Product Bundles

Overview

Software companies often struggle with how to efficiently align, market and deliver their product offerings with customer requirements and demands. For simple or standalone applications this has not been an issue because the purchase model has been typically a 1:1 relationship relative to licensing requirements. But as your product offerings mature and expand, a 1:1 product/license relationship does not make sense.

Companies need to take existing products and easily combine/bundle them in new ways to provide attractive purchase options for their customers. Fundamentally this is useful if your company sells 'suites' of software, but have many different combinations of packages that customers could purchase (e.g. Home, Professional, Enterprise editions of your offerings). Nitro-LM's Product Bundling capabilities make this process manageable.

What are Product Bundles?

A License Bundle is a special type of Nitro-LM Product License. License Bundles allow you to define a group of Products together for delivery to a Client/End-User. You can also define Bundles that include other previously defined Bundles (e.g. sub-Bundles) and even a combination of Products and sub-Bundles into a Package that can be licensed all at once.

When your software requests a Bundle license from the Server, a license for each Product contained in the Bundle is delivered to the client along with the Bundle License.

A Common Example: Assume you are Microsoft, and each of your individual products/module development groups create applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. From a marketing perspective, your goal is to maximize the profit on the sale of either your individual products or an optimized market that would be more attracted to a pre-defined bundle of products (e.g. a student may need to purchase products individually, a home user may need a bundle of 2 products, and a small business user may need 3 or 4 products bundled together). As an added twist to this example, you may want to offer some products as a per-license purchase, others as floating licenses, rentals or Software as a Service (SaaS). Nitro-LM Product Bundles can address all of these situations (see Support for Mixed Mode Revenue Models).

Below is an example of how this could look by including individual products within separate Product Bundles:

Product Home Professional Enterprise
Word
Excel
Outlook
PowerPoint  
Access    
Visio    

For each of these Bundles, if you create a new product that you want to include in existing product offerings, you simply add the new product to the Bundle(s) as you require. The nice thing is that when you edit a bundle content (add or remove products) the changes are automatically made to customer/end-user's licensing, there is nothing to re-code or re-issue to your customers to support product bundle content adjustments, the customer/end-users routine license activities will automatically process your bundle changes made in Nitro-LM.

sub-Bundling Example

There are situations where you may want to reconfigure your support and product offerings for already bundled software. One way to address this is by using sub-Bundles. Sub-Bundles are simply a previously defined bundle that is included as a dependent Bundle within a Bundle you are defining in Nitro-LM. This is useful for any situation where you have a core set of delivered products that may require adjustment in the future (e.g. add a new product to your core distribution) that is anticipated to affect EVERY customer purchase. This approach is especially useful for companies that are delivering subscription based software and want to reconfigure bundle/suite content annually (to add, remove, or move product associations based on a subscription level to optimize the commercial offerings).

Below is the previous example using sub-Bundles as a control mechanism. The key difference is that you can easily make adjustments to a sub-Bundle's product content and the adjustment will automatically be updated to any other Product Bundle that references the changed sub-Bundle. The table below shows how this inheritance works.

Product Bundle Home Professional Enterprise
Word  
Excel  
Outlook  
  Home  
PowerPoint    
  Professional    
Access      
Visio      

Support for Mixed Mode Revenue Model(s)

For situations where you are offering standard product purchases, but also offer the same products as rentals, subscriptions or in some cases as FREE licenses, Bundling is a powerful tool for helping your company offer customers multiple Bundle delivery options for purchase/usage without developing/releasing special coded versions of the same software.

If you were to code your application to request a 'list' of available Products/Bundles for a specific customer as part of your licensing process, you could avoid directly integrating and updating Bundle codes in your distributed application. This way you could deliver product codes for only the products you want delivered as defined/controlled by the Nitro-LM service and not what is coded in your application.

This is a pretty radical approach to software delivery, but it would enable you to preserve important produce specific capabilities like variable logging and usage tracking without generating separate trying to deliver and manage separate product codes for essentially the same application. Instead, by defining the same Product in different Product Bundles, you could establish different purchase/usage terms for individual products without affecting the core Product's licensing. So this might look like the following:

Bundle FREE Pay-Per-Use Rental Purchase/Upgrade Purchase/Maint Software as a Service
Home    
Professional      
Enterprise        

In the above example, each software bundle could be included as a sub-Bundle within a Software Bundle that is aligned to a revenue model. So the terms of use could be easily adjusted for the Product Bundle based on an Anticipated Payment type for the use of the Products within its sub-Bundle. Since this is managed on the Nitro-LM servers instead of directly in your application code, the result is an elegant binding of product licensing requirements with multiple modes of revenue generation.

Bundle Definition

When you click on My Software, two menus should appear. One is the standard software menu where you first define each product. The second is the bundles menu where you can group products and other sub-bundles. Click on the  button to define a new bundle.

In order to package products or sub-bundles into the bundle being defined, simply drag and drop products or other bundles to the Assigned Content area. To remove a product or bundle, simply drag it to the trash. Note that you can only move a top-level tree item to the trash. You cannot remove a single product from an assigned sub-bundle on this screen. You would have to define a new sub-bundle that didn't contain that product and assign it on this screen instead.

Using Bundles

In your software application, you request a bundle license in the same manner as any other product license. The only difference is that you will have multiple licenses delivered to the client with the request.

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