Ingram Micro and its e-commerce partner, Intersell, have launched a Web-based licence tracking tool to help resellers manage their software annuity business.
Licence Tracker is the latest module in the Intersell TechLink4U platform, which also includes website building, marketing campaign and quoting applications. The tool allows resellers to oversee software licences from nine of Ingram's vendors - Microsoft, Symantec, Trend Micro, Adobe, Corel, McAfee, CA, Red Hat and VMware. Ingram sales director, John Walters, said it would support a further four vendors shortly.
Software licensing was a key focus for Ingram, he said. Other distributors also offering annuity management tools include Express Data, Westcon Group and itX.
"There's a lot of black magic to software licensing - quoting and licensing are not easy. And the chance is that any mistake you make will be in licensing more than traditional hardware sales," Walters said during the launch in Sydney. "With Licence Tracker resellers can store, quote and import data on software licensing they have sold to customers and track that."
Ingram had spent the past few months trialling the tool with resellers, Walters said.
"We had one case where a partner doing beta testing thought he had 10 opportunities at about $10,000. Once we plugged the vendor info in, he realised $1 million in opportunity he didn't know he had," he said.
While aimed at SMB resellers, Walters emphasised the Techlink4U tools could also benefit larger corporate resellers looking to simplify or better manage volume ordering, quoting and software licensing.
Intersell general manager, Wayne Troy, said Licence Tracker directly interfaces with the Ingram software licensing team and alerts them of upcoming renewal opportunities 90 days before expiry. They can then preview the previous licences and provide resellers with renewal or upgraded software codes. A reseller can also set rules around notification to staff and customers.
Resellers with a TechLink e-commerce site can also give customers rights to view licensing quotes and information online. Resellers retain all ownership of customer data.
Licence Tracker is free to QuoteBuilder users. Resellers with existing software vendor accounts independently of Ingram who want to integrate these into the Licence Tracker toolset will be charged $50 by Intersell to plug in each vendor.
"We're now looking at creating a generic section where resellers can capture information on vendors that aren't represented by Ingram and manage those annuity opportunities," Troy said.
During the launch, Microsoft business lead, Kathryn Sadracas, cited massive opportunities for volume licencing sales in the SMB (5-250 users) market and claimed only 9 per cent of all volume licencing opportunities in the SMB space were realised last year.
For every $1 of volume licencing revenue generated, there was an additional $4 in up-selling and cross-product sales, Sadracas said.
Microsoft expects to report $110 million worth of software licencing revenue in the SMB space this year and has set itself the target of adding an additional $50 million in revenue over the next three years.
Ingram and Intersell signed an exclusive arrangement in 2006 and launched the Techlink4U platform to its reseller community in October 2006. Troy said it now had 143 live TechLink sites across Australia as well as 31 resellers using QuoteBuilder. Intersell is now considering adding a warranty renewals application into the platform.