As several of its leading competitors follow its lead into offering structured annuity, Express Data has taken its service to a new level by introducing end-user notifications.
The new service will see ED emailing a quote to resellers 45 days before a renewal is due. The reseller can then forward this to the end-user complete with a customised dealer logo and pricing details. Rather than individual deals, the quote groups all renewals a reseller has with an end-user each month.
"At the moment, a reseller gets a renewal notice and has to create the quote," ED software manager, Shannon Muller, said. "If that renewal opportunity is worth less than $3000 it can end up costing the reseller money by the time a rep has put a quote together.
"Many of these deals will only be worth a few hundred dollars but resellers still have to offer the service because users get upset if they are not notified. We are helping resellers take costs out of their business."
While the value of a renewal itself might often be small, Muller pointed out that it was an excellent opportunity to make contact with a customer and secure additional sales.
Several other distributors have followed ED's annuity lead recently including Alstom IT, LAN Systems and Ingram Micro. The trend is hardly surprising given that Muller estimated the company had doubled its annuity revenues to about $100 million during the past 18 months.
The next step, Muller said, would be to offer renewals for vendors outside of the ED stable but this was proving to be more difficult than the company had anticipated. She was unable to provide a timeframe for when this service might be available.
ED annuity, licensing enquiries and direct fulfillments are all looked after by a team of four staff. Muller estimated 83 per cent of Express Data renewals were software-based.