Resellers who rely on the installation and support of software as a major revenue stream should be thinking about switching to another way to achieve profit targets, according to a report from market intelligence research firm Input.
The report, called The Impact of the Internet on Software Support, concludes that increasing Internet usage offers software product vendors a cost-effective support delivery channel, bypassing the existing third-party model.
Andrew Milroy, author of the report, said: "The cost effectiveness of using the Internet will make it a more popular means of delivering software support. This will precipitate a reduction in call volume and a reduced need for support partners."
The Internet is enabling vendors to reduce reliance on overstretched call centres and third parties who do not have their own commitment. The report also found that an increasing number of users are expecting to find software delivered and supported over the Internet. "Users are willing to pay for support delivered over the Internet," says Milroy, which means that vendors can provide it themselves and keep that revenue rather than passing it to third parties.
Resellers not prepared for the shift of emphasis will experience a sudden drop in revenue. Input's research indicates that by 1998 nearly half of all users will consider the availability of support services on the Internet as a product choice factor.
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