- Securely distribute software
- Track software-use lifecycle
- Simple installation
- Track usage for propensity to buy
- Increase revenue
- Integrated e-commerce platform
- Secure transaction processing
- Flexible, web-based reporting
- New revenue streams
- Create competitive advantage
Extending business models via rental and flexible deployment
Cetrus offers software developers the only integrated download-to-purchase license management solution on the market. Software developers can also use the platform to provide unparalleled deployment flexibility, from free-trials to rental for individuals and enterprises, to subscription or session-based pricing for internet-connected and disconnected devices – all managed from the same web-based dashboard.
A Deeper Dive
Cetrus Application Meter (AM) is a software agent installed in the software publisher’s downloadable application to track user sessions. AM securely tracks a session’s start, stop and application idle time for both network-connected workstations and disconnected laptops, and then reports this information to the Cetrus Platform.
The ability to monitor downloaded software allows developers to track user activity to determine propensity to buy to help establish qualified leads. Developers can also use Cetrus to extend their existing perpetual license pricing models to include hourly or daily software rental or software subscription.
AM “locks down” the downloaded software to ensure that if a user copies the application, all copies will report usage – immediately identifying compliance or misuse issues. Developers can terminate specific AM agents, thereby terminating software use, as well.
Authorized users can install the developer’s application on multiple machines, providing location usage flexibility without impacting license compliance. Software developers can license multiple concurrent sessions to enforce product-use rights. In addition, AM reporting can identify to the software developer that excess demand exists.
AM also tracks off-line usage to prevent license piracy and misuse, and also to enable offline rental usage. Solution providers can configure idle time (time since last user-activity in the application window) to stop metering after a set time for accurate rental.
Lastly, AM does not conflict with existing license key management solutions, and can enhance these by further restricting usage to specific markets or geographic regions, as well as providing more granular usage information.
Cetrus Revenue Manager (RM) is an e-commerce platform which extends AM to enable secure credit card payment processing for software rental, subscription, or purchase. The Manager enforces automatic credit card pre- and recharge levels to ensure solution providers receive payment for all usage. RM includes extensive reporting capabilities to assist with usage tracking within end-user organizations.
AM and Revenue Manager’s launch windows are embedded in the software developer’s application. During application installation, the user is prompted to enter credit card information in the Manager’s launch screen. The user’s credit card is charged an initial
amount to create an active account. Once the credit card has been billed, the application launches.
For rental charges, AM tracks actual application usage (usage minus idle) time in minute-increments, multiplies usage by the per hour application rental rate, and passes the information to Revenue Manager. Revenue Manager then debits the use charges from the pre-paid credit card balance. When the credit card balance reaches a preset level, the credit card is re-charged ensuring pre-payment for continued use. Developers can set initial pre-pay amount, hourly rate, and re-charge level — allowing for easy pricing for different products.
Software developers can enable project-based Service Providers (such as engineering, consulting, or legal firms, and independent contractors) to generate incremental revenue by allowing their customers to charge for using the developer’s application as a billable asset. Expense-2-Project tracks, and aggregates hourly usage and automatically generates reports and spreadsheets. This software rental data can then populate project accounting or billing software.
Project managers and administrators input project-identifying data such as: project name, number, phase, office location, etc. into customizable data fields. When the user launches the application, E2P authenticates the user, and pulls down project description information from the user’s account. When the user validates the account to be billed, the application launches.
User organizations create their own definition of application-idle by setting a timeout clock which tracks when the last activity occurred in the active application window. Application Meter stores both the aggregated application “busy” time as well as idle time for reporting. E2P only uses “busy” time for billing. In addition, the user organization sets its own hourly use-rate for each application billed through E2P, so while the developer may charge one price for rental, the user can charge a different rate for billing. E2P consolidates project appropriate usage information from one or multiple users.
Reports and spreadsheets can be manually generated or scheduled. Usage information is stored in the Cetrus Platform and is accessible via any web-enabled device. E2P includes standard reporting templates and lets users download data for further analysis.