Archive for the ‘Software Infrastructure’ 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.
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.
One critical element in the electronic distribution of digital assets is compliance with export regulations. We’ve been quietly providing list checking service for a few years now, but have found that more companies are actively seeking support in this area. This month we’re rebranding and relaunching our export compliance data service product called “ComplyNow”.
Click here for more information and to sign up for a free trial.
OMS SafeHarbor is at GamesCom in Cologne Germany this week.
In January 2009 we announced a solution to address the distribution and entitlement management needs of the online gaming community. A couple of our enterprise customers have asked us to explain any benefits they will see as OMS services gaming customers.
The gaming community has a scale that dwarfs (enterprise or b2b) most enterprise software distribution. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in a discussion talking about 2.0 petabytes of bandwidth throughput in terms of hours, vs. weeks or months. The tools and techniques used to manage this scale of activity are specialized and hard to come by. They also work to everyones advantage at OMS – If our core systems are used to entitle and distribute patches to 500,000 end users in 2 days, our enterprise customers have some indication of reliability and performance at their scale.
Users of b2b, or enterprise software would rarely describe their attachment to any particular software tool as emotional. Gaming software is specifically designed to engage you at an emotional level. In a business environment emotional discourse is frowned upon, especially when dealing with a problem. In the gaming space, if you make someone wait 15 hours to download software, then they can’t install it because they are out of drive space, you may find angry vitriol on every popular game forum overnight, and a potential customer abandoning your brand.
Our direct b2c contact with the demanding, emotive, and fickle gaming customer translates into less exceptions and more certainty in the b2b experience (a typically more forgiving interaction due to the larger revenue and value at stake).
Scale and Reliability are the crossover benefits that the gaming market brings to the enterprise software marketplace when talking about software and license distribution.
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.
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!