Channel programs News
Novell's Channel VP Asserts VAR Dedication
She said encouraging partner feedback through Novell's partner advisory board program is critical to establishing a solid relationship with partners worldwide. This week Novell is hosting its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) partner advisory board during BrainShare, where roughly 30 EMEA partners will meet to discuss how Novell is meeting the four key messages Bernard is evangelizing: making partners profitable, investing in the growth of partners' businesses, enabling partners with sales and tech support and creating a partner-centric company. "It's really important to have validation by the partners we're serving," she said.
In the process of looking at the whole partner advisory board program, Bernard said Novell wants to make sure partner voices are heard under a full coverage model, representing all geographies, partner levels and business units. "Forums need to be structured to serve that model," she said. "We're really looking at this as a global program."
Bernard said its important for Novell to focus on getting closer to their partners, getting more of their input, ideas and validation. "It's the best way to ensure that we have a very competitive program," she said. "Part of the re-engineering is to look at who we have representing the entire community." That means organizing an advisory board representative of all partner types. "We really want to have a population that can be representative of the entire partner community," she said.
Plans for opening up communication through partner portals, newsletters and other types of forums are currently in the works, she said, and changes in the new model will become evident in the next quarter. In addition, a partner summit in Beijing, which will reflect the changes, is scheduled for May. "We need to make sure we structure these events so [our partners] know we're really going to be listening, and that the next time we meet, we're going to show them results," she said.
Geoff Gilbert, manager of engineering services for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based solution provider Novacoast, said improved support from Novell has not gone unnoticed. "Since that renewed channel focus, we've seen a lot more opportunities with their sales force to bring us new business prospects," he said. "We have a lot of personal relationships with the employees and the people in the channel we interact with."
A platinum partner with Novell for the past five years, Gilbert said Novacoast's effort to improve channel communications has paid off. "Within the portals where they give us those opportunities, we'd love to see others coming down the pipeline," he said. "A lot of the channel partners within the Novell community talk to each other, and Novell is very open to hearing from them."
Gilbert says conferences like BrainShare offer Novacoast and other Novell partners the opportunity to discover new business opportunities and strengthen their relationship not only with Novell, but with fellow solution providers as well. "Right now we have a great line of communication with them," he said. "A continued emphasis on that will really help keep those lines open."