Resellers can now sell Novell software electronically without having to wait for distributors to send them boxes, using activation keys.
Under the vendor?s Channel Incentive Programme for Sales (Chips) programme, dealers activate Novell software with keys they buy from distributors. Intranetware for Small Business will be the first product to use Chips, when it is distributed with Hewlett-Packard?s Netserver E40 across the US and Europe in April.
Jim Sullivan, vice president of worldwide OEM sales at Novell, said: "As the software industry evolves toward electronic delivery of licences and software, we realise that this is a perfect opportunity to reinvent our delivery mechanism in partnership with the channel."
Despite the physical changes, which mean that wholesalers are not needed in the sales channel, Sullivan insists distributors still have a valid role and that the scheme concentrates on the strengths of each. Despite its moves to reassure the indirect channel that it will not use electronic distribution to leave them behind, Novell admits that it will eventually take the process further and authorise licenses online. Then, the software could be delivered to the customer without using any distributor or Var.
US resellers said Chips will cut their shipping costs but they will have to trust Novell to remain faithful to its sales channel. The Chips keys will be matched to disabled Intranetware CD-Roms, which will be shipped with the HP servers and sold via resellers. The developer also hopes Chips will allow it to keep a tighter reign on software piracy, because the keys require registration and can be traced.
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