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organization's computers are major costs. Likewise, buying the needed wireless band-
width for assuring the weekly update of the software running on your agents' handhelds
across the country is another sunken cost.
The cost of running the circuit . If you deploy your software by using mailed CDs, you
must bear the costs of preparing, packaging, and sending these CDs. If you have special-
ized personnel in addition to system administrators, the costs include the hours they
spend while paying a visit to all your employees, plus the time the latter remain idle
while the installer staff is performing the physical installation and finetuning the
endusers' computers.
The cost of ensuring the reliability of the circuit . This depends on the quality that is
needed for the given circuit. If we were deploying software on space satellites, we can-
not afford any errors.
The cost for software producers of outsourcing this service to external
organizations . This is nothing new in companies specialized in distributing software.
For example, just think of the shareware phenomenon on the Web. Currently distributors
limit their service at file downloads, often installers. Then they provide additional ser-
vices such as billing, statistics, and the like. What is possible with the current technol-
ogy, today, is much greater than this.
Main Benefits of Circuits
Circuits have many benefits, depending on the kind of actors involved.
For software producers, employing a deployment circuit is about gaining a powerful competi-
tive advantage, exploiting the features of sophisticated deployment circuits while possibly out-
sourcing the complexities and possible risks to a third-party (the Distributor ).
For endusers, the net effect is an enhanced service, given that the services (implemented by
deployed software) are more ubiquitous, less implementation-dependent and much easier to
manage, as well as possibly more reliable and personalized.
For distributors, it is possibly the rise of a new profession, something akin to a software broker.
Taking Advantage of the Circuit for Adding New Services
After the deployment circuit has been built, the next step is to add extra services that take
advantage of the distribution channel or the application helper installed on the clients. These
services could be more diverse, but we will focus on those closest to deployment.
The most common services are debugging, various types of management, the offering of a
richer client environment, and customization. Advanced services include the need for particular
clients such as enhanced reliability.
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