Archive for January 2009
More anti-P2P behavior in Ireland
One of Ireland’s largest ISPs, Eircom, has capitulated to the major music labels and agreed to implement a full ‘graduated response’ program—complete with disconnections. Users get two warnings regarding file-sharing, and a third violation brings down the banhammer. The music industry has already said that it intends to pursue the same agreement with Ireland’s other ISPs.
The dispute began some time ago when the Irish branches of EMI, Warner, Universal, and Sony filed suit against Eircom. They charged that the ISP was essentially aiding and abetting piracy by doing things like advertising its services on The Pirate Bay, and the labels believed they could get a judge to force the ISP to install network monitoring equipment.
(Via Ars Technica.)
Starting next month, in Arkansas and Kansas, Cox Communications will throttle your software updates.
I’m not yet clear on how they plan to determine what constitutes a software update, but I don’t like any of the options I can imagine.
While this is a “limited trial”, I think this is another clear signal that multi-tier, or content-specific distribution models will be the mainstream future.
Here is the meat of the announcement from Cox;
Below is a break-down of the time-sensitivity of the various types of traffic that travel the Cox network. Any traffic that is not specifically classified will be treated as time-sensitive.
Web (Web surfing, including web-based email and chat embedded in web pages)
VoIP (Voice over IP, telephone calls made over the Internet)
IM (Instant messages, including related voice and webcam traffic)
Streaming (Web-based audio and video programs)
Games (Online interactive games)
Tunneling & Remote Connectivity (VPN-type services for telecommuting)
Other (Any service not categorized into another area)
File Access (Bulk transfers of data such as FTP)
Network Storage (Bulk transfers of data for storage)
P2P (Peer to peer protocols)
Software Updates (Managed updates such as operating system updates)
Usenet (Newsgroup related)
Here is the link to the Cox Communication announcement on network traffic management
Visit OMS SafeHarbor for more information on fulfilling your software distribution requirements.
I saw this article on HBR yesterday. While it talks about the airline industry, I think the conclusion is also applicable in our part of the software industry. Said another way “Being good at one thing is rarely enough to attract and keep a customer.”
Virgin Atlantic Airways provided me with the best customer service I’ve ever had. The airline went to extraordinary measures–at its expense–to help my husband get on a plane to America.
At the time, when we were still dating, he lived in London, I in New York, and I had mistakenly returned to America with his passport in a suitcase after a previous vacation. When we realized the mistake, my husband rushed to the airport to see if Virgin would still let him fly if I could meet him in New York with the passport. Several phone calls later from Virgin’s customer service desk, the airline suggested a wonderful alternative: they would send a courier to my office in Manhattan to pick up the passport. The courier would deliver it to Virgin staff at JFK, who would, in turn, hand it to a pilot who would personally carry it on the next flight to London, where my husband would be handed his passport. And that’s exactly what happened. Not many hours later, we were reunited in New York.
I’ve told that story to many people over the years since as an example of the best customer service I ever had. We didn’t have to whine or beg for anything and it didn’t cost us a dime. Virgin’s staff solved our problem for us.
My thanks to them? I’ve never once flown Virgin again.
I’m embarrassed to admit that; I’ve flown transatlantic dozens of times since then, but not once on Virgin. The reality is that great customer service wasn’t enough to overcome my desire to work up frequent flier points. At the time, Virgin didn’t have a great frequent flier program. It was that easy for me to turn my back on what was otherwise the best customer service experience of my life.
And so I must reluctantly conclude, if I’m a typical example, thrilling a customer is good, but it’s not enough. Your relationships with customers is simple at its core–you must meet their needs on the things they value most. Or you won’t keep them.