Competitive Advantages of SmartLM

SmartLM aims at rendering mechanisms for managing and using software licenses in a more fair and flexible way. SmartLM licenses may be used seamlessly in local cluster environments, as well as in local or remote Grid and Cloud environments, and under circumstances that the SOA concept presents.
In the following table the main features and unique selling points of the SmartLM product are shown compared to the current situation:

Current situation vs. SmartLM

Current Situation Innovation of SmartLM
Software licenses allow little flexibility in terms of location independent use. Thus, license protected applications may barely be used in Grid or Cloud environments. With SmartLM, licenses may be used to run applications in Grid and Cloud environments no matter whether during the application run there is network connectivity to access the site that hosts the license server that issued the license.
Licenses are often spread across departments making it difficult to track license usage. SmartLM provides access to and management of all licenses owned by a site.
All license usage policies are embedded in the license of the ISV. SmartLM allows the definition of local policies for license usage addressing the site-specific needs. These policies are evaluated in addition to the embedded policies of the ISVs.
Before starting an application a user has only limited information about the cost incurred most often estimated based on wall-clock time of usage only. With SmartLM an accurate, user-specific price is calculated beforehand based on a large number of configurable parameters, like the time of usage, the features, the history of usage, local policies that define different prices for different users or user groups.
Accounting of license usage more often than not is statically bound to usage times. SmartLM comes with an advanced accounting and billing system that allows to adapt the accounting information after license usage, taking into account the effective usage, e.g. run-time information, hardware capabilities.
License usage control in terms budget for different users or groups is done independently from the process of granting licenses. In SmartLM budget limitations are checked and enforced when a user requests a license.
Illegal usage of licenses can be achieved through hacked license servers or hacked versions of the license supplied by the ISV. SmartLM realises a number of sophisticated, state-of-the-art security mechanisms that render illegal use almost impossible.
License terms are immutable once checked out from the license server. SmartLM offers re-negotiation of license terms at run-time, e.g. giving up a license before the reservation period is over, trying to extend a reservation period, or adding new features.
License servers only support first come first served schema. SmartLM allows advance reservation of licences for later use, e.g. coordinated with the availability of computational resources.
Customer owned licenses managed in his administrative domain usually cannot be used for running applications using an ASP’s computational resources. Through SmartLM an ASP can temporarily host the customer’s licenses allowing the execution of applications using the customer’s own licenses.

Customers’ licences may be combined with ASP owned licenses for running complex jobs, e.g. exceeding the number of processors a single license grants to use, with different applications or application features.
Traditional business models are selling licenses trough a large contract (annual, from 5 to 10 years, forever...) SmartLM introduces a new business model ‘Extension of License’ that enables users to extend their license on demand. Users can use the software and only pay per what they use.
Current business models are fixed by time, penalizing the slow hardware. With SmartLM the user will pay an effective license price, independent of the hardware.

As described in the table above, SmartLM will introduce a number of innovative features compared to existing technology for software licensing. Basically all parties involved can take advantage of using the SmartLM solution: