Novell is rushing to reassure its channel partners, calling them "more important than ever" now that the consolidation of Novell and Cambridge Consulting is complete.
There has been a great deal of scepticism among Novell's partners since the consulting group was bought out last year, with resellers feeling their integration role might become redundant.
"The consulting piece that we've added is at a higher level [than that of our partners]," said Greg Trainor, Novell's strategy and business development director for Asia-Pacific. "The [former Cambridge] guys are developing IT strategies for enterprises, we're getting more involved in the decision-making process of what a business wants to achieve."
Trainor said at some stage such businesses will be looking for the implementation of solutions and that's where Novell wants its channel to play a part.
"We're not an Accenture or a PricewaterhouseCoopers, we don't have hundreds of consultants. We're looking at leading engagements and it makes sense that we still use the channel for that complementary capability."
Novell has just over 100 consultants Australia-wide, 75 per cent of which are strategy and business process consultants and 20 per cent of which are technical engineers.
Now that Novell has restructured its business units, Trainor said the company intends to bid for more large contracts. He believes this will create significant kickbacks for partners which are currently blocked from even low-level discussions with these accounts, due to prejudices against their size.
Trainor said Novell is expecting small growth over the next two quarters (the company's financial year begins in November). He said its "discovery teams", through which Novell infiltrates named accounts in the region with the intention of selling consulting services rather than leading with the product suite, has only scratched the surface to date. "In the not-too-distant future we'll have resourcing issues trying to fulfil all those opportunities," he said.