Database giant Filemaker has introduced new software licensing in order to make registration less complicated for small to medium companies.
Steve McManus, right, Filemaker Asia-Pacific general manager, says small businesses can now write software off within two to three years.
But he warns that resellers need to step up to the challenge.
“More businesses are buying licences and the channel needs to look at understanding how licensing works and consider bundled leasing,” he says.
McManus admits the licensing market is far more sophisticated than ten years ago but says there are great opportunities for resellers.
“It can be tougher for the small resellers and larger outfits can put pressure on distributors to lower prices.”
He says he can remember when Harvey Norman first set up and business productivity tools took up 35% floor space.
“Now that’s down to about 3%, which means customers have already bought the software and are upgrading. But where there is change there is opportunity — just look at the business that has cropped up with regulation and compliance.”
He says resellers are in a position to guide their customers and points out it’s a good way of adding value when margins are falling.
“Resellers can integrate technologies and put solutions together to take advantage of opportunities in vertical markets.”
But market changes have also led to opportunities for criminals and McManus cites software piracy as a huge concern.
“Piracy sounds very swashbuckling doesn’t it? Well it’s not, these are bloody criminals and end-users are handing over their credit card details to organised crime rings.”
He estimates more than 90% of software sold on online auction sites, such as Ebay and Trade Me, is illegal.
“It undermines the channel and affects jobs, resellers and ultimately creativity. On top of that it’s a slap in the face for all genuine buyers,” he says.
Part of the problem, he says, is that counterfeit software is so good.
“Customers obviously think they are buying legitimate goods because they register the pirated code. In Australia we’ve had one code registered over 400 times — now that’s worth about US$120,000.”