By Joshua Cliff, Director, Product Operations, Cloud/XaaS, NWN Carousel

There are a lot of reasons that, by 2020, more than 80 percent of software vendors will change their business models from traditional license and maintenance to subscription, according to Gartner. For ISVs, usage-based subscription models provide flexible options for software monetization, such as pay-as-you-go and concurrent licenses, support a more agile deployment cycle and deliver faster time to value while ensuring uniformity of software versions across all users. Additionally, subscription-based pricing gives customers the flexibility to scale up and down according to their actual usage with minimal upfront risk and cost.

As the world moves toward consumption-based models for all IT products and services, channel and IT leaders are facing questions about how these differences affect their businesses. A slightly complex, two-part question I get often is, “How are we supposed to manage an ever-growing portfolio of subscriptions, and what does ‘managing’ subscriptions mean anyway?”

To begin, let’s consider part one, about managing an ever-growing portfolio of subscriptions. For your customers, this brings up the “multiples” challenge:

  • Multiple technology vendors (some sold direct, some through partners)
  • Multiple endpoints (portals) for service (changes, trouble tickets)
  • Multiple sets of entitlements to manage
  • Multiple bills to review and pay
  • Multiple contracts to process and renew

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