Novell’s historic Clear Channel initiative celebrated its one-year anniversary with an announcement of an additional component called PartnerNet.

PartnerNet program for 2003 will focus on increasing new business in the channel. With that, Novell will offer more accounts to its channel base,

increase training on Nsure and ExteNd solutions and provide incentives for partners who attract new business.

According to James Simzer, director of field and channel sales for Novell Canada, based in Markham, Ont., the subsidiary has an ambitious plan to transfer between 250 to 400 accounts to the channel. As of Oct. 31 of this year, Novell Canada managed to transition between 50 to 60 accounts to the channel.

“”Yes, we are doing all those accounts. We are very ambitious in 2003 and we have a very good channel to take on all of those accounts,”” Simzer said.

Simzer could not name any of those accounts at this time.

With more accounts being partner led for Novell Canada, reseller training has become vital for the company.

Under the PartnerNet strategy, Novell will expand training and offer specialization designations for its partners in areas such as ExteNd Web application development; Nsure secure identity management; Nterprise cross-platform networking services; and Ngage professional services.

Last year Novell Canada provided more than 70 days of training on core Novell products. Simzer is looking to increase partner training on Directory and in some of the methodologies around Secure Identity Management, he said.

“”Our partners have a great opportunity here and training them on how to approach a customer, how to implement, and how to roll out and respond to Secure Identity Management capabilities will be very important to us,”” Simzer added.

Secure Identity Management, Simzer believes will be a big market opportunity for Novell and its channel partners in 2003. Novell has developed products and services that offer organizations role-based computing whether it is from the portal to back end systems or whether it is simple sign on across multiple systems, regardless of operating system or platform.

“”As we get involved with these customer engagements, there are pieces of Secure Identity Management that virtually all of our customers are asking for. Our channel partners have grown very well over the last two months as we provided the training for this. We have co-engaged with them inside some of these customers and have seen a lot of capabilities being displayed by the partners,”” Simzer said.

On the partner incentive front, Novell has created a demand agent program for partners who stimulate demand, but are not necessarily interested in fulfilling on the product itself, Simzer said.

Novell has set targets within new accounts and a percentage of the sale will be paid to the partner in the form of a rebate.

“”Typically integration partners will be participating in that and there will obviously be services that they will do for the customer as well.

“”They sky is the limit,”” Simzer said of the demand agent program.

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