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March 8, 2016

V.i. Labs Acquires S/W Usage Analytics Vendor

Tracking how application software is being used and misused is an emerging analytics market niche as user analytics vendors attempt to provide software developers with insights into preferred and little-used features while helping vendors monitor licensees.

Leveraging software user analytics to help customers boost license revenues was behind this week’s acquisition of a European software data analytics and visualization provider Trackerbird Ltd. by V.i. Laboratories of Waltham, Mass. V.i. Labs said Tuesday (March 8) the deal would expand its cloud-based software usage analytics and runtime intelligence capabilities. The goal is to provide enterprise application software developers and independent software vendors with better visibility into how products are used while boosting license compliance revenues.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. V.i. Labs said Trackerbird’s analytics and visualization capabilities would be leveraged to support its global customer base.

Trackerbird, based in Malta, provides software analytics that track product runtimes and customer usage patterns in order to gauge how enterprise software applications are being used. V.i. Labs cited a recent market survey revealing that enterprise customers do not use 28 percent or more of delivered features in application software. The usage analytics platform is designed to help software developers and vendors understand how their products are being used after download, including what features are preferred or ignored along with the platforms and architectures used to run software.

V.i. said the acquisition is designed to boost its ability to help customers convert unlicensed users into “paying customers.” The company claims it has helped customers generate more than $1.4 billion in new license revenue over the last six years.

Trackerbird’s usage analysis technology has been deployed in millions of installations around the word, the partners said. Customers range from Fortune 500 companies to the business-to-business software market along with startups building high-volume consumer applications generating mountains of unstructured data.

Both companies focus on the desktop software analytics market for Windows, Linux and Mac OS platforms. V.i. Labs said the acquisition would “enable software providers to centrally visualize software usage analytics as they expand their software products into multi-platform environments including desktop, mobile and [software-as-a-service] applications.”

V.i. Labs previously focused on cloud-based platforms used to track the use and misuse of software applications. Along with boosting license compliance revenues, its also specializes in reducing software piracy. Customers of both companies apply software usage analyses to fine-tune software license conversion campaigns.

Unused or underused application software, known as “shelfware,” has greatly added to IT budgets. Moreover, software vendors have created a sizeable new revenue stream enforcing compliance with software contracts. A recent report released by software license optimization vendor Flexera Software found that “true up” charges derived from increasingly frequent audits of software licenses are on the rise.

The study reported that three-quarters of respondents were found to be out of compliance with their software contracts while 20 percent reported that software audit costs topped $1 million last year. Wider use of software user analytics is likely to boost that total.

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