Novell’s Linux plan for VARs

Salt Lake City, Utah — Novell Inc. will ship an enterprise platform combining Linux and NetWare by the end of the year.

James Simzer, director of sales for Novell Canada, who spent several days talking with over 300 partners at this year’s BrainShare Partner Summit, said now that Novell has

clearly indicated its Linux strategy, VARs have an alternative to give their customers.

“”Partners can give their customers products with the confidence to choose the best of breed solutions and the confidence to stand behind their solutions,”” said Simzer, citing Novell’s partnership with IBM.

If there was any indication of how Novell’s new direction has resonated with the channel, it was in the numbers. Partner attendance including independent software vendors (ISV), independent hardware vendors (IHV) and system integrators, at this year’s BrainShare conference increased from 180 last year to 320. This year marks the first BrainShare, now in its 20th year, since Novell’s adoption of Linux.

Two years ago, Novell announced its re-engagement with the channel and is now calling on partners to help it deliver Linux solutions to the enterprise market.

Novell also enhanced its PartnerNet program, including more than 560 of SuSE Linux’s global partners. Of that number only three are in Canada.

The PartnerNet program is now broken into three separate groups: Solutions providers, technology partners and training partners.

Solutions providers, including VARs, distributors, consultants and systems integrators will bring Novell and SuSE Linux solutions to market and provide business and technology services.

Partners includes ISVs and IHVs who own, develop, distribute and support commercially available applications and hardware for Novell/SuSE Linux.

The third group, technology partners, includes academic and commercial education specialists who deliver online and classroom training to support Novell technologies.

With everything under one umbrella, Novell partners will be able to leverage SuSE’s existing program infrastructure and vice versa.

SuSE Linux partners, for example, can retain their current benefits and are also automatically eligible to enroll in Novell’s PartnerNet program free of cost, giving them access to software evaluation libraries, training and sales tools.

“”(Novell) has given partners a clear direction in how its going to leverage its existing partners and help SuSE get into Novell,”” said Simzer.

Ladd Timpson, Novell’s worldwide director of channels said Novell and SuSE partners will be separate from each other but there are plans to bring them together at the end of this fiscal year.

“”Our key objective is to build a Linux-ready channel. To do that, we have to empower the existing channel,”” said Timpson.

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