LAN Systems has launched a maintenance renewal tool to help its resellers keep track of expiring end-user contracts.
It was expected to double the distributor's maintenance revenues within six months, general manager, Wendy O'Keeffe, said.
The free tool has been trialled through a select band of dealers - including Netstar and Kanbay - during January. It has now been made widely available and alerts resellers to opportunities three months before contracts are due to expire.
More than 350 resellers have signed up to use the tool, which O'Keeffe said represented all partners that currently have existing maintenance contracts. It is similar to the annuity tool launched by Express Data last year but covers hardware as well as software. The products of Cisco, Check Point, Nokia, Nortel, McAfee, Packeteer, WatchGuard and Blue Coat are covered by the scheme.
For some vendor partners, O'Keeffe said up to 40 per cent of business through LAN Systems came via renewals. She predicted the company's new tool would be most applicable to software vendors such as antivirus companies.
"This is something we have been aware of for some time because a lot of vendors have maintenance around hardware platforms," she said. "Nokia renewals are pretty high and I was talking to somebody from a security company recently who estimated 90 per cent of its products were renewed."
But if renewals were not proactively managed, O'Keeffe claimed only about a quarter were activated. This, she said, left distributors and resellers open to losing business to competitors.
LAN Systems has seen a lot of change in its competitive landscape recently as its leading vendor partners have shuffled the pack: Check Point added Firewall Systems to its distribution ranks; Nortel dropped Ingram Micro and added Anixter; while Cisco signed Ingram.