Novell reaffirms distribution commitment Novell Australasia believes its renewed emphasis on distribution is paying dividends, with the company reporting revenue growth of 40 per cent for the six months of its first fiscal year.
According to channel marketing executive Rajeev Mitroo, part of that success can be attributed to Novell's reaffirmed commitment to distribution. Mitroo says Novell will become more proactive in pushing product through distribution, with campaigns, seminars and a revamped Web presence.
Since Com Tech reorganised as Express Data last year, Novell has appointed three new distribution partners - Stream International, LAN Communications and Sealcorp.
Mitroo says the reasons for the additions were plain, with the company needing to increase its pull focus: "So with the fact that Express Data had expanded its product portfolio, Novell really needed to reassess its distribution landscape."
That landscape is set to change again. Stream International, appointed as a fulfilment house at the time of Com Tech's reorganisation, had dropped that part of its activity and reverted to servicing Novell's government commitments. Express Data will continue to provide time-and-place distribution across the Novell product set, while Sealcorp will provide value-added services to the higher end of the market.
As for the low end, Mitroo says the appointment of LAN Communications in February is already paying dividends, with 80 per cent of its resellers carrying the IntraNetWare for Small Business product.
The success of LAN Communications is essential if Novell is to win back some of the mindshare it has lost in the low-end marketplace. "They certainly have reinvigorated our presence down at that end, which up until recently was dominated by LANtastic," said Mitroo.
"We're definitely winning back some of the mindshare, and some of the resellers that in some cases hadn't heard of us, and in some cases had decided to source their product elsewhere."
Novell hopes to further boost that penetration through reseller promotions, such as the one launched in conjunction with Express Data which bundles IntraNetWare with Cheyenne's ARCServe.
Mitroo says Novell identified an opportunity to persuade the 70 per cent of its users that are still NetWare 3.x orientated to migrate to IntraNetWare.
In order to convince the users of the merits of migrating, Novell first needed to convince the resellers, and conducted reseller sales training in May.
The corresponding promotion involves Novell generating pull in the marketplace. It targeted 15,000 NetWare organisations with direct mail, promoting the upgrade bundle. After one week 150 leads came in, which have been passed on to resellers that attended the training. "It was rewarding them for their attendance through giving them an opportunity to grow their business," said Mitroo.
He says Novell will undertake this sort of activity at least once a quarter.
Another way of reaching resellers is through BrainShare, Novell's annual exposé of new and coming products and technology, to be held from 9Ð11 July at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre in Sydney.
"Novell makes software which needs a degree of exposure for customers or resellers to be able to appreciate the full importance and advantage," said managing director Cliff Smith. "We showcase not just current products, but also new versions of products that are not quite yet released, and new technologies which are in the formative stages."
On display this year will be Wolf Mountain clustering technology, to be demonstrated running across six quad-multiprocessor boxes in a lab. Also to be featured is Border Manager, a product encompassing firewalls, proxy caching, virtual private networks with tunnelling, and other services.
Smith says resellers can use the event as a means of advancing their sales:
"A wise reseller that has a client with technical staff is going to be very keen to take some of these staff along, and have a look at some of these technologies, because it provides a laboratory environment with capability for demonstration that the average reseller couldn't possibly match."