PORTLAND, Ore. ó A new software-as-a-service version of the CodeArmor
anti-piracy app from Vi Laboratories Inc. (Waltham, Mass.) tracks both
legal and illegal users of an independent software vendor's
applications, reporting to ISVs daily on users' whereabouts and on
which software features are most popular.
ISVs looking to gauge the real extent to which piracy is affecting
their business can find out for as little as $3,000 with the SaaS
version of CodeArmor Intelligence. They can also use the SaaS to
optimize their feature sets, as well as exploit both pirated versions
and trial copies of their software as actionable business leads by
communicating licensing offers to the copies' users.
"Today our customers are the 400 to 500 software vendors with
very high-value applications, such as electronic design automation,
computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering programs, which
can cost as much as $50,000 per seat," said Victor DeMarines, vice
president of product development at Vi Labs. "The online SaaS version
is for the rest of the 20,000 ISVs out there whose software is not as
expensive but who nevertheless want to recoup lost revenue due to
software piracy [as well as] track legal users over the full product
Code Armor Intelligence embeds stealth algorithms inside applications that "phone home" to report the locations of pirates on a Google map. Previously, ISVs had to make a significant investment in gateway
servers in order to collect and tabulate that data; now the SaaS can
handle those duties for them. Usage data is transferred to Vi Labs' own
servers, which in turn provide daily reports to ISVs summarizing how
many copies are in use and their location.
"It's really up to the vendor exactly what type of information is
reported," said DeMarines. "Maybe they are just looking for usage data.
Say they have a beta that is going out and they want to measure its
popularity; now they have a much lower-cost way of measuring how their
applications are being used."
The SaaS model also allows ISVs to kick the tires on CodeArmor
Intelligence without making a major commitment of time and resources to
set up their own servers for receiving the phone-home data from their