Novell’s Partner Program: More Than SUSE Linux
Seeking to be known as more than the SUSE Linux company, Novell today shed more light on its evolving partner program — which blankets the company’s complete product portfolio. The announcements tie together many of the clues Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon provided to The VAR Guy back in January. Here’s a quick look at the news.
Update: According to a follow-up conversation I just had with Novell’s Javier Colado, the company is also rollowing out a deal registration system and volume rebates to partners. Both partner programs have been in high-demand from Novell’s channel, according to chatter on TheVARguy.com in recent months.
Novell also announced today, according to the official press release:
- Novell today announced global channel program enhancements and leadership appointments marking key milestones in Novell’s return to a partner-centric business model.
- Based on partner feedback, the company enhanced its channel program to increase partner profitability and simplify doing business with Novell. The company also increased investments in sales, marketing and enablement support for partners.
- The new channel leadership roles and partner program improvements align with Novell’s growth objectives in data center, end-user computing and identity and security solutions.
That final bullet is most important of all. Instead of being a SUSE Linux company, Novell is trying to build a partner ecosystem that bolsters all of the company’s product offerings.
According to the Novell press release (yes, most of the info below is word-for-word from Novell), the partner program seeks to:
- Increase Partner Profitability: Novell adjusted the program’s margin structure to improve partner profitability and business by restructuring discounts and volume incentive rebates. Novell also introduced a deal registration program to provide margin protection.
- Faster Time-to-Revenue: The company expanded training offerings to include on-demand sales and technical training. The company also implemented a quick-start program to accelerate time-to-revenue for newly recruited, high-volume partners. To help build partners’ services-based business, Novell offers access to deployment training, best practices and methodologies, and Novell professional services experts to mentor and ensure customer success.
- Simplify the Partner Program: Novell sareduced administrative costs and simplified the ordering process by consolidating product SKUs and introducing a single price list. The company also introduced standardized volume discounts which streamlines a partner’s ability to negotiate large customer opportunities.
- Strengthened Channel Organization and New Leadership: Novell says it increased five-fold its level of investment in channel-based sales and marketing programs in 2008.
Also, as The VAR Guy previously reported, some new faces have joined Novell:
- Microsoft veteran and former F5 Networks Channel Chief Steve Hale will lead the Global Data Center Channel.
- Mark Taylor will lead Novell’s Global End User Computing Channel. Taylor has more than 20 years of experience as a channel sales and management executive with Macromedia and LANDesk.
- Dan Veitkus, formerly vice president of global field operations for Novell, has taken over the role of vice president, Partners for EMEA.
As previously announced, Novell channel chief Javier Colado will soon move into his new position as president, Novell EMEA. Within a few weeks Colado’s partner program responsibilities will transition to Dragoon.