If you ever worked with the big named software, then most likely you dealt with license keys, dongles, or activations. Software companies invest a lot of effort and money to ensure that you do not use their software without paying for it. When problems arise with their license enforcing system, it can cause a lot of down time and wasted time for the end user. When this happens, you have to ask yourself… what is the software company’s top priority, them getting your money or helping you solve your problem?
I recently worked with a Wonderware system that was handed to me to help support. Through a series of events one of the license activations stopped working and the software came to a screeching halt. This resulted in 2 days of system down time and 12 man hours to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Put an estimated cost to this and it would easily exceed $2000. This would be one of the unforeseen costs of using software with strict license enforcement.
When considering software to be used for your next system, don’t forget to account for the hidden cost of time required to deal with their license enforcement scheme. Also ask yourself the question…. Is this software company putting priority on my interests or their profits?