Novell tempts partners with higher margins

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Open source proponent Novell Australia is tempting resellers with a deal registration program that gives them an extra 15 percent margin if they win new business for the vendor.

Open source proponent Novell Australia is tempting resellers with a deal registration program that gives them an extra 15 percent margin if they win new business for the vendor.

The company has also promised to dish out an extra 7.5 percent margin to partners that cut new business with existing Novell customers in a program that begins in June.

Novell is also running a Demand Agent program to assist partners to increase their skills in areas such as open source/Linux and secure identity management.

Greg Kieser, Asia-Pacific channel manager at Novell, said the company was introducing a "channel specialisation matrix" for partners, which identified individual players with strong skills in specific verticals.

"We want to help these guys who have these strengths to build a practice around the Novell solution set," said Kieser.

"It's particularly hard for anybody to go out there and say 'I have a business around Linux'. It's what you're doing with it [that matters]," he said.

He said the channel had been uncertain how to make money from low-cost platforms in the early days of open source.

"Customers don’t just buy an operating system, it's an eco-system of products. [Novell] has the OS. We have the end-to-end business solution that means resellers can take something like Linux and build the solution that the customer wants," he said.

Over the past 12 months, Novell Australia has doubled reseller numbers and now has about 400 registered resellers. A high percentage of the resellers that signed with Novell in 2004 were Linux specialists, Kieser said.

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