Background info: I'm working with a CAD software that uses a physical USB security dongle to work.

Typically it is sold via an online store. The user creates an account with an email, then the Dongle is burned and linked to that user email, then shipped (usually overseas). Because of hardware requirements, a dongle needs to be transferred to someone using a software that runs on a server and we need to limit the access to avoid potential cracking risks.

My current problem: some dongles are sold to some dealers which stock dongles at a lower cost, so they will follow a similar process (dongle gets registered to Dealers).

enter image description here

However, a dealer might sell a dongle to a user which was not previously registered with my company. That creates a problem because the dongle needs to be assigned to a user, otherwise, he/she can't download the software or request tech support. It was suggested by management to create a dealer's portal, so with special access, the dealer could create an account on behalf of the user and assign to him/her. Historically the feedback from tech support is that dealers don't care with post sales, so they will probably not do that and that creates a problem for tech support while making a portal unnecessary.

What would be the ideal way to solve this problem? To make sure that a dongle is transferred and the account is created when the seller doesn't care about after-sales service? I thought about an affiliate program as a potential solution, so a promo code is generated to a dealer, then sent to a user, which will buy at our store and the whole process is guaranteed on our end because we will have total control, then the commission is applied based on that code.

However, I might have some challenges on convincing management to change this practice, as well it doesn't solve issues of convenience - some dealers provide the dongle faster as being physically closer to the final user, which can be located in distant regions such as Africa or South America and might not speak English.

  • 1
    The ideal answer from a UX POV is to get rid of dongles. They're never a good user experience. :) In terms of a usable solution from a business POV, your affiliate model is good (and one I've used in the past for registering software for customers). Ultimately, if business wants convenience, then they need to rethink the whole dongle thing to begin with. – DA01 Oct 13 '18 at 2:49

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.