renames its tool for online software distribution renames its tool for online software distribution

Online distribution cuts maintenance costs, which can be three times purchase price, vendor says

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Online seller of Santa Clara, Calif., has renamed its Electronic Download Manager software Atlas.

Atlas, which stands for automated tracking and licensing of software, delivers applications and other digital content such as documents and training videos to desktop computers and servers, said Don Beery,'s vice president of government sales and programs.

'The whole thrust is trying to move agencies to digital distribution of software,' said Steven M. Cooker, vice president and general manager of's Government Systems Group.

Cooker said GartnerGroup Inc. of Stamford, Conn., has found that maintaining software typically costs two to three times the initial purchase price. Digital software management eliminates much of the physical aspect of application installation, he said.

When an organization buys an enterprisewide software license for, say, 10,000 users, relatively few people ever see the license certificate.

Electronic licensing and distribution 'is the way for government to maintain accountability,' Beery said, ensuring that 10,000 and not 15,000 employees are using the licensed app.

Accurate usage count

Having an accurate count of application usage also helps agencies guard against unintentional software piracy, Cooker said.

Atlas' so-called controlled pull technology gives system administrators 'full control over who has access to the software, how and when they download it, and what they download,' Beery said.

Managers can customize the Atlas tracking and reporting features to meet their needs. It first downloads a licensed application from's secure site onto one server behind the agency's firewall, Beery said. The systems administrator can choose to subscribe to software revisions as they become available.

Once the software is behind the firewall and has been tested out, the administrator can use either Atlas or some other tool to deploy the app to other servers and desktop computers.

Atlas uses VeriSign digital certificates from VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., to verify that the agency's download is identical to what sent.

Atlas can distribute any of's 4,500 software titles. It runs under Microsoft Windows NT as a desktop or server tool; Beery said there has been little demand for a Unix version.

Yearly pricing for Atlas is $15 per PC and $3,000 per server.

Contact at 877-804-4995.

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