Archive for the ‘User Experience’ Category
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.
Here is a very relevant excerpt from an interview with Mats Lederhausen (formerly of McDonald’s…yes the burger joint) conducted by Anthony Tjan from Harvard Business Publishing.
What is your philosophy of “purpose bigger than product” all about?
At its core, it is about being real and idea-driven. Trust is perhaps the most important currency in business, and big ideas may be the only true source of competitive advantage. Lack of trust is a form of tax. And that tax rate has increased in the past number of years. Customers simply don’t trust institutions as much today. Particularly large businesses. The main reason is that we now live in an “information everywhere” and more transparent world. Every customer has a camera in their cell phone, a Facebook in their pocket and Twitter at their fingertips. This means we hear and see evidence of businesses not walking their talk. Their products don’t match their promise. In order to regain this trust you must simply make sure that all your products, your merchandising, your advertising, your people and the totality of your touch points with consumers sing from the same hymn. And that hymn is what I call purpose. Some people call it vision. Others call it focus. It is the same thing. It is source of your promise. It answers the question: Why are you here?
Amen to that!
A link to the full interview is here. Definitely worth a read.
OMS SafeHarbor has been building browser-based software applications for ten years. We started out calling this model browser-based-software. Then someone came up with the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) for Application Service Provider (ASP), and now the domain is commonly referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS).
Regardless of how you describe the general environment, we are all still talking about code interacting with a database or datastore. Software engineers, constantly seeking yet another acronym, call this a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern.
So what does this have to do with ACID transactions? The browser-based, MVC, world of the Internet is asynchronous (HTTP is an asynchronous protocol) and decidedly not ACID.
ACID is a way to describe the properties of a single database transaction.
A = Atomic
C = Consistent
I = Isolated
D = Durable
We are bringing a new set of products to our content management, software distribution and license management customers that bring ACID transactions out of the database realm and into the web-based, ASP, SaaS domain of software applications.
When we talk about a transaction that is ACID, we described it as a transaction that completes, or doesn’t; nothing gets left half-done. The transaction looks the same every time and it is predictable. The transaction can be executed, processed, tracked, traced, and audited singularly. The transaction, once complete, it can’t be changed or undone. It completion can be reported on with precision and accuracy and historically referenced.
If SaaS implementations were more ACID, instead of a 404 file-not-found error when you clicked on a dead link, you might simply stay on the page you started from and receive a simple notification in another window.
Now imagine a asking for a software download or generating a license file for your CAD tools, and imagine that as an ACID transaction; you start the download and are guaranteed its Durable completion!
As you think about delivering you software, licenses, entitlements and services via the web, you should also think about ACID transaction perspectives. Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable, make sure your transactions pass the ACID test!
Find out more about software distribution, CRM, licensing and entitlement management by visiting OMS SafeHarbor.
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.
TJ Caveney, VP of Marketing and Sales at OMS SafeHarbor invites you to join him on Tuesday December 9th at 2:00pm Eastern Time for a presentation entitled Customer Self-Service: Electronic Software Distribution -The Competitive Edge.This presentation looks at the rationale behind empowering your customers to act independently and at ESD as the way of promoting self-service. It looks at the differences between the B2C and B2B markets. The presentation looks at the overall benefits to both the customer and the software vendor.
Sign-up today for the webinar on our website: www.o-ms.com/event_registry.php.
Here is a preview:
This presentation highlights how establishing a customer self-service center can help boost your company’s competitive edge through better customer support and reduced product delivery and support costs.
It starts out defining the base functionality that a customer self-service center should have and how the customer can be empowered to act when and how they feel it necessary while having their needs better serviced. The flip side is the company downloading support costs, streamlining distribution and reducing service calls. Standardization and process automation help to reduce manual intervention making more efficient use of your resources while providing more service to your customer. This allows your company to react in real time using structured processes to respond to adhoc customer support.
The presentation outlines the goals (both stated and intended) and discusses how a phased approach can provide tactical wins (cost reduction, customer support and streamlining) while addressing strategic goals such as increased sales (cross-selling, upselling and maintenance service attachment opportunities), marketing and business intelligence (market research, product mix/bundling and active users/customer profiles) and internal productivity gains and reduced time-to-market.
Finally it looks briefly at some of the base data elements that need to be serviced by various internal business systems. It touches on the challenges of unifying customers, products, orders and support into an automated and integrated information collective.
How many clicks will an end-user put up with to download a software product?
This isn’t a new question. The most common answer is “any click is a barrier”. But I think this whitewashes the complexity of the interaction between the publisher and the consumer. I believe the answer lies in the inherent value of the content transferred in the transaction, and how “heavy” the click.
Distribution or Delivery?
Imagine walking down the sidewalk in your town. You pass a casually dressed young person, aggressively distributing handbills printed on neon green paper. Did you take it? Did you alter your path to avoid having the flyer thrust into your hand? Did provide your userid and mailing address in exchange for the leaflet?
Now imagine heading to the Post Office to pick up a box that didn’t fit in your mailbox. A quick flash of your ID to verify your name and address, and away you go.
How many clicks would each of these scenarios encompass online? Are all the clicks the same?
No real data
We’ve looked for click rates studies and abandonment rate studies to help us understand the software design implications of this user behavior. We’ve found no real scientific evidence we can point to that provides evidence of a ratio for clicks to abandonment (if you have one please point us in that direction).
Value Drives Clicks
We’ve put a stake in the ground that an end-user’s point of indifference is based on the inherent value of the download to the user. This seems pretty obvious to us, but is hard to generalize and measure. Our purely anecdotal benchmark follows the price of computer-games; if the download is valued at less than $29 USD the end-user’s willingness to “click” or provide specific information about themselves diverges greatly from those software products that are valued at greater than $29 dollars.
Let us know if you have found a better description of the “how many clicks” barrier.