Borland swims into channel

In a time when many vendors are turning in favour of a direct sales developer, tool vendor Borland has turned to the channel with renewed vigour.

Under the guidance of Asia-Pacific channel manager Gabriel Webster, Borland has created three new channel-focused positions and organised a series of educational seminars.

"Previously in Australia we have approached resellers through our distributors," Webster said. "We are changing our tack to keep up with developments in Linux and wireless markets."

Having previously worked for both a reseller and a distributor, Webster comes with the channel credentials required to implement new sales and technical training.

"We have designed our new channel strategy based around informal channel research," Webster said. "I also know from my own experience that resellers are more comfortable selling products they know, which is why we have based most of the strategy around education."

With the help of new Australian-based channel manager Geoff Scott, Gabriel plans to attract resellers to education seminars to be held in all state capitals.

Scott will be further supported by channel assistants, who will be respond to channel queries and concerns via the phone.

Borland also aims to implement much of its anti-piracy strategy through the channel. Unlike other software vendors who have taken legal action against resellers for alleged breaches of software copyright, Borland aims to use the carrot of increased sales to encourage resellers to inhibit software piracy.

"We don't want to get involved in scare tactics," Webster said. "It is about educating the resellers, and demonstrating how they can make their own business more profitable by taking a stand against piracy."

This fresh channel approach is also timed to coincide with the release of Kylix, a new Borland tool set aimed at Visual Basic and Delphi programmers which complies to either Windows or Linux-based operating systems.

Webster also outlined plans for online sales of Borland tools via the company's Web site. However, she denied that this would have a negative effect on channel sales.

"Our online sales are designed to access regional and rural market places where we do not have a channel presence," Webster said. Borland Asia Pacific channel manager Gabriel Webster.