Express Data claims annuity success

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Distributor Express Data has hailed its Annuity support program as a success, claiming it had around 1500 resellers with renewable deals this year since launching the program in February.

Distributor Express Data has hailed its Annuity support program as a success, claiming it had around 1500 resellers with renewable deals this year since launching the program in February.

The internet-based annuity service aimed to help resellers earn more from renewable support deals and would advise them of customers whose contracts were about to expire.

The company claimed the website could show resellers all potentially renewable deals three months in the past and three months in advance.

At launch, the distributor claimed it would aim to capture a large chunk of the $50 million it anticipated was available in the market in the first year. "I'd have to say that we have 1500-odd resellers with opportunities that are renewable this year," said Shannon Muller, annuity business manager at Express Data.

"One thing I should highlight is because we are proactively quoting them, the portal is just part of the service. So in a sense, because we are pre-quoting our resellers, they don't necessarily have to go on to the portal if they don't want to because we put all the relevant information in the updates we send them," Muller said.

Express Data claimed one of its largest customers calculated that 35 percent of its revenue came from annuity last year, up 10 percent from the year before.

Peter Masters, director of marketing at Express Data, added: "Several of our staff members had broached this as a very sensible and badly needed service for our customers."

"It was first raised a couple of years ago [in early 2002] by members of our customer service team and the strength of the idea was such that it was quickly recognised and adopted," he said.

IDC recently claimed that perpetual licenses (the ones that resellers buy every day and add their margin to) are in decline in favour of subscription-type, pay-as-you-go interest free programs.

Muller claimed Express Data picked this trend early. "It is one team dealing with everything to do with renewable business. So from a reseller's point of view, that is a really good thing. We have put our hands up and said, 'we know that this is going to be happening and we are readying the channel for it.'"

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