Tivoli puts faith in its resellers

Tivoli puts faith in its resellers

Tivoli Systems is scouting for new business partners and resellers to augment its plans to shovel up to 90 per cent of new business through the channel.

Like its bitter rival Computer Associates, Tivoli is seducing the channel with promises of an increased business partner involvement and new reseller-only products.

"In Australia, about 50 or 60 per cent of our business involves business partners," Mark Latchford, Tivoli's Asia-Pacific general manager told ARN during the company's Planet Tivoli conference here this week. "But the direction I've given Asia-Pacific countries is to move to a model of maybe 80 or 90 per cent."

Charting that course, Tivoli is in the process of identifying local resellers for its new IT Director product, scheduled for release this quarter. A pared-down version of Tivoli's flagship TME 10 enterprise management solution, IT Director also offers rapid application deployment and simplified management of IT infrastructure.

But it is only available for Windows NT environments, has a ceiling of 1000 "endpoints" (management points) and will only be available through resellers.

"IT Director will not be sold direct -- it is exclusively a channel-distributed product," Latchford said. "Because it is designed for small-to-medium enterprises with slightly less complex environments, we are looking for business partners whose primary expertise is in the Windows NT environment."

However, Latchford expects no more than 10 resellers will be engaged to distribute the product across Australia.

"We're being a little bit strict in the process we have for recruiting IT Director partners because it is not in our interests or the channel's interests to have hundreds of resellers," he said.

"It's a risk to have so few but I'd much prefer to have a healthy channel generating profits for themselves instead of having resellers in one location with similar expertise blowing their margins by competing with each other."

Latchford's desire to keep his resellers loyal is also being steered by competition.

"Because of Microsoft's SMS, our value proposition to the channel has to be pretty significant, especially if our resellers are also Microsoft resellers. Our support regime has to be better than our competition's, our margins have to be smarter and our marketing regeneration has to be better."

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