Novell is hoping a new level of appreciation of its channel partners will provide the leverage for continued growth within the Australian market.
Headed by partner relationships manager Steve Martin, Novell will launch a Clear Channel Initiative based on "sell with" and "sell through" partnerships this week.
"Novell, both in Australia and globally, is aggressively recommitting itself to the channel," said Martin.
"During the past two years, Novell has surrounded the wagons with regards to traditional large-scale customers and made some growth in that area, which is an achievement in itself considering the tough economic conditions.
"But to successfully grow the business further we need to rebuild the leverage model, working with partners who have the skills to take our solutions to customers we were never going to be able to reach.
"We are not looking to rip and replace because most of our solutions add value to existing products," he added.
Martin's team of eight people will look to provide better training and support for the 150-200 sell-through partners and double the existing number of 20 sell-with partners.
"Sell-with partners will be those wanting to actively commit a large portion of their business to Novell solutions and technology," explained Martin.
"We want these partners to own the customer relationships and drive the opportunities, but my team will be there to define customer strategies and offer assistance.
"These partners will be trained up and skilled in providing solutions for customers so that we can refocus on being a vendor."
Martin sees the traditional sell-through partnership as a way for resellers and distributors to pick and choose the level of commitment within the relationship but says these business partners will get more attention from the new business model.
"Novell has done a terrible job of communicating with its partners during the past two years and we are going to fix that with regular training updates," he explained.
Martin has been in his new post for six weeks but has worked in the IT industry for 18 years. During his nine years at Novell he has managed distribution and developed a range of partner-led sales programs.