Simplified account management for MSPs is at the core of a new platform integration agreement between Tech Data and Trend Micro.
The two companies are currently integrating Trend Micro's Licensing Management Platform (LMP) into Tech Data's Solutions Store as part of an effort to ensure accurate and streamlined billing and provisioning for MSPs selling cloud-based SaaS security products.
"Each MSP typically bears the burden of auditing their end-users' usage, drawing up a PO that includes all that usage and then passing all that information through distribution," said Bharath Natarajan, director of product marketing at Tech Data. "It's quite a task. So we've come up with a way for them to systematically determine usages and deal with metered consumption models, and then we feed them an invoice with line level details for each end user. This enables them to spend less time on administrative functions and increase their focus on building relationships and revenue opportunities."
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Trend Micro's LMP platform provides real-time information on usage. The Tech Data platform supports the ability to break down the aggregated information to the end user, and it creates invoices on a monthly basis for each specific customer of the participating MSP.
"This platform integration not only eliminates the need for multiple invoices at different times of the month, it provides unified invoices based on real-time usage calculations," Natarajan emphasized. "This has been a troublesome issue for all parties concerned. Until now, much of the usage auditing has been based on good faith. So from a vendor's perspective, they are now getting much more accurate data. On the partner side, it eliminates the administrative chores associated with this business function. As customers move towards the cloud model, there are a few days every month when people are just scrambling to gather data on usage in order to invoice the customers. This is been a painful thorn in the sides of all the providers, and we believe that we have just removed that thorn."
The combined system is now available as part of a pilot program extended to a select group of MSP partners. General availability is anticipated in April.
PUBLISHED JAN. 3, 2013