A few weeks ago I tried to download a trial version of a software package from a pretty well known ISV’s website. It wasn’t a huge file and should have been a relatively quick download. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. After numerous attempts and spending a frustrating hour trying to download the trial, I decided to forgo the whole thing.

I’m not the first or the last person that has had this type of experience. Yet, it continues to surprise me at how little thought it seems some ISV’s put into their Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) solution. The software download process is part of the customer experience and should be treated as such by the ISV. A good experience could be the first step in a long lasting customer relationship; a bad experience may turn away the customer completely.

A reliable ESD solution can also have a direct impact on an ISV’s revenue. Let’s have a look at an example of downloads of trial software to illustrate the point. Assuming a particular ISV typically converts 25% of trial users into paying customers, the ISV has a couple of options to consider for their ESD solution. They can use an in-house solution, where based on industry averages they could expect 49% of downloads to complete successfully for a 95MB file; or they could outsource the electronic software delivery to a third party provide such as Akamai (a SafeNet partner), where they could expect an average of 90% of downloads to complete successfully for the same size file. Based on these averages, the ISV can expect the following results for every 100 download attempts of the trial software:

In-house ESD:

  • 100 download attempts x 49% download completion rate = 49 Successful Trial SW Downloads
  • 49 Trial Uses x 25% conversion to paying customers = 12 paying customers

Outsourced ESD:

  • 100 download attempts x 90% download completion rate = 90 Successful Trial SW Downloads
  • 90 Trial Uses x 25% conversion to paying customers = 22 paying customers

In other words, the ISV can anticipate 83% more new paying customers just by using a third party ESD solution!

In order to truly provide an enhanced customer experience and to gain all of the benefits of using a reliable third party ESD solution as described above, ISV’s should utilize an ESD solution that is integrated with a comprehensive Licensing and Entitlement Management system. This will enable the ISV to automate the entire software distribution process from purchase through delivery and activation, leading to increased revenues, reduced costs, and most importantly an improved end-user experience.