May 10, 2018

3 Major Myths Of Brand Licensing Software Implementation Debunked

Today, businesses in the brand licensing industry actively embrace modern technologies and tools available in the software market. Nevertheless, many of them have had negative experiences with the implementation of 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, you can always avoid the implementation failures. In this article, we’ll look into the three most sophisticated myths related to implementing licensing software and refute them.

Myth №1: Implementing Brand Licensing Software Internally (Let Alone Externally) Is Mission Impossible

So, your company has decided to integrate the brand licensing software solution in your business. Now what?

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 the change.

Usually, the first stumbling-stone is initiating the software implementation process, which requires dedication and support from the management. The efforts invested in training the team may slow down the overall performance. Often, licensing managers end up regretting they have implemented the software, while they should have focused on communicating the benefits of the transition to their teams.

For internal users, the key value of using brand licensing software is the operational blueprint 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.

For the external team, licensing automation solves specific concerns, too. As an organization's licensing workflows expand, partners may need resort to an entirely new practice of using a single platform to manage all licensing programs, properties, and activities and share files ‘under one roof. This is just how brand licensing software contributes to the game.

While the benefits are pretty clear, the hardest part is convincing all stakeholders of the need to implement the software. An implementation strategy can help explain this need and the fruits that having the software in place will yield. You should support the strategy with a vision for the efficient integration of the software into the company business and become an integral part of its daily routine.

Implementing software is a big decision for licensing teams, primarily because you can't easily reverse it. 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 in internal databases is business-critical.

With rare exceptions, the data migration procedure is a pain in the neck for licensing teams. The level of difficulty can soar if they forget to organize these data in the first place.

However, the 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 the software product, 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). Alternatively, make sure you can export the data from the 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 the software vendor’s team is highly important. The more collaboration there is between the parties during data migration, the faster and smoother they will complete it.

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 arise from the lack of the “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. Licensors may acknowledge the need for software on the level of a particular team, such as creative or brand assurance team, but not the others. This is often why these teams disagree on the use of brand licensing software in their daily life.

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 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. Thereafter, you can focus on strategic tasks like consolidating partner relationships and expanding your licensing business.

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. Ultimately, 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!

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