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Tech Data has unveiled a raft of additions to its MyTools suite of online devices aimed at helping VARs capture a greater share of the software renewals business and generate lost license keys.

MyOpportunityTracker, first launched last summer, identifies service, warranty and software license sales opportunities for VARs. The distribution giant has now added software license renewal notifications, as well as warranty add-on suggestions for hardware sales.

Sitting on the sales portal and under the firm’s MyTools suite of online help services, MyOpportunityTracker allows solution providers to receive notification when their customers are due to renew services, warranties or software up to 120 days before coverage runs out at the end user.

The additions to MyOpportunityTracker were built based on reseller feedback, according to Doug Riccardi, director of IT at Tech Data. “We saw that throughout the product and service lifespan, resellers struggled with renewals, and their ability to capture these really varied,” he said. Renewals encompass anything from anti-virus definition subscriptions to an extended hardware warranty plan, he added.

Riccardi said for resellers that previously had a capture rate of below 50 percent, just one single reminder from the system can double that rate.

Another addition to its MyTools suite also announced this week, is MyLicenseTracker. The tool allows VARs to obtain lots software license keys by logging onto the site which will generate the solution provider a new key. Tech Data’s data mining capability enables resellers to search their own software order history by purchase order, Tech Data sales order, invoice number or date range. When the order is identified, the tool generates an e-mail containing the original license key and order confirmation details. Resellers then choose to send that e-mail directly to their end-user customer or forward it themselves.

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“We saw at least a thousand instances a week where resellers called us to retrieve lost license keys for their customers,” Riccardi said. Software license keys sent to customers via e-mail are often inadvertently deleted, lost or caught in spam filters, Riccardi said, and the time and effort resellers spent tracking those down for their customers was costly.

MyLicenseTracker currently supports Acronis, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Nuance, Red Hat, Symantec and Trend Micro purchases made through Tech Data.

The distributor has also launched peer group discussion forums and it looks to create more of a community feel among its solution providers. Held in small groups, the distributor hopes the VARs will share everything from operating plans and balance sheets to profit and loss information. Group members can then share best practices and advise each other on how to improve business opportunities, the distributor said.