Distribution Central has launched a new business unit, Annuity Systems, to provide annuity services.
It will offer a portfolio of tools such as service renewal, warranty conversion, subscription and license management. The business unit will be headed up by Derk van Ogtrop, who previously spent two years at the distributor as a channel account manager for Firewall Systems.
Marketing director, Nick Verykios, said it is Distribution Central’s first business unit based 100 per cent on annuity services. A set of resellers has been beta testing the system over the past few months and it is now being made available to all resellers and their customers.
“The development has been inspired by a lot of what our vendors wish they had, but they can’t do. It’s not just a refresh technology tool, it’s a business or sales tool for a vendor or a reseller,” he said. “It’s an answer to a problem that is renewals and revenues are being left on the table. They're not managed very well by resellers or vendors, and they’re definitely not managed very well by users.”
Annuity Systems provides a custom-built online tracking and reporting system, which is linked to a database containing live renewable contracts, warranty expirations and license contracts, so that resellers can see what service contracts are due for renewal.
When a reseller or vendor logs in, they have access to all customer information and tools to help with contracts and transactions, IT asset configurations, product end-of-life situations, updates and upgrades, and financial information and forecasting of renewals income. Renewal notices are provided on a 60, 30 and seven day schedule.
According to van Ogtrop, it’s ideal for resellers that have a managed services-type solution where they can centrally manage all information. The renewal quoting tool enables resellers to automatically create a customer quote for a specific asset. There are also request options to renew the device, or if it has reached end-of-life to upgrade or retire the asset, van Ogtrop said.
“When you’re doing a renewal quote for a user and trying to work out how many boxes they’ve got and where they’re located, it’s usually a big challenge,” van Ogtrop said.
A series of training sessions for resellers to learn how to use all the tools will be held.
“It’s a powerful tool for resellers when they’re trying to do a warranty claim or something of a similar nature,” CEO, Scott Frew, said. “Annuity Systems has been a key component in helping some of the larger organisations that don’t have their own asset tracking systems find the serial number set, check what the status is and even the location based on the information on the box.”