Post Use Billing – an alternative to Subscription or Permanent License Grants
There are situations where it is impossible to anticipate the level of usage of a software package before it is actually used. In cases like this, a fixed number of permanent licenses or subscriptions may not satisfy your customer’s needs. Many ISVs and their customers prefer a licensing option which allows the software to be used in excess of some predetermined limit, and then invoiced after-the-fact for the actual usage which exceeds this limit. This type of license model has been referred to as Pay-Per-Use, or Metered or Post Use Billing.
Of course, your life is full of real-world examples of post use billing: your water bill, your electric bill, etc. Why not adopt this common model to software as well?
RLM supports most flavors of this license model with a combination of metered licenses and an authenticated usage report log.
RLM supports metered, or pay-per-use licenses, with the METER keyword in the license line. When you create a METERed license, the license server maintains a number of meters each with an individual count. When your application runs, the license server decrements the meter after each successful license checkout, and (optionally) periodically while the application continues running. To utilize this effectively, the license server needs to be under your control, ie. not installed on your customer’s network. RLMCloud is perfect for this, since you control the servers and hence the meters.
Alternately, you can issue more floating licenses than your customer has purchased, then use the report log to determine usage in excess of the purchased licenses. At the end of the month, for example, you would invoice your customer for the excess usage. This is possible because RLM’s usage report logs are authenticated so that you can verify that they haven’t been modified. Even better, if the license servers are under your control in RLMCloud, you have continuous access to the report logs.
By using a Post Use Billing license model in addition to your normal permanent or subscription licenses, you can help your customers utilize your software more effectively as well as increase your revenues.