B&N Outsources Nook Functions to Indian Tech Company

14644513044_5d2cb9b21e_hWhen Barnes & Noble shut down the UK Nook Store as well as the Nook App Store last month, we took it as a sign that B&N was going to kill off the Nook platform quickly. Now it seems B&N is going to let the Nook wither on the vine.

B&N announced on Thursday that it had inked a deal with Bahwan CyberTek, an Indian outsourcing firm, for BT to take over certain Nook tech services. To be more exact, B&N said that the firm would be responsible for cloud management, development support for Nook software, and other services.

“Over the last two years, the Company has done a significant amount of work to improve NOOK’s overall performance,” said Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer at Barnes & Noble. “While we have been able to reduce costs, we still have a lot more work to do to rationalize the business. We believe that by outsourcing certain technology functions of our Nook business we will further improve Nook's performance.”

B&N also took the time to reaffirm its commitment to the Nook platform, and add that as a result of the deal it is closing both its Taiwan and Santa Clara, Calif. offices by July 2016.

The Nook platform, however, will remain open as B&N adopts benign neglect as its digital business model.

And yes, benign neglect is the best term for today's news; had B&N really been interested in rebuilding Nook then they would have invested capital rather than outsourcing key functions.

That's what Amazon would do; remember, Amazon has a habit of buying companies with tech it needs (Kiva Systems, Mobipocket, Liquavista, etc).

That B&N is choosing not to invest tells us all we need to know about their plans for the Nook platform.

Now would be a good time to get your ebooks out, if you can.

image by Kansas Poetry

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on B&N Outsources Nook Functions to Indian Tech Company

  1. I am curious as to why this is news. Barnes and Ignoble bought Fictionwise, which KNEW how to market eBooks. They ignored everything FW did and totally screwed the Nook and eBook fans from Day Zero. I expected this long ago.

  2. I guess that’s what they meant when they said they were looking into ways to reduce Nook expenses. If outsourcing to India works for call centers, why not do it for their e-reader, too?

    • They are learning pity sales isn’t a sound business model but they seem incompetent to fix it. Passing off to India isn’t going to win them customers.

  3. Kobo should buy out the Nook, and upgrade the Nook ereader software to interface with the Kobo website. Then replace all Nook ereader apps with the Kobo ereader apps. Kobo did this with Sony a couple of years ago. I LOVE my Kobo ereader!

  4. Alas, I fear that in not too many years business schools will be using B&N’s Nook strategy to illustrate how not to adapt to technological change. You either invest enough to succeed or you stay out altogether. Fumbling around and attempting to succeed on the cheap doesn’t work.

    • Nook was hardly a cheap play.
      The losses have piled up pretty high…
      …at least according to B&N accounting.
      (Horribly mismanaged but not cheap.)

  5. “Over the last two years, the Company has done a significant amount of work to improve NOOK’s overall performance,” said Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer at Barnes & Noble.

    NOOK has declined over the past few years, not improved.

    • Yes, but it’s not losing quite so much money as it was two years ago.

      • In any event, the Big Five publishers will probably be happy that the B&N bookstore franchise can stay afloat and keep competing with Amazon on the print-book front. They’re already doing everything they can to strangle their own e-books in the crib with agency pricing, so why would they care about Nook being a going concern?

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Barnes & Noble outsources Nook to India - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond
  2. Nook for iOS 4.6 Adds Free eBook Downloads, Support for Enhanced eBooks | The Digital Reader
  3. B&N to Merge Nook Press Print, eBook Platforms on 8 November | The Digital Reader

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