Inprise sharpens its channel attack

Inprise sharpens its channel attack

Continuing its strategic move into the enterprise software market, Inprise (formerly Borland) last week used its first ever Australian conference to reveal its new Enterprise Connection Program.

Aimed at value added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators, Enterprise Connection Program offers high-end developers the opportunity to become Inprise partners in marketing and to integrate its mainframe, Unix and middleware products.

The new plan is part of a significant refocusing strategy that has seen Inprise abandon the Borland name and acquire several middleware specialists, such as Visigenic Software, in the last 18 months.

"We are on the move to position ourselves to integrate the enterprise," Graham Porter, Inprise Australia's marketing director told ARN.

"Considering the breadth of products that Inprise offers at the moment, we have to place ourselves as a leader and huge player in that market or we will have wasted a massive opportunity."

Despite successfully working through the channel for several years, Inprise's new push includes putting on a direct sales force to cater for large environment customers.

Porter explained that selling through the channel will remain a huge part of Inprise's sales strategy. However, Inprise needs more "feet on the street" in order to transform itself from a channel-led retail organisation into an enterprise integration organisation.

"It is clear to us that we cannot sell systems that integrate with Unix and mainframes in Dymocks," Porter said.

The company is now looking for organisations experienced in implementing distributed systems on a wide variety of platforms that can integrate packages such as SAP, AS400 and Unix.

Planning to provide them with necessary training and products to facilitate their understanding of Inprise technologies, Inprise officials pledged to offer its new partners the same level of support and training it has been giving to the channel and retailers.

But the Enterprise Connection Program is not the only tactical move the company is making.

According to Porter, thanks to Pascal and C++, the Inprise tools have always been used in a vast range of educational institutions.

For this reason, the vendor has also put together the High Achiever Program that gives non-commercial organisations a licence to use Inprise's products for education, testing and evaluation purposes in exchange for an annual fee.

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