Quark's New Licensing Program Speaks Volumes

The Quark Volume Licensing Program includes volume discounts and installation management for customers who purchase or upgrade five or more QuarkXPress licenses.

Under the program, all purchases are tied to a single serial number and validation code and there are no contracts that customers must sign. In addition, Quark has developed a license management application that manages and tracks deployment of the licenses.

Quark also has developed two-tiered service plans for the licensing program,. The QuarkAssurance Maintenance Plan includes technical support and free upgrades, while the ServicePlus Maintenance Plan adds training, according to Cherie Walker, director of channel and educational sales for Quark.

"When we sat down to develop the program, we had two goals: to make it simple and to deliver through an effective deployment model so all channel partners could participate. We wanted it to be flexible and we wanted it to be easy. It's not contract based and it's not point based," Walker said.

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A licensing program was overdue from Quark, said Gertrude Pillay, vice president of marketing at PC Mall, Torrance, Calif.

"We've been asking them for a long, long time to open up their licensing program for resellers. It really put them in a non-competitive situation," Pillay said. "Our customers are swtiching to volume licensing programs. It's easier to manage licenses. They don't want to sit and manage boxes and keep track of what serial number goes with what. Volume licensing is the way to go for the corporate world."

Pillay estimates that about half of PC Mall's software sales are licenses now vs. boxed product. That's a change from about 5 percent licensing and 95 percent boxes seven years ago, she added.

Walker agreed that volume licensing has become more important to solution providers.

"We know much of industry is moving towards licensing programs. The benefits for the reseller are they're not constantly looking up contracts. The end user can buy the software when they need it and they don't have milestones to meet," Walker said.

Quark volume licenses are available through distributors Ingram Micro, Synnex and The Douglas Stewart Co., an education-only distributor.

Pillay doesn't expect margins from Quark sales to change much with a licensing program. "It's really a customer satisfaction issue more than anything," she said. "It's about making it easier for custmers to buy the products. The result will be Quark will be able to hold on to marketshare better."

Quark listened to partner concerns and made some changes to the program before rolling it out, Pillay said.

For example, the program initially did not include product upgrades as part of the maintenance contract. ""They went back and made the changes. This is a Quark that is listening to its resellers. I was extremely happy and surprised about the fact that they did that," she said.