Today, businesses in the brand licensing industry actively embrace modern technologies and tools available on the software market. Nevertheless, many of them have had negative experiences with implementation of professional brand licensing software. Without a clear understanding of the ultimate benefits of adopting such software, licensors deem it an overly complicated, time-consuming, and costly mission. The entire journey of software implementation is often perceived as a burden to licensing teams rather than an opportunity to foster progress. The truth is, implementation failures can be avoided. In this article, we’ll look into the three most sophisticated myths of brand licensing software implementation and refute them.
Myth №1: Implementing a Brand Licensing Solution Internally (Let Alone Externally) Is Mission Impossible
So, your company has decided to integrate brand licensing software solution in your business. What now, you may wonder?
First, you need to ensure that everyone in your team, both core (internal staff) and extended (external or partner crew), is willing to commit to using it.
In reality, the above is much easier said than done. Usually, the first stumbling-stone is licensing software implementation, which requires great dedication and support from licensing management. However, all these efforts invested in team training may slow down the team’s overall performance. For this reason, licensing managers can find themselves regretting their decision at this stage, while what they should focus on is communicating the end benefits of the transition across the teams. And, contrary to popular belief, these benefits are pretty easy to comprehend.
For internal users, the biggest value of brand licensing software is in the operational blueprint that it provides. The growth of licensing operations makes it difficult for teams to handle the manual workload, such as emails, invoicing, and relevant documentation. Hence, an automation solution becomes a necessity with time.
As for external licensing partnerships, licensing automation solves specific concerns on that side, too. As an organisation’s licensing workflows expand, it may require partners to get accustomed to an entirely new practice of using a unified software solution to manage all licensing activities and shared files ‘under one roof. That’s, again, how brand licensing software contributes to the game.
While the benefits are pretty clear, the hardest part remains to justify the licensing software implementation itself for the whole board of involved licensing stakeholders. Preparing a strong implementation strategy can help licensors explain this need and the fruits that this software will help yield. Ideally, this strategy should be underpinned by a vision for how software is to be integrated into the company business and further become a part of the stakeholders’ day-to-day routine.
Implementing software is a big decision for licensing teams, primarily because it can’t be easily reversed. Therefore, it’s important to know an exact goal for the desired implementation outcome.
Myth №2: Data Migration Makes Everything Even More Complicated
We must admit it: migration of data is a challenging procedure, especially when transitioning from one software solution to another. To make things even worse, barely ever can this procedure be neglected. Similarly, it can’t be implemented without serious team efforts and understanding of the ‘business’ implication behind the procedure. Like this, even if the number of your licensing agreements is small, the amount of legacy data kept in internal databases is business-critical.
With rare exceptions, data migration procedure is a pain in the neck for licensing teams. The level of difficulty can soar if the data hasn’t been properly organised in the first place.
However, team’s experience and timely preparation may significantly relieve the ‘heaviness’ of the procedure. Also, your staff must understand the data they are handling and the negative impact this data may cause (if it contains mistakes and errors).
Depending on software product being implemented, the specifics of migration can vary, thus affecting the content of the overall data migration plan. Certain clauses may nonetheless be common in the majority of cases. These are:
- Scope of migration
- Data types and priority
- Quality standards (quality expectations/requirements)
- Risk management strategy (+ backup policy)
Also, the following tips can simplify your struggle of migrating the data:
- Have all the important data in clean formats (preferably Excel), or make sure that you can export the data from existing system to a table format
- Double-check if formats are the same across data sets
- Introduce a cohesive factor that ties the data together wherever you have previously divided it into different sheets – like IDs or names.
Finally, maintaining a close connection to software vendor’s team is highly important. The more collaboration there is between the parties on the data migration stage, the smoother it will go and the faster it will be completed.
Myth №3: Inability To Estimate ROI Early On Undermines Software Effectiveness
The ROI part of software integration causes licensing businesses certain concerns. Difficulties in ROI estimation for licensing businesses tend to be caused by the lack of so-called “bigger picture”. All promises that brand licensing software gives – including faster speed to market, improved communication, less manual work and overall increased control of business – are practically impossible to measure, at least until the change management is complete.
Nevertheless, setting the right metrics is an essential first step in licensing software implementation projects, where the ultimate success directly depends on how well it is defined. Misinterpreting, or not knowing, the metrics for improvement evaluation is often caused by the failure to define a long-term vision for brand licensing software use. For instance, licensing business may acknowledge the need for software in a particular team, such as creative or brand assurance team, but not the others. This creates a lack of clarity between teams regarding how brand licensing software can improve their communication.
As it often happens in such situations, many strategic questions remain unanswered within teams. These questions can concern, for example, goals for software use, specific implementation timeline, or even goals for particular licensing programs.
Seeing this ‘bigger’ strategic picture allows you and your partners to determine the right KPIs for the licensing software implementation project. That relieves many pains points for both teams and clarifies the right steps for ROI evaluation, facilitating an efficient outcome.
Finally, knowing your specific software needs, you can figure out the key requirements for your brand licensing software provider. And once one is in place, you are empowered to focus on strategic tasks, such as consolidating partner relationships and expanding your licensing programs.
All In All…
From the above, you might have grasped that brand licensing CRM software substitute the traditional ways of operating business activities and maximize the efficiency of modern businesses. Even for smaller licensing businesses, understanding and utilizing software for licensing might become an eye-opening business experience. In the end, brand licensing software is a vehicle that turns and pushes your brand licensing programs in the desired direction. And with consideration to the diverse benefits of using licensing software (and, hopefully, the tips mentioned in this article), its implementation should not seem like a challenge anymore.
Have you had similar doubts concerning licensing software implementation? How have you overcome the hardships of this procedure? Drop us an email or leave a comment below!