Novell overhauls its channel

Novell overhauls its channel

Novell has shaken up its Australian sales force with a restructure that has already seen the company's partner relations manager retrenched.

The vendor's director of Asia-Pacific sales and marketing, David Lenz, confirmed it had undertaken a substantial reorganisation of its sales force and reviewed its go-to-market model for the region.

The changes have seen the creation of new business partner manager roles. These managers will be directly assigned to customers in preference to territory managers.

The changes brought about the retrenchment of former partner relationships manager, Steve Martin, who had been with the company for 11 years.

"His job has gone away," Lenz said. "We are moving into the operations side rather than having a head figure. Business conditions change and our commitments have changed.

"Previously, our people carried a quota. We will still have some territory managers but our regional heads are getting involved with customers at the ground level."

A number of senior appointments have been made over the past few months as part of this restructure, Lenz said. Business partner managers will be assigned to Novell platinum partners to assist on areas such as training and development.

The new channel structure will focus on two key vertical markets - government and telecommunications. Key to the new channel focus is an operations team of about 20 staff, Lenz said.

"We're putting in an operations team to manage partners across the region, in areas like marketing and support. Our sales teams will have channel managers with them," he said.

The changes were being driven by the company's Linux strategy, according to Lenz.

Novell will detail the new channel structure to partners during its roadshow this month.

"We're already seeing a lot of interest from tier-one partners such as Fujitsu and Unisys," Lenz said.

The vendor will announce new senior channel appointments in the near future, Lenz said.

ARN understands that Greg Kieser, who has worked for the vendor in regional distribution, will be among them.

Lenz said Martin was the only employee to leave the company during the restructure.

Martin said he left Novell in August on amicable terms and intended to return to the industry after taking a break for a few months.

"I had largely completed the work I was required to do and there wasn't another role," he said. "I left the company feeling very comfortable that it was far more partner focused than in the past."

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