Scanbuy has entered into a long-term exclusive license agreement with Microsoft for its tag technology, allowing Microsoft Tag clients to migrate from one platform to the other before the company shuts down the services in two years.
The deal, announced Monday, includes derivative rights for the intellectual property; it allows Scanbuy to advance the technology after Microsoft shutters the services. "We will maintain 100% compatibility until we migrate all to the new platform, which is a considerable amount of codes and customers," said Mike Wehrs, Scanbuy CEO.
Wehrs said Scanbuy supports about 80 million ScanLife mobile applications on phones worldwide, but until this deal Microsoft Tag struggled to gain scale. "This deal opens the door for consumers to scan Microsoft codes from a variety of devices," he said.
It also provides a "significant increase in customers" for Scanbuy, Wehrs said. Microsoft's strength resides with publishers like Conde Nast and Time, as well as automobile manufacturers like Ford and Chrysler. Conversely, Scanbuy's customer base points to quick-service retailers like Taco Bell, Staples, and consumer electronics retailers.
By the end of the year, Wehrs expects the company to process more than 10 million scans monthly, such as 2D barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags, and Near Field Communication. In August, the company said it processed more than 21 million of the estimated 105 million total commercial QR Code and UPC mobile barcode-scanning traffic in Q2 2013. At the time, 60% of scans came from the Android OS compared to 37% on Apple iOS devices. That will change as Microsoft Tag clients come on board.
Before Microsoft agreed to the deal, Wehrs said Scanbuy had to prove strength in technical support, management, systems and more. The majority of customers run smart codes that aggregate scans, track behavior and reward consumers when they hit milestones. Some client codes trigger augmented reality campaigns, or dial the phone and connect directly into a call center, so the rep can answer specific questions about a product or service.
The codes also trigger real-time campaigns. A consumer scans a code and will see information based on historically viewed or scanned content.