Novell: Will New Channel Chief + 2,000 ISVs = Victory?
Novell expects to name a new channel chief by the end of this week or sometime next week, according to Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon. There’s also some good news on the SUSE Linux front. Here’s the scoop, from The VAR Guy.
First up, watch for Novell to name a channel chief who has extensive “field experience” rather than someone with deep channel programmatic experience, hinted Dragoon. The idea is to get a sales dynamo engaged with Novell’s partners.
Is the person a Novell insider or outsider? A man or a woman? Democrat or Republican? Frankly, The VAR Guy doesn’t know. But let’s hope the candidate was fully “vetted.”
Rebuilding the Empire
To be sure, Novell is working overtime to rebuild — and polish — its partner network, including VARs, integrators and ISVs. Although Novell pioneered the software channel in the 1990s, the company’s partner network withered under former CEO Jack Messman.Novell has been strengthening its partner network in recent months, but former channel leader Pat Bernard left the company in early August.
Meanwhile, Red Hat has been building out its own partner network — setting up a Linux showdown with Novell for the hearts and minds of open source VARs.
Can 2,000 Developers Be Wrong?
Meanwhile, Novell has vastly expanded the number of ISV applications available and certified for SUSE Linux. That figure now exceeds roughly 2,000 ISVs — an 8X increase since last year, according to Dragoon.
Now, the challenge: Novell’s new channel chief will need to connect the dots between SUSE Linux ISVs and solutions providers, The VAR Guy believes. Get integrators focused on SUSE Linux applications (CRM, ERP, virtualization, groupware, etc.), and Novell’s sales will continue to rise.
Novell’s new channel chief will also get a boost from Lenovo, which is set to launch its first servers at Interop, scheduled for Sept. 15-19 in New York. The Lenovo servers will be certified to run SUSE Linux, confirmed Dragoon.
Lenovo has stated that it’s working with Microsoft and two Linux companies on the servers — which suggests Red Hat will also participate in the Lenovo server party. However, sources indicate that Novell SUSE Linux will be the systems’ “preferred” open source distribution, at least at the time of the server launch.