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Why is Licensing Development taking so long?

Licensing for one country is a complex process. Multiply that across several countries and it becomes even more so. Due to that complexity we’ve had to re-think our implementation of a regional Licensing System.
Regional map of FFA Member Countries
FFA Member Countries
In the process we have:
  • re-scoped licensing by country,
  • built a new technology stack to handle the complexity
  • and created a new approach on how to build things.

That’s a lot to do and has taken time to complete.

Why do it this way?

We only have limited resources available so we need to build a licensing system that scales well i.e. as we add more countries to the system the associated costs/complexities for development (20%) and maintenance (80%) don’t increase at the same rate. Otherwise everything grinds to a halt as we end up being bogged down by the technical and financial costs of keeping the system running.

Factors for Licensing Complexity

Here’s a breakdown of specifically what makes licensing so complex in the region.

  1. As mentioned implementing a licensing system across several countries is complex because licensing regimes are generally:
    • different/unique with their own quirks,
    • largely still based on paper,
    • lack proper process management.
  2. We are building a digitally integrated licensing system (and not just a database). This requires digitizing and automating as much of the licensing process as possible as well as training up licensing staff. All this takes time for not only staff but also industry to get used to.
  3. We needed to build a new approach as well as a new technology stack to cater to for this complexity.

Phases to Manage complexity

Here’s a very high-level break down of the Development phases:

1st Phase: Scoping

  1. Scope and Document Licensing processes
  2. Build Licensing Platform based on scope and Documentation

2nd Phase: Licensing Development

  1. Build Country specific Licensing Systems based on processes
  2. Internal Testing by Country
  3. Industry Consultation and testing
  4. Cut over to Production

3rd Phase: Integration with Regional Systems

  1. Good-standing Integration
  2. RFV Integration 
  3. IMS Integration
  4. RIMF Integration 

4th Phase: Review

  1. Review Licensing System
  2. Plan next steps based on Review