Monday, July 17, 2006


Some useful software business links

The following 3 links may be of use when researching issues in the software industry.

Software Business Online "is focused exclusively on the software industry and provides industry leaders with twice monthly eNewsletters, an information packed website and two well attended conferences."
"is the software industry's "Page One," with tips and tactics from best-practices software firms, plus discussion forums, news, links, and online seminars. Site Members also have access to file downloads, proprietary research, and thousands of dollars in exclusive Buyers' Club discounts."

And then there's Joel on Software, particularly the web-forum 'The Business of Software' - "Since 2000, I've been writing about software development, management, business, and the Internet on this site."

Also, a manifesto I found, decrying the use of patents in the software business.


Crisis in Video Gaming

Digital distribution is a hot topic in the video game business these days. Video gaming has traditionally relied on getting games to market using CD-Rom formats and physical gaming devices. The attached article from GameDaily remarks that digital distribution will require a completely new skillset to ensure success. Investor Stuart Alsop says, "Even the word 'download,' it's a little like using the word LP to refer to a CD... Download would become a term that is no longer used because things are just present and available".

Another article in this webmag suggests that the whole business model for video games is broken. Games and new platforms are getting more expensive when the trend in similar industries (e.g. mobile phones, music etc.) Also, the industry has failed to adequately account for new competitors and substitutes for their products.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Preventing software piracy

I've just downloaded a white-paper from KnowledgeStorm that identifies some best practices in the prevention of software piracy. Key issues discussed include the use of dongles, counter-measure systems, statistical piracy monitoring systems, embedding security into the software development process integrating licensing systems into an ERP or CRM, and even having a licensing strategy that is corporate-wide.

Some statistics are provided regarding the increase in software piracy over the last few years, as well as the most popularly copied programs.

Overall there is an encouragement for software companies to look at licencing and piracy prevention as corporate, strategic issues, which makes a lot of sense. Without this viewpoint, there can be a proliferation in costs as different business units try to come up with their own particular solutions for the problem.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Digital Media Distribution

Microsoft are working with cinema companies on digital media distribution opportunities for the movie business. The following white paper outlines some of the benefits inherent in digital movie distribution, including security, quality and flexibility. A case study is also presented which outlines how a digital movie solution was implemented for BMW films in the US.

Online movie distribution shares many of the challenges of software distribution, including digital rights management, data compression, and infrastructural issues.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


BBC Digital World Page

The BBC have a page that discusses issues to do with the digital world "in depth". Issues discussed include digital music, digital books, movie downloads, online games, P2P file sharing, podcasting, copy protection and digital rights, along with other legal issues. It's a useful resource, updated regularly, and I'm sure if I look I will find other sites like this.

Digital supply chain managers will need to understand this landscape extremely well as they develop their online distribution strategies.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


"Volunteer" vs "Commercial" Open Source

This article provides some insight into the evolution of the "Volunteer" Open Source Movement into the "Commercial" Open Source Movement - a progression that the writer disagrees vehemently with. It gives some background to the changing times within the software industry at the moment. According to the writer, "open source is ending up less the revolution it was intended to be and more an opportunity for the industry at large to redefine old practices under new terms."

It also links to an article on the economics of Open Source software, which may be worth a look. In it, he outlines three business models used by open source companies - "Dual Licensing", "Cell Phone" and "Ecosystem".

There is a reference to Eric Raymond's paper on Open Source "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and contains a number of useful references, if I wish to go down that way. There is also a reference to the management of versions within the open source paradigm.

Open source is an issue that is unavoidable when looking at how companies in the future will license and distribute software to customers. From my perspective, looking at how companies distribute and sell their software to customers, and the marketing, supply chain, organisational and technical impacts, it is still somewhat peripheral, but interesting nonetheless.

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