Hotel California software licenses

Ever come across “Hotel California” software licenses? Software vendors have spent years perfecting techniques for extracting post-sale revenue from customers, and this is one of their favorites, especially with larger SaaS or cloud vendors.

Recall the lyrics at the end of the song: 'Relax' said the night man, 'We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!'

Hotel California licenses allow you to add modules or users to the contract at any time, but once on you can never take them off again. Want premier support just for the first year of a contract? You are out of luck; if you want premier support you will pay for it for the full contract, even if you never use it after the first year. What if there is a business downturn and you want to reduce costs? Tough, pay up or face the consequences.

Depending on your situation, a Hotel California license structure may be a good reason for excluding a particular software product from consideration. But then again, if you point this out to the vendor at the start of the project they may just decide it is worth making an exception so they have a chance at making a sale.