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Author of the Resource Posted on by Phil Spitze in Application Virtualization, Product and company news

What is the Software2 Packaging Service? (Webinar)

In this webinar recording, Phil Spitze discusses the details and benefits of Software2's new and revolutionary application Packaging Subscription Service.

Packaging is an essential step of delivering apps via application virtualization. It is also one of the most time-consuming and specialist tasks in all of software delivery. At Software2 we have developed a service intended to address the fact that tens of thousands of universities are packaging the same software titles simultaneously each year. By handling the packaging for you and providing packages that often only require the simple input of a license key, we are able to pass cost savings on to our customers and free up your staff's time to be reassigned to key strategic IT goals. 


Read about the Software2 Packaging Service or contact us to learn more.

Software2 Packaging Service

Webinar transcription

Phil Spitze: Hi everybody. Welcome to today's webinar. Before we get started, I would just like to note that this webinar is being recorded and a sharing link will be distributed after the processing has been completed. So feel free to share that around the office with your coworkers and for anyone who was unable to attend today.

Great. Well, thanks so much for joining and I'm delighted to see so many familiar names. Most of you do know me, but for the purpose of an introduction and for the recorded version, my name is Phil Spitze and I'm the account management director for North America here at Software2. My goal is to ensure that our customers are satisfied and successful with their use of the entire AppsAnywhere solution.

For today's edition of the Software2 webinar series, I'd like to cover our new and exciting service offering that was just launched earlier this year and that is our new packaging subscription service. I'm going to walk you through all of the particulars of the service along with some cost options and then at the end, there will be questions. So do use the GoToMeeting panel, the questions panel to submit those and we will get those taken care of.

All right, great. Let's get started. First off, just a little bit about me. As I said, I'm account management director here at Software2. Long and storied history within the IT world, but I do have firsthand use with apps anywhere from the context of a customer, which is when I worked at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and we were lucky enough to come across Software2 and AppsAnywhere and we implemented that on our campus in 2014.

Today, I want to again talk about the packaging service from Software2. We're really excited about this. We launched it late January, early February of this year and it has been really a huge success with our customers. We've gotten really great feedback on it. Let's dig into it a little bit.

First off, we've always supported our customers in a variety of ways with creating packages in Cloudpaging that can be used to deploy the software across campus. That includes our library of recipes. The last time I looked, this count was up over 400 different popular application recipes now that you can use. These are detailed step by step directions, complete with screenshots that will walk you through how to create Cloudpaging packages.

The next thing that we do is we offer training and certification. We have a CPA or certified packaging associate course and certification exam that we offer. This is a great opportunity to take your Cloudpaging skills up to the next level. And then finally, we've always had some form of packaging services. Historically, this has been more of a time and materials type engagement and we thought that there was probably a better way to offer this out to our customers and try to build in some automation and take advantage of the Cloudpaging tool set in a much more efficient manner.

Earlier this year, like I said, we launched our packaging subscription service. Okay. So we started by looking at what are the free and open source apps that we find being used among all of our customers and we came up with a list of 30. There are some fairly common utilities, some academic programs as well, such as R and RStudio, Google Earth, some of the Java tools. So we built those into our core apps subscription.

These are kept up to date. They're available to all customers who subscribe to the core subscription, and not only do we give you the 30 that we've identified, we also give every customer the ability to choose 10 of their own titles. As long as it's a free license or open source license, we can package those for you. So this is a great starting point. Again, you're looking at 40 apps that you can quickly deploy through AppsAnywhere.

The next thing that we did is we went through the list of licensed software and we looked for those packages that we knew were both popular and that we knew could be where the packaging could be automated in some way and we actually came up with a list of over 60. So even here on the screen you'll recognize some very familiar names, some very common apps.

The process is very straightforward. You supply your particular school's license key. We'll just inject that into our package and we'll give you back a ready to use app set. Again, built in Cloudpaging so you can add it to AppsAnywhere and just deploy it across campus.

To look at the two different subscription options that we have, I've talked about the core subscription and that's $3,000 a year. Again, that's giving you 30 apps of our choosing and 10 of yours. Then we have another subscription option, which is the plus subscription. This is $11,000 a year and this is going to not only give you all of the 40 apps from the core subscription included, but you're also going to get an additional 6,000 credits to spend on app sets that are licensed.

You can also put in what we call bespoke requests. That is apps that we don't have listed anywhere on a menu or if you want to take apps that we do have listed in and request customization, we can do that as well. The plus subscription has a fantastic starting point because you're getting the benefit of a $1,000 off that bundle of apps and credits. Just to note that a credit is $1.50 in US.

The reason behind using a credit system is just so that we can more easily deal with all the different currencies that we've got to manage behind the scenes for our customers around the world. So it's pretty straightforward. It's cost per credit and then each app will have an associated value.

I'll show you the menu here in a second, but first, I just want to share some fantastic good news about the plus subscription and that is it gives you access to the entire Adobe Creative suite. We know that a lot of our customers, if not all of our customers are using Adobe products and we also know that they can be tricky to package. So we've taken that headache away from you completely.

So we've got the entire Creative suite 2019 bundle. That's all 18 apps and if you're using the named user licensing model, then you're good to go. You can buy these packages from us ready to use, deploy them out to your users and just like normal, when they are launched, the user can sign in with their Adobe ID and they're off and running.

These also will be updated twice a year to coincide with the start of each term. So you can be sure that they're going to be up to date for your school and for your users. Not only that, we do actually offer off-peak discounts. So the recording of this webinar is quite timely because starting here in a couple of weeks with the beginning of October, you will start to enjoy off-peak discounts.

