Knowledge of networking is becoming essential for every reseller. "If a reseller is not into networks, they are not in the IT business," said Novell's Peter Sandilands.
"The network is permeating everything in the IT business. Ten years ago we were into multi-user systems. Now it's networks. Take a look at the applications - they are now all designed for use on a network."
From all this comes a clear message to resellers. They will need an increased investment in training their staff.
Microsoft's Terry Clancy said end-user organisations should be asking what skills resellers have.
"Many resellers are investing in training," said Clancy. "But all resellers have to ask themselves if they are in the retail trade or value added business."
Microsoft has seen a steady increase in the number of resellers prepared to train staff and has increased its training programs for resellers.
Novell also has a strong training program. It has expanded its training program to include a category known as Certified Novell Internet Professional. The company is predicting this will become as well known as the CNE accreditation.
With its strong presence in the upper end of the market, SCO is also strong on education at the systems administration and software developer level.
Many of the major suppliers have cross-training programs. For example, SCO has partnered with Novell to add its ACE certification to the Novell Master CNE program.
"The adoption of multi-vendor education and certification program addresses the growing need for technical professional who can implement solutions from different computing platforms," said SCO's Peter Laytham.