Business intelligence software company Business Objects is seeking to reassure resellers about future plans for its channel following its $820m (£482m) acquisition of reporting tools vendor Crystal Decisions in July this year.
Although plans for the new combined company will not be formally announced until the New Year, chairman and chief executive Bernard Liautaud last week promised delegates at the company's user conference in London a unified product line to keep customers' investments intact.
At a channel level, the company admitted that consolidation is inevitable. But it has also pledged increased support for channel partners at a European level, including newly appointed directors of alliances, systems integration and distribution.
Jacqueline De Rojas, sales director at Business Objects UK, told vnunet.com: "We'll exploit as much of that combined channel capability as we can. We have to find a way to maximise growth. I don't think there will be a lot of overlap."
The two companies target slightly different areas of the business itelligence market. Business Objects provides business users with access to reporting tools, while Crystal's report authoring tools are used by IT departments to distribute reports around the business.
A revised product road map is not due until the New Year at the earliest.
Questions also remain over the structure of software licensing models at the combined company. Crystal offers both concurrent user and named user licensing, whereas Business Objects has always refused to offer concurrent licensing terms.
David Ince, managing director at reseller and information management consultancy Acuma, said: "Companies want a single business intelligence road map and strategy.
"It means we can talk about both products. This is an opportunity for channel partners to broaden their base."
Resellers will also be seeking clarification on the direct versus indirect model and the number of channel partners needed by the combined company.
"There's a lot of detail we need to understand before we can embrace this fully. The issue will be mixing the channels. Not everyone will win, but as a Business Objects reseller we have more to gain than most," Ince added.
Business Objects has refused to be drawn on licensing strategy. A spokeswoman for the company said: "For regulatory reasons we can't currently comment on this until the acquisition closes, which is expected by the end of this year.
"We have integration teams in place that are working on every element of successfully integrating the two companies, including partner strategy. After the deal closes we will be able to release more information."
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