Electronic Software Distribution (ESD) replaces traditional software delivery | #ebizradio | #Technology | Simon Campbell-Young


Before the Internet was ubiquitous, the usual way to receive new software was to buy a box at a reseller and physically install it on the machine. Updates were usually received in the mail, and also manually installed.

electronic software delivery

“Although this is still common practice among some companies, the evolution of software delivery to an electronic format has made it the fastest and most cost-effective way to receive and download software,” says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution.

He says electronic software distribution (ESD) is essentially delivery on an online medium, removing the need for physical delivery and CDs or in the old days, hard disks. “In order to deliver software electronically, vendors usually deploy an ESD solution in the cloud allowing clients to download software off the Web.”

According to Campbell-Young, there are several clear benefits to the ESD method. “Firstly, there are huge savings on fulfilment costs. Boxed software shipped to customers costs more per unit, as there are fulfilment costs involved. These would include packaging, storing, assembly and shipping. By opting for an ESD method, these costs are taken out of the equation, thereby lowering the cost per unit.”

Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution

Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution

Secondly, he says, the ESD method if far faster and more efficient. “Customers who need new software, or need to install urgent updates, don’t always have the time to wait for these to arrive via the mail, particularly in South Africa, where the mail service isn’t known for its efficiency. The ESD method is significantly faster, almost instant in fact, essential particularly where security patches and updates are concerned. In addition, many ESD solutions can track when a customer has downloaded software or an update, allowing the vendor to track these more efficiently. Through ESD, new products can be delivered around the world in any country or time zone, instantly.”

Campbell-Young says ESD is also a far greener option of delivery. “Many people overlook this benefit, but ESD is better for the environment. Every week thousands of CDs become outdated, resulting in millions of them being sent to landfills annually. These are not biodegradable, and are made up of plastics, metals and paints that release chemicals which are damaging to the environment. This is completely taken out of the equation when opting for ESD.”

Finally, he says ESD offers better security. “Software vendors deliver their products to top corporates, government agencies, and financial services organisations around the world. All these entities have strict regulations in place regarding risk and compliance, so using a secure electronic software delivery solution allows vendors to improve the security of software deliveries.”


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