Archive for December 2008
Amid a flurry of prognostications about what everyone else may, or may not, do in this new year, here is what OMS SafeHarbor intends to make happen in 2009.
1. Enable the software distribution process to become a Customer Relationship Management endeavor.
This is our new focus. The words Distribution and Delivery evoke outbound, or transmit, or warehouse dock imagery, and behavior.
When customers engage in the process of electronically consuming your goods or services, they are investing in a relationship with you.
Online distribution of software content is no longer a proxy for shipping a cd and avoiding postage. It has become part of the first, and sometimes last, impressions you make on your customers.
2. Make it easier for publishers to link customers with licenses and software.
OMS SafeHarbor is releasing a desktop application to support large file downloads and two-way conversations with publishers and consumers.
We have a download tool that we’ve used in in automating software release management functions since 2001. Its been used over a billion times since then to reliably transfer files around the world with unimpeachable data integrity. We’re bringing that tool out to the consumer with some innovative features and functions focused on “large” files.
3. Use information about what software is NOT consumed to increase publisher revenue and customer satisfaction.
2009 is the time for the rhetoric of gap analysis reporting to meet reality. Current economic conditions mean we all need to look under the seat cushions for loose change.
4. Use different distribution techniques for content of different declared value.
Multi-tier content distribution schemes for managing both quality of service and costs will be utilized in 2009. Slowly, but surely. All content may not necessarily need a ride in first-class on the bullet-train.
5. Establish portable and business-relevant metrics that will be used to understand and manage investment in content-based relationships with customers.
Apples to Apples comparisons. It can be done. OMS SafeHarbor will do it this year.
You can take these to the bank. Sooner rather than later.
Happy New Year!.
Find out more about OMS SafeHarbor.
This is our last post until after the New Year.
We hope all of you have wonderful time this holiday season!
I’ve been thinking about perspective lately. For some reason I’ve connected with this image from NASA.
2008 has been a tough year for most. Those involved in providing software distribution solutions to technology companies are no exception. These tribulations, and our cadre of customers and friends, have altered our perspective on the software distribution business and the software business in general.
OMS SafeHarbor is changing.
We’ve begun to see the distribution of software content as more than just network, licensing and entitlement mechanics. We’re good at that, but that largely doesn’t matter to anyone but a small band of folks in the bowels of a software publishing organization.
We see the dance of distributing software content to end-users as a two-way conversation between the Publisher and the Consumer. The interactions between you and people that want your software are more involved and important than the terms “distribution” or “delivery” imply. We need to support both transmit and receive communications in this interplay.
You may already be seeing evidence of this in your own email inbox. Every email list you ever signed up for is dredging up your info in the hopes of understanding more about what you, the consumer, are interested in. Big issues of customer retention, loyalty and service will be addressed with big changes in the status quo. Business as usual won’t exist for software companies competing for dollars in 2009.
Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, or Content Relationship Management, you can pick your buzz words. We see the tide has changed, and we’re going to change with it. Our services and tools are going to be focused on enriching the quality and flow of the relationship between the Software and the Customer, starting at how customers initially order and download the tools they are entitled to.
Stay tuned as we evolve in 2009 (and keep a lookout look for our emails)!
I have a question for all of our readers: What do you read?
Over the next few weeks we will start posting news and information that we read as we keep up with advances in the field of software distribution, release management, license management, and customer relationship management. We’ll probably aggregate this info once a week to start.
What other sources of information do you use? Who do you listen to? Leave a comment and let us know!
The term ‘war on terror’ has always made me squirm. But theres no denying the power of the metaphor. As a recent article in Scientific American argues, the metaphor you choose defines the way you think. Call the incompatibility between the West and fundamental Islam a ‘war on terror’ and you are forced to think about how best to beat the ‘enemy’ into submission; how to crush them militarily. It becomes a zero sum game, to be settled with violence.
But what would happen if you changed the metaphor? If you were to choose the metaphor of terrorism as disease, or crime, rather than military enemy? Then you would think about the problem in different ways. Rather than war, you might consider innoculation or policing as effective counter-strategies.
But this blog isnt about politics, its about software. The reason I bring up the ‘war on terror’ is because of something Tim Lister said last week. Id always thought about our product plans as a ‘pipeline’. But Tim said that his preferred metaphor was a bookshelf.
Define product plans as a pipeline, and you immediately start thinking about funnels, filtering and distillation. You think about linear progression, of ideas entering the pipeline at one end and then emerging, linearly, first in first out, from the other. You worry about filling the pipeline and keeping the ideas flowing.
But change the metaphor to a bookshelf, and everything changes. Filling the bookshelf becomes a parallel task. You can put up different types and sizes of books, and you can take them down in any order. You pay attention to the book covers – how to make the book look good, and what blurb to put on the dust jacket so people will choose to pull your book off the shelf and read it.
What would happen if we changed an even more fundamental metaphor?
We aways talk about software projects. The word project makes you think of planning, spreadsheets, milestones, checkpoints and gantt charts. What if we chose a word other than project? What if we called them software organisms, or software shrubs, software herds or software jigsaws?
Would that change the way we thought about writing software? Would we come up with better ways of shipping software?
And how about ‘shipping’ software? Is that another metaphor ripe for challenge?
Post your comments here …
(Via Business of Software Blog.)
‘The last mile’ is a well worn phrase and the reference can have wide dispersion. The last mile can run the gamut from explaining a runner’s finish, sharing experience on the end of life path, mapping a telecom connection from central office to the local loop, or relating that final phase of a project completion. The implied meaning is having the end point in sight and knowing the chasm that may exist in reaching the actual end point.
From a digital delivery perspective we have made steady gains on completing that last mile. Quality of service has increased for consumers of digital content. We are beneficiaries of the results of Moore’s Law and of ubiquitous internet access. But what happens when there is a connection failure or a transaction failure? When the file requested is several GB, what is the QOS? The payload does not arrive as planned. The last mile, in these cases, disconnects.
As QOS and bandwidth improve we will expect near 100% connection rates. But more than likely there will always be the element of disconnect. We see more activity in the world of deploying Download Managers in an effort to allow increased control and knowledge over a user’s successful receipt of a requested file. We will continue to see innovation and improvement for large file transfer success rates. The last mile disconnect, in my opinion, will remain, but not as a technical connection issue. The last mile is ultimately completed in the context of the first mile and the original background knowledge base of who requested what when.
Richard Bennett back off his gloom-and-doom predictions from last week.
But is UTP the best approach?
The internet’s TCP/IP protocol doesn’t work very well. As the internet’s traffic cop, it’s supposed to prevent applications from overloading the network, but it’s at a loss when it comes to managing P2P applications. This deficiency, generally known to network engineers but denied by net neutrality advocates, has been a central issue in the net neutrality debate. BitTorrent Inc has now weighed in on the side of the TCP/IP critics.…
(Via The Register – Networks.)