New Tech Data Platform Simplifies Software Licensing

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Tech Data has launched a new software licensing platform that the distributor says will expedite and simplify ordering licenses on behalf of customers.

The StreamOne Software License Selector is now available at Tech Data's Web site after having been tested with select customers with EDI capabilities, said Joe Quaglia, senior vice president of U.S. marketing at Tech Data.

The StreamOne tool guides VARs through a simple Q&A that determines the correct and appropriate license SKU for a particular customer, a process that can take under a minute and at most a few minutes, Quaglia said.

"We were not happy with the method that had been established over decades for ordering software licenses. It's been a couple years in the making. This is going to revolutionize the way software licensing works in the supply chain," Quaglia said.

Quaglia assigned a Tech Data team to create a more intelligent system that allows VARs to select software licenses with higher levels of accuracy and speed. StreamOne was launched with EDI customers, typically larger partners, and Tech Data saw the time it took to select, order and deliver licenses drop from days to minutes, Quaglia said.

StreamOne includes all software developers that Tech Data carries and the Q&A process helps VARs avoid what can be complex and confusing individual licensing programs by vendors based on different vertical markets and more, said Toby McDuffie, director of software product marketing at Tech Data.

"Within all those programs, there are multiple SKUs for different products. It could be a pro version or a standard version. They have a proliferation of parts to sift through. Without some sort of filter it's difficult to pick the right part number. And when the wrong part number is selected the end user could end up mis-licensed or out of compliance or the vendor could reject the order," McDuffie said. "Within this tool we built in intuitive Q&A filtering so that the work a trained licensing specialist would have go through in monts, someone could walk through. It asks the questions in a fifth-grade language to make sure you get the right product."

Suzanne Mayes, senior territory manager with Software Express, a Charlotte, N.C.-based solution provider, said StreamOne will make her company more efficient.

"We do a lot of licensing. It's going to speed up licensing activity for us. There's so many SKUs with Symantec, Microsoft, Adobe, you name it. Now with this, it breaks it down. It allows me to get more quotes done in one day than I used to be able to get done in two. And I don't have to make phone calls to Tech Data. I can take phone calls instead of having to make calls. It's really, really convenient."

Tech Data's algorithms behind the Q&A ensure that the right product is selected, Quaglia said.

"Buying a software program is complex. There are many sales reps in the channel that really have stopped selling software because the reps don't want to license software. They don't want to hunt for [the right license] because it'ss so complex," Quaglia said. "[Licensing] has been a prohibitor in their ability to attach software to solutions. We want to go back to the channel and present to you your solutions in an easier way to include more sales than ever before."

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