That is the view of Jo Wood, CEO of business development company MediaGold.
Wood, whose company specialises in launching, marketing, developing and managing its clients’ businesses, told MicroScope: “The big question at the moment is where and how will software be sold five years from now. It won’t all be in boxes on shelves — there will be different routes, such as software download with the expansion of broadband technology. The whole ASP route will also take off.”
Rather than being wary of the ASP model, Wood insisted that retailers should look upon it as a great opportunity.
“There is absolutely no reason why they [the retailers] cannot become some of the most powerful on-line brands and ASP offerers,” she argued.
Wood also stressed that distributors would always have a place in the market, despite the increase in the number of vendors selling products direct.
“I think companies have to be a very reasonable size for the direct route to be cost effective because of all the logistics involved,” she said.
“It can become very expensive. I think distributors are very good at what they do — working on very low margins. They are not just going to disappear.”
Commenting on MediaGold’s agreement with troubled Belgian speech recognition company Lernout & Hauspie last week to localise, manufacture, package and market current and future versions of L&H and Dragon products in Emea, Wood outlined how she envisaged L&H pulling itself out of its current mire.
“I know it has brought in a new CEO [Philippe Bodson] who has an extremely good track record of turning companies around. The company has raised a considerable amount of finance to help in the restructuring of the business, so it is here to stay, but just in a slightly different form.”