Lotus US has dropped a programme providing marketing and distribution channels to partners that have developed products using Notes. However, a similar scheme running in Germany will be retained and may be extended to the UK.
Called Notes Store, the US initiative was a joint project between Lotus and software partner Stream and was launched in January. Developers were offered a range of manufacturing, marketing, distribution and support services in return for an upfront fee of $3,000 and a 50 per cent cut from the products sold.
Dave Laverty, senior director of partner marketing at Lotus, blamed the financial structure for the failure of Notes Store. ?The economic model wasn?t really meeting the specific needs of any one partner,? he said.
Lee Underwood, UK business partner sales manager, said Notes Store was never available in the UK but that Notesline, a similar programme which is being rolled out in Germany, may be introduced to the UK.
Notesline was set up in Germany at the same time as Notes Store in the US. It is a joint venture with German reseller EDV-Buchversand Delf Michel, which publishes and distributes a catalogue of Lotus Business Partner-developed shrink-wrapped products.
The service also includes mass production of software and manuals, which are branded with the Lotus Business Partner logo. Software house Rheim Druck can reproduce software at $7 per box for a minimum order of 500 units, explained Jens Dennig, manager of developer relations, central Europe, who masterminded the programme. Business partners can also elect to have their software distributed by Makrotron, Lotus? distributor for central Europe.
The entire service is available to qualified Lotus Business Partners that have developed packaged software for small to medium organisations and home users, with price tags ranging from $50 to $4,000. Dennig would not reveal the economic model between developer and distributor but said it was ?similar to Notes Store?.
Partners do not have to pay to appear in EDV?s catalogue - payment is arranged between the reseller and Makrotron.
?This service is for partners who are good at developing software but don?t know how to deal with distributors or how to get their products into a box,? said Dennig. So far, 24 products have been produced for 14 partners and a further five partners will join the scheme by the end of the year. Lotus is also in talks with 15 other partners.
Underwood said the UK is thinking about whether or not to introduce this service. If it agrees to do so, it will be rolled out as part of a Europe-wide initiative.
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