Licensing for all

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Software giant Computer Associates (CA) has waived the minimum entry points necessary for organisations to join its Open Licence Program (OLP) in a move that would allow SMEs to enjoy the same benefits as larger companies.

Software giant Computer Associates (CA) has waived the minimum entry points necessary for organisations to join its Open Licence Program (OLP) in a move that would allow SMEs to enjoy the same benefits as larger companies.

Previously, entry points for the OLP were based on the number of licenses that an organisation needed to purchase. An eTrust anti-virus licence was worth two and, as the minimum entry points for OLP was 40 points, an organisation needed to purchase 20 eTrust anti-virus licences to be part of the program.

"This opens up the benefits of our licensing program to customers who would have traditionally purchased boxed product. Now customers can receive technical support and upgrade protection under maintenance whether they buy one licence or twenty licences," said Vicki Bain, sales manager channels at CA.

Bain said the move was a global decision and CA had been trialling it with its ETrust software product over the past six months. "Hopefully it creates a revenue stream for resellers and they can go back into the licensing program and the renewals are there," Bain said.

"Resellers want that ongoing revenue stream and the boxed product doesn't [provide] that today. The reseller has an excuse to go back and say: "There's a new version," Bain said.

Today, licensing makes up 80 percent of CA's sales in Australia, with the remaining 20 percent being boxed product sales, Bain said. "There are still people that prefer to buy a boxed product, but it's more expensive to do it that way," Bain said.

Under the OLP, users are only required to pay for an upgrade once for the entire organisation, CA said. Technical support pricing is also built into OLP's maintenance agreement and is a no longer a separate cost, CA added.

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