Archive for the ‘Licensing’ Category

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Monday, April 28th, 2008

There’s a strong movement towards Software as a Service (SaaS) now as being more cost-efficient than traditional software licensing. In SaaS, the software provider develops, hosts and operates a web application over the Internet (A third-party provider may host and operate the application.). Customers use, but do not own, the application. It is a subscription model that may generate recurring revenues for the provider.

Here are some resources to learn more about software licensing and SaaS:

* Jim Geisman is a software pricing expert with MarketShare, Inc. He’s written Guide to Software Licensing Models, which reviews more than 30 types of models.

* The Software & Information Industry Association has produced a new whitepaper, Channels For the New SaaS Industry, which discusses differences between traditional IT channels and SaaS channels.

* Eric Esperne of James River Consulting wrote an article for Mass High Tech that discusses the pros and cons of SaaS compared with traditional licensing, Is SaaS Really Better Than Software Licensing? He offers a more detailed white paper, Is SaaS Really Better For Business Than Software Licensing?

* An article from McKinsey, Delivering Software as a Service, includes a discussion of the economics and total cost of ownership of SaaS.

Securities Offerings on the Internet

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

In the 1990s, my colleague, Lou Turilli,* and I wrote an article for The National Law Journal about how the Internet might shape securities offerings. I followed that up with an article for Wall Street Lawyer, Securities Offerings Online By Small, Nonpublic Businesses. It specifically focused on whether small companies could viably offer and sell securities on their own via the Internet. I concluded that, “Clearly, selling securities online is a viable concept. Yet until fundamental issues such as the problem of gaining visibility, the lack of secondary markets, the arbitrary pricing and the disinterest of established investment bankers each are addressed, the opportunity for small businesses to raise capital in cyberspace will hold great promise as an idea, but be of limited practicality in the real world.”

I don’t think that my conclusion has changed. Distribution and pricing remain key obstacles for companies that want to promote their own online offerings. Marketing the securities is still a serious issue, and there are credibility concerns for the companies as well. Thus, serious companies will continue to pursue the traditional route.

* Lou and I practiced law together at Day, Berry & Howard. She recently was Vice President and General Counsel of Ryerson.