Thursday, April 20, 2006
Setting up a software business model
a) Sales process. The method by which potential customers are approached and sold on your offering. It could be direct sales, channel sales, email, viral marketing, whatever. How are you going to do it and what resources are you going to put in place to make it happen?
b) Ordering process. The methods by which sales are converted into orders. Is it web? Is it telesales? Is it an order taker? Does it go through a distributor or intermediate of some sort? How?
c) Customer management process. Once you have the customer, how do you keep them as customers? Where do you store their information? What are the touch points? How do you know when they need to be approached again? Do you have a CRM system, or a subscriptions management system? Are you going to outsource this to a credit management company?
d) Fulfillment process. How do you fulfil the customer need? What operations need to be carried out to ensure that the customer is provided the service or product that they requested? Will you use web based deployment, or CDs? How will authentication and security be carried out?
e) Financial process. What mechanism will be in place to register sales and report on profitability? What will the interface look like with the ERP system?
f) Support process. If the customer has a question, an issue or a complaint, who can they go to? Do you have online support or teleservices in place, or maybe a technician in-house? Will the product itself call home?
These are 6 key components that need to be answered if you want to set up a business model to support software. What is interesting is that I doubt if it is too much different from the sale of physical products, apart perhaps from a different fulfillment process. Everything else might look quite similar.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Selling the big package
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Putting a price tag on it
There's a great line in the entry: "If nobody is complaining about your price, then it is probably too low. The trick is to tune your pricing until the volume of the whining is just right."
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Checking out Wikipedia
Software Deployment. I particularly like the way each activity is broken down into a set of operations.
SaaS - Software as a Service: Oooh! It's just ASP's with a different name! Well, actually it talks about "net native" applications, which (I assume) refer to applications built specifically for internet usage. But how they differ I do not know.
And there's a ton of different types of software distribution forms mentioned, each fascinating in their own right: Abandonware, Crippleware, Adware, Baitware, Beerware, Careware, Demoware, Donateware, Freeware, Greenware, Guiltware, Hostageware, Loyaltyware, Malware, Nagware, Postcardware, Hostageware, Shareware, Shovelware, Spyware, Vaporware.
I might come back to some of these a bit later. Some are obviously a bit facetious, but some also potentially are worth exploring in a lot more detail.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
One view of the future
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Improving the quality of embedded software
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Embedded Horror Stories
"Some pacemakers have stimulated hearts to beat at rates of 190 beats a minute, prompting companies to provide software updates delivered to the implanted devices using capacitive coupling." That's where we're going.
Hollywood gets into downloads
"The downloaded movies would still come with several restrictions that underscore the difficulty of the new digital world for Hollywood studios. To keep from competing directly with large retailers like Wal-Mart, both sites for now are only allowing the movies people buy through downloads to be stored on PCs or on devices like the game player Xbox outfitted with certain Microsoft (MSFT) software. Movies can't be "burned" or copied onto disks that can be played on other devices, such DVD players."