Status of Bible Software Industry

John Fidel

December 30, 2010

An article written by John Fidel, CPA. Copyright � 2010-2011 by the author. best replica watches All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce any part of this document without obtaining permission from the author.

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The last status report I gave was in November 2005, so I thought a brief update would be helpful to both developers and their customers. Since 2005 things have changed exponentially in this industry as with all software development.

Below is a summary of trends and direction the industry is going. As stated above, I will gladly discuss my thoughts with any of the Bible Software Developers privately. Send your emails to Bible Software Review and they will provide you my contact information.

The move to Mac and multi-platform

The last few years there has been a big move to Mac. Most Bible software users that have made the move still emulate Windows to run those programs that have not become multi-platform.

What this means:

     � Windows only programs may get pressure from their customers to go multi-platform.
     � Those developers that are in the Mac environment have an opportunity to get lots of new customers.
     � Customers will expect their software and investment in resources to go with them if they change platforms.

The move to mobile

Smart phones, iPods and iPads have dramatically changed the way people relate to data, be it music, books, magazines or news. Bible Software has always had developers that are exclusive in this arena, but have more companies that were desktop focused moving in. Customers will expect to be able to use their purchased resources on their mobile devices and will pressure companies to make the move if they have not. But, it needs to be done well.

What this means:

     � If a desktop company develops for mobile, the customers� resources need to transfer without additional cost. Additionally, the basis apps are free or low cost. This means Bible software developers must invest in the future without expectations of immediate returns.
     � The apps must be done well. Those companies that have been mobile developers for some time have a great advantage as to how useful the app is. They are at a disadvantage based upon content the desktop developers can provide users at no additional cost.
     � There is an opportunity for mobile developers to move to Windows and Mac with their software and resources.

The move to digital libraries

In 2005, I would not have imagined people investing thousands of dollars in digital resources. Customers have gotten used to the idea of digital books with the Kindle and other readers. As such they are investing in digital libraries rather than paper resources. Especially if these resources can be read on all their computers and mobile devices.

What this means:

     � Available resources are important, however, customers view this as a long-term investment and will not just buy on available resources alone. The company must provide confidence that it will be moving forward as technology develops.
     � Companies that are not digital libraries can still maintain market share if they provide software that does what it does better than the competition. They need to stay the best at what they do.

The move is to online content

A customer wants to be able to buy software and resources online and get an immediate download of their purchase. They are moving away from buying their software at Christian bookstores or 3rd party online stores.

What this means:

     � Make content available for online purchases and downloading or lose sales.
     � 3rd party online stores need to be able to compete with pricing.

The move is to cloud backup and syncing users� data

Have a note on your computer at work,swiss replica watches well now it is sync�d and available on your laptop. Use an iPad or iPhone, you can now sync and backup your user data with the software you are using. Installing on a new computer and your data, workspaces, layouts etc. move automatically. Your purchases are always available to be downloaded again if necessary online.

What this means:

     � These are great features that are going to be important to customers. Provide them or fall behind in a fast moving industry.
     � Caution: customers want to know there is security with their personal notes and data. Consideration of encryption and security may save some complaints.

The move to cloud for all resources is going to be slow

Hey, why not just provide various libraries in the cloud? Well, the industry is not there yet and there are serious concerns about going �cloud.�

What this means:

     � There is opportunity for a monthly fee gets you a library of resources. Several library options can be available at varied monthly costs. This involves contracts; interacting with customers that have purchased their libraries; costing models; etc.
     � Mobile apps appeared to be a good model for the cloud, but users demand more and more from their software in terms of speed and function requiring the software to work outside of the cloud. Still who wants hundreds of resources on their phone?? Many people do.


One thing can be said about capitalism and free-markets: it promotes innovation!

The great news is that most developers have innovated greatly these last years. Some have been on the bleeding edge, some have moved in a more orderly manner, but there is great innovation in this industry. There are some excellent Bible software companies developing outstanding products. To them I offer my thanks, as my study time has never been better or more intimate. I fell like I have received so much from what has been made available.

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