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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
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Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Per pc or per seat or user license?

I sell our product with per pc license and one of my customers is asking for per seat license (per user license).

What is standard practice for selling a license? Per pc or per seat or user?

This is important to sell in companies where more than one person uses one machine.
Anno for this Send private email
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I think per user is more common for most types of software.  A common allowance is letting the user install an app on both their workstation and laptop, for example.
Posted by me
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A per-simultaneous-user licence is the same as a per-PC licence.

So does the client want a have 5 employees use it on any 5 out of 10 PCs but only pay for 5 licences?

What kind of copy protection do you have? Floating, or tied to the machine?

Also, what kind of software is it? Something that can process data by itself unattended? Or something that is only useful when a user is actually in front of the keyboard?
Questions, questions...
Thursday, October 12, 2006
From the definitions I've heard there are actually three license methods being discussed here:

per seat/per pc: each computer on which the software will be installed must have a separate license.

per user: each user of the software must have a separate license.

Per simultaneous/concurrent user: you are allowed X logons of the software at a time regardless of how many computers on which the software is installed.

Our company uses the third scheme and our users seem to prefer it.

In my biased opinion selling per-seat or per-user licenses is just being greedy.  We have lots of users whose use of our software never overlaps, i.e.: service manager uses the software from 6-3, and a clerk runs reports from 3-5.    Why should our client have to buy two licenses for that?  Or there are several occasional users who use the software for half an hour a day, or half an hour a couple of times a week but are always willing to wait half an hour to log on.  When enough users start occasionally using the software that it becomes a problem the company bumps their license count by a couple.  Again: why shouldn't these users be able to timeshare their use of our software?

Using the concurrent user license always makes us look good when compared to our competition that sells per seat, even if the two packages end up costing the same.
Karl Perry Send private email
Thursday, October 12, 2006
"Common practice" is whatever the heck you want it to be.  Pick something which makes sense for your market and which is intuitive for how they perceive value from the software, and within those constraints maximizes your profits (nothing greedy about that).

Example: I sell to teachers/parents.  I figure there are two major landmines in licensing: there might be several teachers, perhaps working as a team, using one classroom computer, and/or one teacher who wants to let students take turns on her computer using my software.  They will balk at paying for more than one license.  Solution: this case costs one license.

Case #2: A teacher wants to run the software at school for printing and at home for lesson planning.  She will balk at paying for more than one license.  Solution: this case costs one license.

The quick way I chose to explain this to my customers: You may, at your option, pay for one license for each computer you install the software on (regardless of how many users use it), or one license for each person who uses the software (regardless of how many computers they use it on).  For example, ...

I have only had one user who had problems with the license policy, and his was resolvable with a single one-sentence email (he was unsure of whether he could use the software at home and at work).
Patrick McKenzie Send private email
Friday, October 13, 2006

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