A long-time vendor of high-end development tools for the MVS and OS/2 market, SEER Technologies is looking to channel partners to be the vehicle for selling its new mid-tier products.
SEER has traditionally sold its high-end products through direct sales, with IBM providing additional reselling capacity through its direct sales force. "We have had a long-standing relationship with IBM, which has been in practice an exclusive channel but is not contractually an exclusive channel," says SEER managing director Bill McMurray. "The channels that we're looking for are going to be really in the new markets. I'm not looking for a new channel to compete with what we've done with IBM in the past."
What the new channel will be selling is an open development environment for applications deployed across client/server systems, for platforms including HP-UX, AIX, Solaris and recently released support for Windows NT. McMurray says the key to the product is in SEER's future-proof technology. "You put your development into a repository that is protected from what happens in the future. It is our job to continue to bring to the market the appropriate generators that allow you to deal with new platforms and new paradigms as they become available."
This represents new areas for SEER, a com-pany traditionally focused on MVS and OS/2. "We are coming strongly into what I call the mid-tier marketplace now, where we've not been before. The key message is that we're bringing to the mid-tier all of the enterprise benefits that pre-viously haven't been available in this mid-tier. The challenge is how do you take those disciplines and make them easier to use and simpler to implement."
While McMurray recognises IBM as being the best way to get to MVS and OS/2 users, he also recognises that new avenues will be needed to pursue users in other areas. "Now what we are looking for is to get to Hewlett-Packard customers, in which case Hewlett-Packard or its partners are probably the best channels to get to that."
McMurray says a great deal of interest lies in the NT arena. "Here we are going to be competing with a bunch of people that we haven't traditionally competed with, and in that sense we need to make sure that we chose our channels carefully. They would be people who are already experienced in selling software-centric solutions."
McMurray has also appointed a person to manage channel relationships, for whom he sees three main areas of responsibility. "One is to identify and recruit the appropriate specialist software channels nationally, and then manage the performance of those channels by providing them with the appropriate support that they need, so that they can be successful in the marketplace." The other two roles are in managing relationships with systems integrators and the big six accounting firms.