We will be reducing the amount of credits required for some of these packages. And you can see if we look at just Band B in the middle there, you can take a package such as AutoCAD and instead of paying the equivalent of $750, you are going to see a reduction in price down to just over $560. So the 6,000 credits that you get with the plus subscription, they're actually going to go quite a bit further now. So if you can work on getting those lists identified of apps that you need packaged and we can work on that for you off-peak, it's going to be great and take your bank of credits even further.

I just want to highlight a couple of use case of that where it makes sense and where we think that this whole packaging subscription service really will fit in well. First off, if you're a newer customer or you're just getting started with us, we've got a few who have joined this year, this can really accelerate your rollout. Again, when you look at all of the apps available, you're coming in around a hundred different titles that you can have ready to deploy right from day one. That will really make a big impact on campus because you're going to give students and users all of the software that they probably need.

The other kind of use case would be that of staff augmentation. You may have competing projects or competing timelines going on that you want staff to be working on versus packaging. Again, offload some of that to us and we can become part of your team and get these packages done for you.

A couple of other obvious ones, vacation, right? Summer is a perfect time to give folks a break and let them go enjoy a beach somewhere, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the packaging needs to stop. Again, you can hand those off to us, give your folks the time off that they deserve and when they come back, the packages will be ready for deployment.

And then of course, as with any business, there are staff changes, folks may get promoted or may change to a different business unit or may just change to a different school or career altogether. While you take the time to find the right replacement, you can let us take over the packaging so that you can continue to offer the best experience for your users.

All right. Let's pop out of here and we'll just take a quick look at the menu. This will highlight all of the apps that we have currently available. As you might expect, it's an app store. It's an AppsAnywhere app store. We like to practice what we preach, so I just sort by category here. We can look at here are the core apps. So these are those open source apps that I mentioned. These are the 30 that you can get.

So again, the popular ones, Google Earth, the Java. Notepad++ is a great utility. Python, R, RStudio, WinPython. These all often show up inside of academic programs. Those are all great to kick things off with.

If I look at the Band A apps, these are going to be somewhat more lightweight ones, but popular still. We've got MathCAD, Minitab, SPSS, Tableau. These pop up all the time for our customers. We hop into Band B. These are going to be all of the Adobe Creative cloud apps, but also we've got, surprisingly to me anyway, we've got some of the heavier ones, which turns out are fairly straightforward to automate from a packaging standpoint.

So ArcGIS is extremely popular. AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor is in here. We also have Autodesk Revit. So some really popular apps that can often be a little bit challenging when you're first getting started, but turns out are easy to automate, and so that's what we've done.

And then finally, the two big hitters that we have right now are MATLAB and SolidWorks. So those fall into that Band C category. Again, right now, we're coming up on the off peak. So these will drop from a thousand credits down to 750 each. So really a great value. When you look at the time that your staff might be spending on packaging, again, just hand it over to us and, and we'll take it from here.

This is the URL on our website, so software2.com/packaging-service. We'll give you all the details about the service. You can find PDF versions of the lists of apps, both that list of core apps and the list of menu apps to choose from. There is descriptions in there about making a bespoke request. You'll see the off-peak discounts and there's a registration form so that you can get direct access to that menu, that store that I just showed. And then that allows you to do some searching and filtering and you can start to create an audit between what's on your list and what we offer and you can see where the benefits are there.

That's really in a nutshell, again, fairly quick, hopefully very straightforward for you. Let's just switch over to some questions now. Again, right in the GoToMeeting panel, you'll see the questions tab. You just drop some in there.

All right. Our first one is, do we know a cost or credit estimate for Mathematica and other very popular program? Yes. That credit costs would be 500 credits right now, and so then you'll see a reduction October 1st. Okay, here's one. How do I know what my credit balance is? That's a great question.

If you're making bespoke requests or you're making requests to download those individual packages, we're going to keep a running tally for you. At any point, if you need that updated, you can just let us know and we'll deliver to you a list of everything that we've packaged for you and what the credit value was including the remaining balance that you've got. You can top off those credits at any time throughout the year. So if you find that you're a few hundred credits short to get that last package done from your list, you can just buy those credits. Again, it's based on $1.50 US and you can get the whole list taken care of.

All right. Here's a good question around customizing. Can we request customizations or add-ons like toolbars and plugins to the packages? Yes, absolutely. There will be a credit cost associated with those, but again, we don't perform any work without your approval. So if you need to take something like SPSS and add a plugin or add a tool bar to the Autodesk suite, just put that request in and we'll let you know what the cost would be and then you can decide whether or not you want to move forward or not.

Oh. This is a good followup question to that last one. Are you able to make your own edits to packages that we create? Yes, absolutely. The answer is definitely yes. One thing that's great about Cloudpaging is it's all open, right? The packages that get created can be reopened and modified and edited to your liking.

If you're looking at packaging something like Firefox, one of our core apps, but you want to set the home to default homepage to your school's website, you can take the package that we provide and then just open it and edit it and then update the homepage URL to be whatever you want and then deploy it.

So yeah, it's all completely open, and not only do you get the package, you will also get recipes along with all of the packages that we do for you. So you will then have the step by step instructions that were created when we did the package and then you'll be able to do anything you like.

All right, let's see. Any other questions? It doesn't look like it. Great. Well, we'll wrap it up for now. If you do think of questions later on or you want to talk through this again or have me investigate what the credit cost might be for some of your apps, feel free just to drop me an email and we can get that all sorted for you.

Again, I will just throughout the reminder to keep an eye on our events page at Software2.com and we've got lots of conferences coming up that we'll be attending including EDUCAUSE next month in Chicago. And then we also do our annual user day that will be up in Toronto the week following EDUCAUSE. So hopefully we'll see you up there, and yeah, until then, have a great rest of your day and keep in touch. All right. Thanks everybody. Bye-bye.