Novell is enticing its channel into the lucrative public sector by offering rebates as part of its Demand Agent Programme (DAP) to partners offering consultancy.
Ben Bulpett, enterprise sales director at Novell UK, said that resellers working with public-sector organisations are losing deals because they cannot beat large fulfilment houses on price.
To alleviate their concerns, the vendor is offering rebates for promoting Novell to public-sector customers, even if the reseller does not supply the products for the end deal.
"This is aimed at our Business Experts that work in the government sector but are not members of GCat [the government catalogue]," Bulpett said.
"A lot of GCat members are simple fulfilment houses but do not generate business for Novell. What we are saying to Business Experts is that if they influence a deal we will reward them."
Steve Derbyshire, managing director of Novell Business Expert reseller Telamon, said that the firm had lost out after influencing customers to buy Novell.
"We have looked at this on an informal case-by-case basis, and Novell has given us rebates if it has proof that we influenced the deal," he said. "The fact that it is formalising this is very positive."
He said that many public-sector organisations will not buy from resellers that are not GCat-accredited, despite receiving consultancy from them.
"Many of the deals Novell is winning in the public sector would not have happened without the influence of Business Experts," he said. "Many fulfilment houses just take phone calls and don't offer consultancy."
About half of Telemon's Novell business is in the public sector but the firm has had problems with the insistence on particular accreditations.
"There are many cases in the public sector when ordinary resellers cannot win the deals," said Derbyshire. "We were part of the trial of Novell's DAP and it did seem to work well."
As well as insisting on certain accreditations such as GCat, the NHS uses reverse auctions in the IT bidding process to attain the lowest price.
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