Archive for the ‘Software ESD’ Category
Last installment discussed organizing your content; free or fee.
This time, organizing your customers is the topic. Having a simple, and documented vision for how your customers will interact with your ESD system is a critical step in ensuring the long-term success of your program. The foundation of this vision is organizing customers into groups based on how you expect them to use the ESD system.
This is not a market segmentation exercise, per se. What we’re talking about here is use-models. From this perspective you can segment users along the same lines as your content; those who don’t know what they want, and those users who are coming to get what they are owed.
How many of your users will be browsing though your content library, undecided on what files they need or want?
How many are looking to get in and out of your ESD site, as fast as possible, with exactly what they already paid for?
Are your buyers and your users the same people? If not, how will the people who buy your content distribute those assets to the users?
Are the bulk of your users individuals (B2C type) or will you have multiple users per corporate account (typical B2B scenario)?
The only wrong answer in this process is to say “all of the above, equally”. That is a cop-out, and a sure path to disappointing results. Your ESD program needs a defined primary audience and user community. Pre-sales serving of free content, and post sales fulfillment of orders cater to different users at different stages in their relationship with your company. Decide which will be dominant.
Organize your ESD project around how your customers are categorized as they interact with your business. Trying to service every type of customer interaction equally, much like the keychain above, will to lead to a heavy ESD deployment and leave a big hole in your pocket.
Use whatever is comfortable, including the analog pencil and paper. The format doesn’t matter. Ignore buzzwords like UML, Flow, Process, BPM, etc. and ignore getting sucked into fancy diagramming tool choices. Draw the picture however you are comfortable. The diagram will change, guaranteed.
At OMS we go back-and-forth between system diagrams and activity diagrams.
Here’s an example of an activity box diagram we use to help get lubricate conversations about ESD.
Plan == Create == Build == Manage == Release == Entitle == Distribute == Support
The objective of this step is simply to outline areas of focus that are important to achieving the business outcomes you desire. This is not an implementation checklist, that will come later. This is the umbrella sketch of things your organization will think about (and do) that impact your digital distribution project.
If you prefer, you may wish to sketch the system, or infrastructure for your project. Inside the firewall, staging, testing, Customer facing, Partner facing are four good starting boxes. In other words, the where instead of the what that you will ultimately use. Again, don’t worry about what it looks like, just get it down on paper.
It make no difference, at this point, whether your perspective is process (what) or system (where). Just start drawing. You’ll find that these pictures will become the most used and discussed tools in your ESD project toolkit.
Had a good conversation with the WSPGroup last week.
They published a whitepaper about Electronic Software Delivery a few months ago that is very detailed and worth a read.
Its our experience that these benefits require a huge scale (like the Microsoft case) to become a primary driver of transition to electronic delivery, but they are applicable at a small scale as complimentary ROI for other ESD initiatives.
So, take please take a look at the environmental advantages that you may be able to take credit for as you look at upgrading your software delivery practices to include ESD and entitlement management.
OMS is sponsoring a complimentary webinar tomorrow, with guest speaker Scott Baeder, Sr. Architect at Cadence Design Systems.
Cadence Design Systems, has automated the global staging, release and distribution of thousands of software assets using OMS Release Management Tools. OMS SafeHarbor is giving you the opportunity to listen and speak with Scott Baeder, Senior Architect at Cadence Design Systems to hear how Cadence manages their release process as a competitive advantage.
You can directly access the webinar at 2:15 pm EDT on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 by using this URL
Dial up information will be available when you login to the webinar.
If you ever had any questions about Release Management of software, join us on this webinar. Scott is one of the most experienced individuals in the world on the subject of software release and configuration management.
Our CEO, Keith Caveney, (and one of the founders of OMS SafeHarbor) was interviewed by the Level3 “Red Couch” team at the recent Game Developers Conference (GDC) in Austin, Texas.
The interview was clipped into a short three minute segment. If you are interested in more detail on why OMS SafeHarbor is bringing our software and entitlement management tools to the gaming community, its definitely worth watching.
You can find the interview with Keith on this Level3 Red Couch page.
Earlier this year we said we’d publish a view of this data, and here it is.
The plot below tells you this; the bigger your files, the harder it is to deliver them (and a little bit more, if you read further on).
This is a pseudo-random sampling of a few thousand downloads by users around the world. Piecing together logs and receipts from different networks and different download clients is not easy. But, the “complete” data is very tight. Any oversight is in the downloads that were grouped into the “incomplete” bucket. That is to say, this is the worst-case view of completion rate; its likely, that more attempts completed than we report here. At OMS we expand our reporting to include the concept of a completed “transaction” which may include many files, and/or multiple attempts, as our focus in on completing the business transaction, of which a single file download is only a component.
One of the first questions asked in any discussion of content delivery or software distribution is about completion rates. Since many CDNs tout their ability to improve download completion rates, thats not unreasonable to expect. My issue has always been the “versus what?” benchmark question that rarely gets addressed in that same discussion. Maybe this data point can be a reference for you.
Why CDNs won’t show you this, and why we almost didn’t either
After weeks of trying to figure out the best way to present this data, we finally settle on a very simplest format. But, we came close to not exposing this info at all.
The risk in this little plot?
1. You may not accept that 90/100 first attempts to download a CD image is pretty-good.
2. You may not accept that we/they have almost no control over those 10 incomplete first attempts. For example; how many out of those 100 people stopped their download on purpose, or lost the wireless connection from their neighbors apartment?
The ability to reliably connect and download from the Internet has reached the same level of expectation has getting a dial-tone when you pick up the phone. For most of us that means, always there, always fast. Even when you do get an error in your normal use of a browser, its likely that you just refresh or try again without even thinking about it. But, if you start a download for a file you paid for and really need, and something happens, look out! (We talked about the Top 10 reasons downloads fail in an earlier blog post).
That’s why companies that talk about downloads don’t like to talk about this data, it confronts your expectations with messy reality.
We hope this was helpful. Comments welcome.
Find more Software Business information OMS SafeHarbor.
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
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