Novell waived its third party accreditation policy for the first time yesterday in a bid to get its Netware 5 and Netware for Small Business software accepted into the Microsoft dominated OEM system builder channel.
The company has signed up OEM specialist distributor Datrontech on an exclusive basis and launched its first ever Novell Systems Partner Programme for the UK's tier three and four PC builders.
Novell's past belief in an accreditation policy is well documented and Dustin Newport, distribution sales manager for Novell Emea admitted, "we are not ruling out accreditation for this channel. We may role the assemblers into out Partnernet programme at a later date. There's a pent up demand for the products at the moment so we just want to start selling and then we will slot the accreditation in behind."
Newport and Datrontech marketing spokeswoman Mandy Birtles claimed that the system builders tend to be technically minded and therefore may not need the special attention of going through a rigorous Novell accreditation training scheme.
"Most of them probably grew up on Netware anyway," said Birtles.
The addition of Novell to its growing portfolio of networking franchises is a fillip for Datrontech's Networking division which is expected, by sales director Tony Wand, to be the fastest growing part of the distributor's business this year. However, Birtles denied that it would actually takeover the company's existing component business.
"There is an explosion in the number of PC servers being assembled through own brand businesses," said Newport, "and Datrontech claims that over 40 per cent of PCs sold annually are sold through PC server assemblers. We want to be a part of that business."
For Novell, the deal is more significant because it gives the company access to around 4,000 active accounts on Datrontech's books that it has never directly addressed. "It's a new market with new customers for us and it doesn't conflict with our existing channel," said Newport.
Novell will launch a dedicated OEM Web site for PC assemblers later this month. It is also planning through Datrontech, according to Fiona Squire, the Novell account business manager at Datrontech, a series of "installation days" to give assemblers hands on experience. Datrontech has also recruited a dedicated field worker to provide on-site support for its customers.
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