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Novell to revamp channel

Novell to revamp channel

Vendor is seeking to re-establish close relationships and heavy investment in its channel program

Novell will revamp its channel

Novell will revamp its channel

Infrastructure vendor, Novell, will revamp its channel after a recent lack of focus on the partner community.

Asia-Pacific channel head, John Donovan, said the vendor has developed initiatives to fix the general relationship with local partners.

"We're making a lot of investment in the back-end in enabling partners and giving them tools and investment to spur growth," Donovan said.

"We'll also be investing in creating more clarity and focus around our market development funding, again with the goal of enabling our partner community.

"The PartnerNet program is good, but we want to make it easier. We'll be making an announcement around a quick start program for new partners soon, as we've found that partners want to follow the path of least resistance when it comes to certification and accreditation."

One of Novell's first areas of concern is to introduce a stronger margins program. Another goal is to bring more technical and sales training online. It was too expensive for partners to send staff into classroom situations for every product and technology launched, Donovan said.

"It's not viable for partners to do that any more. We'll always supplement the training with classroom courses for the more major releases, but we don't want our partners to have to be pulling staff away for everything," he said.

The other main change to the channel program will be to clarify the services engagement model and skill up partners.

"Novell has made a big investment in developing a very clear strategy, and the last four months since I've come on-board are starting to come to fruition now," Donovan said.

Novell also recently appointed Alan Robinson as managing director.

He will oversee business strategy development, day-to-day operation and ecosystem enablement programs.

Robinson comes to the vendor with 23 years experience at Oracle, CSC, Informix and Vitria. This includes seven years in managing director roles.

"We're pretty much set with staff now, we have the right people in place," Donovan said. "Now we need to develop a much higher degree of engagement with our partners. We're not looking to bring on more partners necessarily – I'm aware of the dangers of over-distributing, but we need to develop a partner rather than procurement relationship with the partners that we do have."


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