Akamai Enhances Electronic Software Delivery Platform to Improve the Download Experience for Increased Business and Consumer Value

Cambridge, MA |

- Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced a new solution, Akamai Download Analytics, as well as upgrades to its existing solution, Akamai Download Manager. With these solutions, Akamai's Electronic Software Delivery solution set is now designed to allow Akamai customers to create a customized and branded download experience, increase user engagement during the download process, improve conversion rates and garner business-critical download analytics reporting and data.

Electronic software delivery revenue is expected to grow to $67.2B in 2013 according to IDC 1, and there are a few major trends impacting the online software delivery market today:

  • Higher User Expectations – The majority of U.S. users prefer to acquire software online. User expectations, combined with growing file sizes, are driving software vendors to deliver software online with a more engaging, higher performing and interactive download experience. Studies have shown that improving the user experience during the download can improve conversion rates by 15%2.
  • Increased Traffic – There are increased amounts of software delivered online, driven by larger file sizes and additional demand for feature and security updates. In addition, the growth of connected devices is driving regular updates of consumer and business applications.
  • Workflow Complexity - As the types of software and the audience of users and devices requesting software continues to grow, workflow around software entitlement, security, and packaging has become more complex. Software providers need the capability to simplify the user's download experience while handling this complexity.
  • Real Time Data – As electronic distribution of software displaces physical media delivery, companies are looking for real-time reporting and analytics that drive the online channel. Software vendors need business intelligence to include real-time metrics that capture end-user behavior and success of software downloads.

"Akamai's enhanced Electronic Software Delivery solution is designed to help companies address and meet the shifting requirements of today's online software delivery market while managing costs," said Reynold Harbin, Senior Product Line Director, Akamai. "By offering the latest download management technology to improve the performance and integrity of downloads, a new and fully customizable user interface, and the ability to inspect download behavior with download analytics customers using our delivery platform will now be able to fully optimize their end-user's download experience. The benefits are increased end-user engagement and improved software installation rates, enabling companies to drive success of the online channel for software distribution."

Akamai's new Download Analytics solution and updated Download Manager benefit customers with:

  • A rich and engaging download experience that further immerses users in a company's brand through a customized user interface, as well as offers the ability to promote the product being downloaded or additional offerings during the download process in an effort to increase conversions.
  • More user control over the download process with the ability to pause, stop or resume downloads. In addition, downloads automatically recover from dropped connections or system crashes.
  • Powerful download analytics that track key software engagement and delivery metrics in the context of a company's business to gain further insight into consumer behavior in order to make better download strategy decisions.
  • Simplified software download workflow that is designed to solve the complexity challenges of multiple file delivery, authentication, and multi-lingual support

"Electronic software delivery has strong potential in today's digital economy, given its impact on cost savings, ability to enhance a user's experience with a brand, and reduced environmental impact," said Amy Konary, Research Director, Software Pricing, Licensing and Delivery at IDC. "The technological and cultural barriers that held electronic distribution models back in the past are falling, and vendor initiatives to increase the amount of software delivered this way should create a period of rapid growth in the percent of software sales that are fulfilled electronically."

Akamai Download Manager

Electronic software delivery can improve the entire user experience with a customized and branded delivery process. Delivering software electronically, however, can be wrought with challenges and limitations, such as the inability to efficiently support very large file downloads, limited user control and no protection against file corruption. This can result in low download completion rates, low trial conversion rates, increased support calls and poor insight into critical download management metrics.

Akamai's Download Manager, a desktop software application that is designed to enable users to download content quickly, easily and reliably, now offers a simplified, multi-file workflow designed to enable software publishers to enhance the user experience while managing complex workflows for entitled software. The new enhancements to Akamai's Download Manager are particularly important in cases where downloads need to occur in a specific order, authentication mechanisms need to be applied to multiple files, custom error messages need to be delivered, multi-lingual support is necessary, or a specific file needs to be called when all files have been successfully downloaded.

Many large software downloads can take a significant amount of time to download. With a new, customizable user interface in Akamai's Download Manager, companies have an opportunity to further immerse users in their brand and promote additional offerings during the download experience. Advanced controls now empower the user to pause, stop or resume downloads at their discretion giving them the option to restart a download at a later time or automatically recover from dropped connections or system crashes. By managing multiple parallel connections to maximize the available bandwidth, Akamai Download Manager is designed to improve performance, especially on high latency or high packet-loss connections. Download Manager is also fully compatible with existing security implementations, including SSL.

Akamai Download Analytics

Gaining visibility into the effectiveness of electronic software download offerings is critical to maximize the value of an online channel. Software vendors face many challenges including software monetization, maximizing try-to-buy conversions, managing online distribution strategies, prioritizing online marketing efforts, and monitoring and allocating distribution costs.

Implementing an advanced download analytics solution has historically been a substantial technical and costly undertaking, and has resulted in many software companies operating without the intelligence needed to maximize the value of the online channel for software delivery. Akamai Download Analytics is designed to give companies a vast amount of insight, including completion rates, download duration, and user behavior, to make powerful business decisions on their electronic software delivery strategies.

Akamai Download Analytics is designed to provide Akamai's customers with access to:

  • User engagement metrics, including download duration and completion rate
  • User analysis by geography, network and connection speed
  • User behavior data, such as start, stop, pause, and cancel
  • Content usage metrics, including bytes delivered and bytes per download
  • Powerful custom reporting, including the ability to define the data set, reporting dimensions, and metrics, filter using standard matching criteria applied against any dimension and a report customization interface.

To learn more about these solutions, please visit http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/electronic_software_delivery.html

The Akamai Difference

Akamai® provides market-leading managed services for powering video, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com.

Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act

This release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai Technologies, Inc.'s management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by hackers or others, changes in solution features and functionalities, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.

1. IDC, Worldwide Electronic Software Distribution 2009-2013 Forecast: Software's Greener Alternative, Doc # 219899, September 2009 , 

2. King, Andrew. 2008 Website Optimization (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc.), 126