If you speak to any IT professional about licensing and more specifically about license periods and renewals they will tell you that a major problem for them is tracking the expiration of the numerous licenses they have now. The variety of vendors and software available is now greater than ever. As a result, the number of licenses that IT professionals have to manage has increased and the risk of licenses expiring is now greater than ever.
This is coupled with an increasingly competitive market for vendors. The increased choice of software has created a marketplace where they are having to constantly strive to offer their customers more flexibility and licensing options for a smaller cost. This is a situation that provides a great opportunity for vendors to offer a special type of license which reduces the pressure on System Administrators to renew software on time.
What we are talking about here are ‘grace period licenses’. The grace period meaning a predetermined amount of time for which a piece of software will continue to function after the license has expired. This allows for the occasions when licenses may unintentionally lapse - something which can be caused by a wide variety of factors and is often not deliberate. By granting users a ‘grace period’ vendors are helping to prevent disruption to normal workflows and as a result, the product becomes a lot more appealing to potential customers.
Let us look at an example of when a grace period license would be helpful to both a user and subsequently a vendor. There is a change in IT management at a company and not all of the licensing information is included in the handover - an easy mistake but one that could have a devastating effect on the ability of the company to function as normal if it were to cause a vital piece of software to stop working.
In this situation, a grace period license could well be exactly what is needed. It would allow enough time for the new manager to identify that the software license needed to be renewed, it would also prevent any interruption to the day to day operations of the company. The provision of a grace period license by the vendor is going to have saved money and time and will have made the life of the manager significantly easier.
How then does this benefit the vendor? If you think about it, the provision of a grace period license will have reflected extremely well on the vendor. It will show that they are flexible and that they are not going to impose harsh penalties when a user fails to renew their license for a short period. This will increase the positive reputation of the vendor and mean that the user is more likely to renew/ purchase from them again.
The exact length of the grace period is something that is determined by each vendor for each product and its corresponding licenses. A longer or more expensive license will likely have a longer grace period. The amount of ‘grace’ you provide is entirely up to you!
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