Corel stops direct selling

After a brief try at direct sales last year, Corel Corp. is switching back to resellers, says its new vice-president of channel sales.

“”We are committed to running 100 per cent of our sales through the channel,”” said John Deegan, who took over his new post in December.

“”There were some

enterprise accounts that we have in the past taken direct, but it was very clear when Corel brought me on board was that their desire was to make sure we are a very channel-focused company.””

Born in Winnipeg, his responsibilities include working with North American distributors to develop sales and marketing programs for resellers. Deegan reports to Steven Houck, executive vice-president for partner relations.

Deegan was with Microsoft Corp. for 11 years, rising to senior director of channel sales before joining its consulting service to work with enterprise customers.

A year ago he left the Redmond, Washington-based company for California, where his wife is from. He said he’ll be commuting from there to Corel’s U.S. headquarters in Dallas.

Late in 2002 he accepted an offer from struggling Corel, which cut 220 employees and shook up its management in the fall in an effort to regain profitability.

When former executive vice-president of sales Gary Klembara left the company in October, Corel split the post between Houck and David Roberts, who became executive vice-president for enterprise sales and professional services.

Corel was engaged in direct sales of some products to enterprise customers as a result of its purchase of Micrografx in 2001, which used that model.

But, Deegan said “”we want to involve our channel partners 100 per cent in all our sales processes.””

After six weeks only the job Deegan said it was premature to talk about possible changes to Corel’s dealings with distributors. But he did say he wants to leverage their expertise.

For example, he said, Merisel Inc. allows value-added resellers to sell licensing through the company’s Web site. Corel wants to take advantage of that kind of resource to reach resellers.

“”I’ve got a lot of meetings set up with our partners to discuss these specific opportunities,”” he said, “”and I first want to get feedback from them on the best way to do that. From that I’ll be able to form a strategy in the next month or two.””

But among his priorities, he said, is to make sure Corel’s enterprise sales force is well-integrated with the sales forces of large account resellers.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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