We were using another provider for software keys but each activation took about 10 minutes of busy-work to complete, with emails, paper trail and hardware key generation. That was just too much time, so we decided to automate the process as much as possible. Does this story sound familiar? Read on and find out how the SoftwareKey System™ helped Trakware improve efficiencies and expand their product offering.
Advice from an Entrepreneur
Gregg LaPore is CEO and Founder of Trakware, the company behind Earthworks. Gregg has a long history in the construction software industry; in 1992 he struck out on his own and hasn't looked back since. He has evolved his work focus from predominantly software development to predominately marketing management. His company even won a Marketer of the Year Award from Infusionsoft, an email marketing leader. Trakware1.com is home base for their online presence which works in tandem with marketing campaigns and the sales representatives who personally connect with customers.
In order to bid on excavation and construction jobs, companies need to know how much dirt needs to be moved from the building sites. The construction industry has experienced a collapse and this tough business climate means these companies have to bid on three times as many jobs as they used to in order to win one. Earthworks Excavation Software gives them a handle on those quantities in record time. Trakware has a lot of competition therefore it is important that they focus their efforts. They target the large pool of small or mid-sized excavation and construction companies who happen to be strapped for cash now more than ever. Trakware aims to level the playing field for these smaller operators who regularly compete with their larger, resource rich competitors.
Gregg wrote to Concept Software about the SoftwareKey System stating, "I can say a lot of good things about your system, support, ease-of-use, cost, quality of code, etc." When we asked Gregg what advice he would give to others, he was eager to share the following. "If you have a server based program, you can easily sell it as software as a service; people pay for access on a monthly basis. When many new users are downloading the software, it's difficult to manually authorize each new installation or renewal without consuming resources (people's time) or do it in a timely manner. SOLO gives people the opportunity to buy the product or use it as software as a service and have it authorized immediately and automatically. SoftwareKey API or SOLO gives people the choice. If anyone is using a hardware key, it's easy to incorporate the SoftwareKey System and easy to make it a monthly payment plan. It's really easy to implement. It's as easy as falling off a log. It is easy, easy, easy to incorporate the SoftwareKey System and to add the payment plan option to our software took me just three days." The marketer in him continued, "The time to take action is now. The cost of entry to use SoftwareKey is incredibly low. You can allow people to make impulse purchases and trials within a week or month from signing up for them. Come on in the water is fine."
When Hardware Keys Just Won't Do
To get Earthworks in the hands of more customers, the idea of offering subscriptions and leasing options made a lot of sense. It was not feasible to bring that idea to fruition while using the existing hardware key system Trakware was accustomed to.
The use of hardware keys is quite common, especially for high value software, but the reality of hand generating keys upon subscription renewals and dealing with the inevitable litany of ways that keys get broken, lost, or eaten by a dog can make them too cumbersome and draining on staff resources. They wanted to be able to have their software accessible 24/7/365 without having to continually monitor and generate keys on an ongoing basis. Hardware keys have their place, but Trakware found the SoftwareKey System to be the best way to protect and activate software for customers who opt for subscription or leasing.
The SOLO Server / Protection PLUS combo with the subscription features relieves Trakware of tedious work allowing them to focus on customer care and developing new software. Gregg says, "Providence puts things in your path, even in business." When he found the SoftwareKey System he was relatively quick to realize it was the way to go. "The more I read through the documentation the more impressed I was. Not only does it do what I want, it does a lot more. I thought...there are possibilities here that I've never seen anyone else do. Really fully featured; high quality stuff. I'm very impressed with the whole system and I'm still trying to find where the limits are."
Trakware uses Instant SOLO Server, a managed service by Concept Software. Gregg likes the ease of "letting other people deal with that technical stuff. The last thing I want is to come into work and say, 'Oh the server is down.' The amount that is charged is minimal. It's a great buy in that way."