Dan VanLuchene, Co-founder and Partner at Integrated Engineering Software is in an enviable position. Ten reliable products, twenty years of operation, a rock solid customer base of structural engineers, and a tight, automated system to keep it all humming. It wasn't always this way. His growing business had become painfully hampered by an antiquated licensing system.
In 2012 Dan started the search for a third-party solution for two predominant problems. First, their existing system not allowing network licensing was problematic. Second, they needed to address unauthorized use of their software products. As a whole, their industry was not fraught with theft, but, "We sensed some cheating going on." says Dan. With products ranging in price from $600 to $5000 and as high as $10,000 for a suite, it is important to have security in place. Parallel to Dan's search for a licensing solution, IES was also looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
The company needed something that would be able to support the existing license business logic and software maintenance renewals, essentially taking 20 years of historical data and placing everything under a new umbrella. Additionally, their existing shopping cart was rudimentary. Dan recalls, "It was essentially an online form that required manual validation by someone in our office."
A solution was needed that supported:
Initially, Dan found three potential solutions and quickly ruled out two, leaving the SoftwareKey System as the standout candidate around which he would build a full-scale trial evaluation. He realized that the other two contenders had too many limitations which meant they didn't qualify for that step.
From the trial forward, it was rather smooth sailing. In recalling his approach, Dan said, "This project was really important for us. I expected the implementation process to have a steep learning curve, but it was nice that there were really no surprises along the way." Dan dedicated a portion of each work day to the implementation process spanning a two month period. There were two people from IES who intermittently accessed two senior members of the SoftwareKey architecture and development teams for advice and tips on best practices.
The five-star customer support provided by Team SoftwareKey was deeply appreciated. During some weeks, there were daily calls to tech support. Dan remarked, "I thought they might get sick of us." To the contrary, Dan and his team were met with professional support every time. Once, when Dan felt that they may have hit a wall, he reached out to Concept Software Founder, Mike Wozniak. With satisfaction, Dan recalls, "It was absolutely great to be able to have access to Mike when we needed it. Not only would he tell us what they could do, but they would actually do it!"
Here is a look at the most noteworthy customizations made for IES, within standard SOLO Server functionality:
Dan couldn't be happier with his decision to go with the SoftwareKey System, "This system has been very good for us. I made a few webinars to demonstrate for our customers, how to use the new licensing system. Eleven months into using the system, everyone is satisfied that all our target needs are met. Our internal staff quickly acclimated to the new software, and customers are liking the interface." He further stated how important that is, "Whatever happens on the SOLO side is a reflection of us." Their customers particularly like the self-service feature which allows them to seamlessly transfer their software licenses from one computer to another. Thanks to the numerous SOLO Server features that manage customer records, IES has not yet needed to invest in a separate CRM system. Further, the real-time reporting features within SOLO Server allow them to quickly gather actionable data to make relevant decisions for operation and marketing strategies.
The primary reason Dan recommends The SoftwareKey System is due to the enormous latitude it offers for customization. With deep confidence and emphasis, he encourages others towards this solution because, "IT IS VERY ROBUST." He considers his relationship with Team SoftwareKey a high value asset for his company.
Deborah Jackson contributes in a variety of areas on the business operations end of things bolstering our continual improvement. When it comes to marketing activities, she considers the process of creating Success Stories to be a unique pleasure. Conducting customer interviews means spending quality time with a diverse cross section of SoftwareKey.com customers.These special customers are willing to share their personal business challenges in an effort to help others navigate software licensing territory. It’s typical to find her in passionate conversation exploring what’s next for humanity, in conjunction with discovering the power within the territory of consciousness itself. She insists this is great fun!