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Considering a new approach to delivering PCAD March 10, 2011

Posted by gbsoftware in Uncategorized.
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I’m not really a Luddite, I’m just slow.

For a long time now, we’ve delivered PCAD on CD-ROM. While an improvement over the old floppy disk technique, it’s got lots of disadvantages. It introduces a delay between when someone orders and when they receive the software (not that I think we’re getting lots of impulse buyers), it requires moving physical objects around, which is subject to all sorts of glitches, etc. The rest of our ordering process is, if anything, even more archaic – in most cases, we force people to actually send us a physical object (checks, purchase orders). Taken as a whole, it’s pretty indefensible in this modern era, with the fast Internet tubes and all.

Over the past year or so, we’ve experimented with electronic delivery on a very small scale. On request, customers can download PCAD from a Dropbox folder. This has several advantages, and seems to be a popular option. However, while it was fine for proof of concept, I don’t think that Dropbox is a long-term solution. It works, but it’s not what it was designed for.

Accordingly, I’m going to start investigating (well, actually, re-investigating) electronic fulfillment options. I’d like to have a way for people to click on a button at the website, provide billing info (probably credit card information), and be directed immediately to a page where they can download PCAD.

Just so it’s clear, my intent is to eliminate CD-ROM delivery completely (though I can probably always be talked into special cases – at a premium price), while at the same time eliminating the need for purchasers to send checks. Purchase orders will still require special handling, but those seem to have an electronic path via email.

Like I said, I’m slow, so it’s unlikely that this will happen immediately, but I figured it would be worth putting up a post to see if anyone feels strongly enough to encourage or discourage the change. Who knows? I might get inspired and make the shift in the next few days.