The summer months in the channel is usually allocated for vacations, golf tournaments and trying to beat the heat. But, this summer, unlike many others, the channel is heating up with several announcements.

Top VAR Compugen Inc. has confirmed it has become a Nortel Premium Partner.

Compugen

has worked with Nortel for a number of years and with this status the company now has the authority to resell maintenance services, has gained access to restricted products if accreditation requirements are met, and has access to marketing programs and the partner Web site.

Compugen also receives pre and post-sales support from Nortel Networks as the move furthers its evolution from a VAR to a service-oriented and consultative business.

At IBM Canada Ltd., the channel team headed by Gary Isaacs is pushing the release of its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, nicknamed Shark, to its certified business partners. Big Blue’s Global Services division recently created a portfolio of IT management services for the SMB space into a new program called Manage it for Me. The program includes managed security services, managed hosting services, business continuity and recovery services, as well as application hosting services and will be brought to customers by IBM business partners.

Sybase Corp., at its recently concluded Techwave Conference in San Diego, expanded its partner program for its subsidiary Ianywhere Solutions Inc.

The new program will target more than 1,000 VARs, the company said, and combines three other distinct programs Embedded Alliance Program, Channel Alliance Program and the Technology Alliance Program.

These programs contain a designated alliance manager, discounts on products, training and professional services, customized partner support plans and flexible deployment.

Telelogic has also developed an Alliance Partner Program called TAPP for its resellers worldwide. The new program offers resellers and distributors different levels of partnership including: bundling or embedding Telelogic’s technology into their own products, creating a delivery platform for Telelogic’s solutions and building a professional services practice around Telelogic technology.

Spectra Logic, a manufacturer of tape libraries for data protection and backup, has rolled out its enhanced Partner Success Program.

Nearly 70 per cent of Spectra’s revenue is through the VAR channel, the company said.

The new plans is a two-tiered program, which will reward resellers who receive training, set goals, and are committed to operate a demo unit.

Instead of basing the program purely on revenue goals, Spectra decided on an equal opportunity program that is accessible to any-sized VAR.

Networking vendor Enterasys Networks Inc. has added to its partner program.

Two main additions are value added discount programs and elearning-based training initiatives. The new plan will consist of a revised MDF program, RFP assistance at no charge to the reseller, demo unit program, a remote access lab, and updated Web site with partner locator tool.

Enterasys will continue to offer special incentives, promotions, marketing programs, technical support, partner certification and an e-commerce site.

Citrix Systems Inc. is putting more resellers on the chopping block. While the company has not stated what percentage will be cut, it has revamped its accreditation process to make it harder for those resellers who strictly do fulfillment of product.

According to Sandy Bruce, Citrix’s vice-president of sales for North America it will mean a reduction in current channel relationships to focus on resellers who are investing and delivering value around Citrix solutions.

The company also adopted an Open Licensing policy for its software products.

Finally, Tech Data Canada and the Eastman Kodak Co.’s Document Imaging division formed a partnership. Tech Data will distribute Kodak’s complete line of production document scanners. Tech Data will develop customized Kodak marketing materials and provide one-on-one training and solution-selling tactics.

In addition, Tech Data and Kodak will conduct education and training programs on document storage and imaging for VARs in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

Kodak is targeting financial, insurance and transportation markets for their scanner products.

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