Moves by Sun Microsystems to promote its software by giving large bonuses for direct sales that include it have dismayed channel partners excluded from the scheme.
Sun is offering its own sales teams triple bonuses on sales that include software.
If, for example, a sale includes £100,000 of servers and £100,000 of software, Sun will pay commission as if £100,000 of servers and £300,000 of software has been sold.
But the company's decision not to offer similar bonuses for resellers has left channel partners unimpressed.
"It's just not good practice," said Nigel Fitton, services business manager at distributor TPLC.
With margins falling on hardware sales, and Sun's recent enthusiasm for "complete solutions" that incorporate its hardware and software, it does make sense for Sun to push its software, acknowledged Fitton.
"But it needs to co-ordinate its efforts," he said.
Philip Anthony, Sun business manager at reseller Repton, said: "Traditionally Sun resellers are hardware specialists.
"Unless there is an incentive for them to change they're unlikely to start pushing software," he said.
Part of the problem facing Sun is convincing its internal staff that it is serious about promoting its software, he added.
The shift in emphasis to software is starting to make an impact in the channel. Sun's accreditation courses now test for more knowledge of software, Anthony said.
"It will take some time to filter through, but within six months you'll see a big difference in behaviour in the channel," he added.
Meanwhile Sun said in a statement that it was "in the process of looking at a suitable way of incentivising our channel salespeople", but would not comment further.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago