Software Spectrum Bets on Volume Licensing

Global B2B software service provider Software Spectrum will offer volume software licensing over the Web, the company said this week.

Reportedly IBM's largest global reseller, Software Spectrum's online plan is the company's first foray into e-commerce-based mass licensing, said newly-appointed Asia Pacific MD, Andrew Phillips. "We intend to Web-ify our offerings. It's not our reseller's intentions to go direct to [software] publishers," he said.

The online volume licensing strategy sees the company expand its core line of business from helpdesk-based CRM (customer relationship management) systems and software solutions to Web-enabled licensing. Phillips said the software procurement giant would move as much business onto the Web as "intelligently possible" to allow hardware resellers like Dell, for example, to use Software Spectrum's site for instant order and fulfilment analysis.

Volume licensing solutions are becoming more crucial to both large enterprises and small to medium enterprises, according to Phillips. "Volume licensing is money in the bank," he said. Volume licensing would also stem legal risks in multi-user corporate environments, Phillips added. "Can you imagine an IT manager with 50,000 desktops going to sleep at night wondering if all the software is legal and uniform?" he mused. "We bring a high level of security, comfort and legality. We take the risk out, make the business more efficient, and help them save by providing a managed environment."

Software Spectrum Australia will target retail banks, insurance companies and government departments with its online licensing service, markets with the most high-volume needs, according to Phillips.

The Asia-Pacific region will be instrumental in the reseller's growth efforts due to high take-up of broadband subscription by residential, business and education markets there, he said.

The only challenge to the regional success of the licensing strategy lies in language, with Software Spectrum required to tailor the program to multilingual markets in Asia, Phillips said. "We don't try to reinvent the wheel," he joked, but said the company would need to implement a Cantonese-based Web front end in certain provinces of China, for instance.

Phillips was not expecting large returns on the Australian subsidiary's "hundreds of thousands" dollars investment on new Web infrastructure, but "steady growth going forward. There's not a lot of margin in software -- it's very tight in the industry", he said.

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