AppDirect acquires Radialpoint. Because . . . support

AppDirect has been on a real tear signing up customers with aplomb for its application marketplace platform. Today's acquisition sees it add the all-important service element.

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Credit: Thinkstock

AppDirect today announced that it has acquired Radialpoint. So who is Radialpoint and why does this deal make sense?

Radialpoint has, since its inception in 1997, offered technical support for small businesses and consumers. While it's certainly not sexy, it is Radialpoint's job to pick up the pieces once nontechnical customers buy a piece of technology and suffer the inevitable issues around using it. While many people would like to ignore the fact that not everyone finds it a doddle to use technology, Radialpoint has embraced that fact, and provides the sort of technical support services that oftentimes would otherwise be left to the overworked tech enthusiast in the neighborhood.

What this means for AppDirect is that, once the two products are integrated, AppDirect can take the support function over from its customers. The way it currently works is that a company using AppDirect to deliver its application marketplace needs to think about supporting those applications separate from the marketplace element. No longer is that the case. For the sort of customers who use AppDirect to accelerate their move into the marketplace, being able to outsource another part of the delivery puzzle is highly attractive.

Radialpoint already serves customers such as Windstream, Rogers, Telus, Virgin Media and SquareTrade, and these relationships will continue. On top of that, Radialpoint's 80 or so employees will now support AppDirect's customers as well.

The integration between the two products is already complete, and alongside the acquisition news, AppDirect is announcing new integrated services. AppDirect's new premium technical support services that are now immediately available include:

  • Cloud Services Support for Microsoft Office 365: Activation, migration, training and general support services for Office 365 for small to midsize businesses (SMBs)
  • Cloud and IT Helpdesk: Enterprise-grade support, at a small-business price, for any hardware, software or cloud challenge
  • Consumer Technical Support: A premium technical support solution for all home technology, from PCs, smartphones, Wi-Fi routers and other peripheral devices, to gaming consoles and all the latest connected smart home devices. The service offers full-stack support regardless of manufacturer or customer issue and allows for cross-selling additional cloud services via expert agents.

All premium support services can be distributed and acquired in an AppDirect Marketplace or via a service provider’s existing point-of-sale and point-of-need channels, and can be offered as a stand-alone service, bundled with other cloud services or bundled with core services.

As application delivery becomes increasingly commoditized, support becomes an attractive revenue generator. Surveys suggest that 60% of small and midsize businesses are interested in support services. Additionally, 45% of SMBs are interested in getting support directly from their broadband providers, creating a huge opportunity for service providers to leverage premium technical support to increase app sales and increase gross merchandise value (GMV) of their cloud service marketplaces.

"Cloud services have become an essential part of running almost any business. At the same time, business owners still need real people to help them get the most out of those services," said Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO of AppDirect. "By acquiring Radialpoint, we're able to help our partners engage the 'human element' of sales and support and become trusted partners to their customers. We’re thrilled to bring the whole Radialpoint team on board to help businesses around the world find, buy and manage the cloud services they need to thrive."

This is a logical acquisition and should further cement the leading position that AppDirect has as a global application marketplace enabler.

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