Sun Microsystems will be sporting a new look channel program in an attempt to simplify its business approach towards the company's cross-platform enterprise software products, according to announcements made in the US last week.
A global initiative by Sun, the Software Alliance program "will be rolled out in Australia", says Michael Ossipoff, Sun's managing director of the NetDynamics product line for Australia/New Zealand. "It will have a minimal impact on existing partners."
Ossipoff says the program has been designed to "focus on Sun's channel partners, and match the services, support and training on offer to their businesses - especially at the customer/partner interface. "Simply, to better understand our partners' business, and their business profile," he said.
Similarly, Ossipoff claims the restructuring will focus on providing relevant information to respective partners in a bid to reduce reseller confusion created by a glut of products and information.
This, he claims, will tailor the vendor/partner relationship to the reseller's business, as well as continuing with lead generation and joint marketing strategies.
Announced with the program were new products that establish links between Sun wares and Microsoft's Windows NT operating system.
The implementation of the new tiered channel program in Australia will be effective immediately for new partners, claims Ossipoff, with existing partners making the transition upon renewal of contracts.
"Most resellers are aware of this decision and it won't come as a surprise," says Ossipoff, who claims resellers will be receiving information about the change as the announcements are formalised in Australia.
The new-look program
The Sun Software Alliance program is divided into three levels, which replace the previous channels which were organised around Solaris, Java Software, Java Testing Tools and NetDynamics, according to Sun.
Level 1 is designed for resellers to sell desktop software packages and developer tools that require minimal support, including Java Web Server, JavaSpec, JavaScope and Sun Workshop Compilers C and C++. Resellers may obtain training on Sun's products but do not need authorisation to resell them.
Level 2 will serve software partners who have been authorised to resell Sun software, which requires a moderate level of training and support. Products at this level include Solaris Desktop, Solaris Server, Solstice Site Manager and Solstice Network Client. Partners at this level can also resell level 1 products.
Level 3 is aimed at authorised software enterprise partners. They must be technically advanced and receive authorisation to resell on a product-specific basis. Enterprise products include Sun's Java Testing Tools, NetDynamics, Sun Internet Mail Server and Solstice Enterprise Manager. Level 3 partners can also resell products from the other two levels.