Novell Takes Microsoft Interoperability Partnership To Foreign Localities

Two years ago, many of Novell's business plans were segmented, and, today, among its most import bets, it is emphasizing the OPS (Open Platform Solutions) division, from the distribution of the Suse Linux operating system. "We had grown, year by year, in this segment, where we had invested to make it one of the most significant Novell's initiatives", he says.

The OPS unit is supported by several alliances, according to Toshio, such as Microsoft, announced at the end of 2006, with the goal to promote interoperability between the Linux and Windows platforms. "Also, we have an important commitment with other technology partners, such as Dell and IBM," Toshio said. "Recently, there was also the announcement of the alliance with SAP, which recommends the Suse adoption by clients that want to use Linux."

More than a year after formalizing the partnership and announcing global customers, including HSBC, Wal-Mart, and Deutsche Bank, today, Novell must show Latin America market the advantage of a heterogeneous environment. "The partnership was designed outside Brasil, so it's necessary to see how it will run locally," says Toshio. According to Toshio, Novell has discussed, jointly Microsoft, several questions, such as tributes and sales model.

Although subscription occurs through Microsoft, the company will begin testing the partners' performance in the alliance. "We are still planning. First, we need to show to the market that our idea really works, to show our partnership vision outside. After that, we'll begin training the channel," Toshio says. In order to achieve that, there will be a team working to define some channels that have relationship with Novell and Microsoft. The prediction is that the first partner will be ready to participate in the pilot-project in the next few weeks.

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Leading the channel Guiding Novell operations to an action based on indirect sales is the commitment of Marcus Almeida, who has recently taken over as channels director of the Novell Brazilian subsidiary. He has been working to Novell for the last 13 years and he was responsible for the company regional management, always focused on the government accounts.

The reliance on an expert on direct sales for the position is not accidental. Today, Novell is preparing to remodel of its internal team, aiming to concentrate its partner's executives efforts on network support. "What Marcus always did, serving directly an account, now it will be obsolete to the channel. His responsibility is to make Partners Executives, as we call them, to approach these resellers as a final customer," explains Toshio.

So, Novell wants to consolidate a new vision related to the indirect sales -- a job that starts with the internal team mindset change. Toshio says that, until last year, the partner professional rendered its services jointly with the channel. "Many times, this team really makes the sales directly," he recognizes. "Now, it's very clear to the company that this professional will dedicate his work to the partner."

In fact, the new channels director says this transformation included the change of indirect sales team payment model. "Before that, the executives were paid according to geographic region, and now, they get paid through the designed partners, in order to create a relationship and fidelity between them," says Toshio, who already has three professionals dedicated to the area, and intends to hire more two professionals.

Toshio says that doesn't mean that Novell won't be close to its clients. "The daily accounts activities will be managed by the partners, but they have the same manufacturer commitment, which is to guarantee the perfect solution performance," he concludes.

This story originally appeared in Portuguese here.