SuiteSpot success retarded by inexperienced channel

SuiteSpot success retarded by inexperienced channel

Netscape Communications is revising its channel strategy with a view to bringing much needed clarity to its SuiteSpot range of online business solutions.

While officials claim that SuiteSpot has performed well in Australia, the company believes that a lack of channel expertise in deploying Internet messaging and other business applications has distorted Netscape's technology story in Australia.

The problem, according to Netscape officials said last week, also relates to the view that many channel players are behind the eight ball when it comes to understanding the enterprise, a key market for Netscape.

Imogen Boas, marketing manager Netscape Australia, said that resellers have typically shied away from the Internet "as they couldn't see how to make a dollar out of it".

But she said claimed that resellers are learning fast.

"The thing about the Australian channel is they can literally spin on a dime," she said.

Boas said that Netscape will remain 100 per cent committed to its channel but is banking on strategic partnerships with specialist resellers, particularly those with knowledge of the banking and finance and retail sectors, to get its message across.

She said that the demand for platform independent Internet-based applications is leading to the need for greater business as well as technical expertise in the channel.

Axis Media, according to Netscape, is one such company. Four years it started out offering business consultation services but recently branched out into IT with a special focus on online business solutions, according to Richard Lord, managing director, Axis Media.

The company focuses on the finance and retail markets, two areas which have embraced e-business opportunities, Lord said.

Lord emphasised that his company is not a "Netscape fanatic" as it sells a number of rival products from Microsoft. However, he said that when it comes to the enterprise, Netscape "has the superior solution".

Netscape recently released SuiteSpot 3.5, adding three main changes. These are: enhanced scalability and performance; "express clients," which let users check messages and calendars via any desktop with any browser; and a faster, more reliable directory with automatic fail-over and backup.

Officials also claim the product is the first to use Version 3.0 of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) standard.

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