Tech Data to manage Microsoft ISV royalty program

Tech Data will now help Microsoft ISVs manage their royalty relationships with the giant software vendor.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Tech Data will now help Microsoft-affiliated ISVs manage their financial relationship with the software giant as part of the Microsoft ISV Royalty Licensing program. Microsoft had previously managed these deals and relationships directly with the ISV partner.

"When an [independent software vendor] writes a software package, it typically has to license SQL Server or something else from Microsoft. They had to tell Microsoft, 'here's what I sold, and here's the royalty,'" said Toby McDuffie, director of software product marketing for Tech Data Corp. "That process will now be managed by distribution, and that gives us an opportunity to engage with ISVs, many of whom are already our customers," McDuffie said.

Indeed, the line between VAR and ISV has increasingly blurred for years. Many software VARs do at least some custom coding for customers, ranging from customizing existing applications to writing scripts to writing full utilities and apps for customers.

Tech Data announced the news this week at its TechEDG Conference in Arlington, Va. It was unclear if Ingram Micro, or other broadline distributors, were also jumping into the ISV royalty management business.

In December 2008, Ingram Micro signed a deal whereby it can help hosting providers manage their Service Provider Licensing Agreements (SPLAs) on Microsoft products. Tech Data has yet to follow suit on that, although McDuffie said Tech Data's decision to resell USA.NET's hosted services to partners got it into that market with a partner already entrenched in hosted Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange Server.

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