New Age Launching ESD Software Tool For DealersNovember 16, 2012 By Stephen Silver
New Age Electronics is in the middle of launching a new software service for its retail partners, meant to make it easier for them to sell downloadable software to consumers.
New Age and Jack of All Games president Fred Towns and vice president Bob Culliton briefed Dealerscope on the new service, which is called the Synnex ESD (Electronic Software Download) service.
Developed by VisionMax, a company acquired by New Age last year, ESD is geared towards helping independent retailers compete with Apple's Genius Bar and Best Buy's Geek Squad, and to help dealers establish themselves as "the guy" for customers' needs. The effort is part of the company's commitment to the health and success of the retail channel.
"We take the products form the vendors, we host them on our servers, we work with the vendors in a variety of ways. We wanted to bring a solution that would help the retailer become more sticky with the end-use consumer," Towns said. "To bring these tools into the PC- and enable to walk out of the store with a ready solution."
Available to retailers either as fully integrated or as an "app store" model, the ESD can be accessed from the show floor from a kiosk, a computer or even a tablet. Available products include PC software and games as well as Mac software and Android apps.
"In today's world, when a customer comes in they've got a bunch of questions," Towns added. "they've read on the web and done some homework." The purpose of ESD is "to enable them to do the rest of the process. We want to bring solutions in to our retail and vendor partners that give people a reason to come in and come out with a good experience."
The service is free of charge for New Age member dealers; the distributor makes it money back through markups.
"They get this wonderful benefit of not having to invest in inventory," Towns said. "They don't have to worry about obsolescence, or theft, or all the things that are the bane of our retailers."
The platform launched this month, with the first retail implementation expected by the end of the year. Several hundred products from 11 vendors are confirmed for launch, a list New Age expects to reach 50 within six months. The vendors include Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe, Iolo, GFI and Core Learning.