or
per user in the appropriate volume discount level, while some manufacturers
accumulate existing licenses. These open volume license programs are
typically called Open License Program (OLP), Transactional License
Program (TLP), Volume License Program (VLP) etc. and are contrary
to the Contractual License Program (CLP), where the customer commits
to purchase a certain amount of licenses over a fixed period (mostly
Licensing per concurrent/floating user is also possible. Here all users in a network have access to the program, but only a specific number at the same time.
Another license model is licensing per dongle which allows the owner of the dongle to use the program on any computer.
Licensing per server, CPU or points, regardless the number of users, is common practice as well as Site or Company Licenses.
Sometimes you can choose between perpetual (permanent) and annual license. For perpetual licenses one year of maintenance is often required, but maintenance renewals are discounted. For annual licenses, there is basically no renewal, a new license must be purchased after expiration. But here too, depending on the manufacturer, discounts are offered on the subscription renewal. If the annual license is renewed before expiry, a higher discount is in some cases even possible than after the expiration date.
Software licensing can be per Host/Client (or Guest), Mailbox, IP-Address, Domain etc., depending on how the program is used.
Additional users are i.a. licensed per Extension Pack (e.g. up to 99 user), which includes the Base Pack (e.g. 5 user).
Some programs are modular, so you have to buy a base product before you can use other modules.
Software licensing also includes maintenance. This, usually with a term of one year, is either included or optional,
but must be often bought with the software. The maintenance agreement (contract) contains Minor Updates (V.1.1 => 1.2),
sometimes Major Updates (V.1.2 => 2.0) and is called e.g. Update Insurance, Upgrade Assurance.
For a Major Update the customer has to buy an Upgrade, if not included in the maintenance.
For a maintenance renewal some manufacturers charge a Reinstatement (Reinstallment) Fee retroactively per month, in case the current maintenance has expired.
Maintenance normally doesn't include technical support. Here you differentiate between e-mail and tel. support, also availability (e.g. 5x8, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day) and reaction time (e.g. three hours) can play a role. This is likely named Gold, Silver and Bronze Support. Support is also licensed per incident as Incident Pack (e.g. five support incidents per year).
Many manufacturers offer special conditions for schools and government agencies (EDU/GOV License). Migration from another product (Crossgrade), even from a different manufacturer (Competitive Upgrade) is gladly offered.
Basically, inquiries on volume licenses should always be addressed to the manufacturer. The contact can also be made
through a reseller like Software Researches. Manufacturers are always responsive, but may refer to a reseller. The
channel partner will find a solution with the manufacturer for any request or any problem.
In the case of existing licenses the contact to the manufacturer must of course be maintained, which can also be done by a reseller, but the customer as licensee (end user) should not ignore e-mails from the manufacturer, as they could contain important information about license key, download instructions, login details, new releases/ versions etc.