With the world of business going digital, there has been a marked increase in Software licensing agreements between businesses, and between businesses and their consumers. Licensing arrangements and their associated management and workflows are becoming progressively more difficult to manually oversee. Especially for businesses with a keen eye for productivity.
To reduce pain points in the process and to improve efficiency, many businesses are turning to automation as a solution. In this article we explain in more depth about software license agreements, the negatives of manual management and the benefits of implementing automation into your business, as well as how to automate an agreement by using best practices.
What is a Software Licence Agreement?
A soft licence agreement is a contract between a licensor and a licensee that allows the licensee a right to use software they don’t own, whilst protecting intellectual and legal property rights on behalf of the licensor. This arrangement also allows the legal owner of the software to control how the software is used.
Why is Manually Managing Software Licence Agreements a problem?
Issues tend to arise when manually managing agreements during the initial sales, procurement, and negotiation phase. Depending on the business, agreements may involve several teams and although predominately managed by the legal team, negotiation or sales teams may be the ones making changes or edits to any agreements after speaking to customers, resulting in loss of productivity as work can often be done twice over, friction between the teams and lack of version control with no audit or data trail.
Manually managing any type of contracts can be challenging for businesses, but the larger the organization, the more difficult this becomes. Manual workflows can quickly lose control of agreements and data, especially if the workload is spread between different teams. This has a direct effect on productivity and the lack of data integrity can affect revenue and sales forecasting.
How to Automate a Software License Agreement
The best way to automate your contract management system, is by implementing a dedicated automated solution, such as the Intellectual Property Management software package available from Symfact. Automated solutions are aligned to modern business processes and work seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure. This enables you to effectively control and adapt contract software to any current framework you have in place, especially if your business is already managing complex software license agreements.
Automation can make a real difference to your business, all the pain points that the manual process and workflows create when dealing with software licences agreements are negated, giving you greater control of how your software is used, allowing your business to maximise revenue and returns and concentrate on improving the current software or furthering new projects.
When implementing automated management into your business, there needs to be a set of best practices you adhere to, in order to get the maximum value out of the new system and software.
- Contract Templates
Having your legal team create a contract template using a standardized library of legal terms that can be regularly updated and configured to specific requirements can accelerate the negotiation process and improve productivity. This also has the benefit of improving version control, reducing risk, and helping with regulatory compliance by providing a sole source of truth.
- Centralise your Storage
Most automated software providers will provide a centralised storage solution. By taking advantage of this, you can bring all your business’s management processes and agreements into one centralised solution, reducing your company’s exposure to any adverse influences and helps with intellectual property protection.
- Lay out Responsibilities
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are key to any workflow. Not only does this reduce any issues and friction between the teams involved in creating, negotiating, and managing software license agreements, but it ensures everyone in the business has clear and detailed knowledge of their role in their process and an understanding of expectations.
- Ensure there is an Approval Workflow
Although businesses will be familiar with approvals, having an automated approval workflow can increase efficiency and transparency. All approvals are tracked and audited, reducing errors, and by setting actions, your legal teams may only need to approve at certain points whilst still retaining visibility over the process.
The Benefits of Automating the Process
There are numerous benefits to automating your software license agreements, we have outlined the most important below.
Having a central repository for all your contracts, documents and associated data can streamline your processes, help with version control, makes your contracts easily accessible for managers and can provide a base and stability from which to grow your business. Version control is a key practice and can help valuable information being lost, spread across numerous versions or teams working from outdated version.
If you choose to implement automated software from Symfact with the option of keeping all the information about your business in one place, you can maintain, manage, and control organizational structures without complications using automated workflows. Any elements or processes can then be visualized through interactive dashboards. This gives your business-controlled transparency and a better ability to manage a larger number of agreements at any given time.
Prolific metadata ensures information can be identified quickly and easily with advanced search and tagging features and fields, reducing error and loss.
Symfact’s automated software has configurable event triggers and alerts and automated dashboards, allowing for proactive management of your agreements, a controlled transparency, a regular overview and control over end dates and assessments as well as being able to manage a combination of assets such as software, designs, data, and trademarks.
An important part of automating software licence management is keeping on top of all the latest laws and regulations, with automated software you can store them in the system and give company-wide access, ensuring compliance throughout the organisation.
Thanks to cross-platform XML architecture, the software from Symfact can integrate with a range of different systems and software. Existing tools that are already being successfully used within the company can also be retained and implemented into the new automated software. With Symfact there is also a drag and drop interface, meaning agreements can be moved from your PC straight into your automated software with the least amount of hassle and time.
Symfact’s unique solution has been designed with flexibility in mind and can configured it to match your exact business processes, so if you are interested in automating your software license agreements and the workflows involved in managing them, then please contact us today.