Sun and Netscape are meeting on a daily basis in the US to thrash out the final details of their alliance reseller programme, as the companies prepare their integrated channel policy.
Both premier partners and normal resellers will move into the programme, which is expected to kick off in July in the US.
Bryn Jenkins, EMEA marketing and channel sales director at Netscape, revealed that Sun and Netscape European executives were also having regular meetings and that most of the details - including pricing - would be completed over the next month.
'The alliance programme is to be finalised by 1 July. We are working to the same deadline as the US. There will be three levels in the programme, but I cannot provide more details as they are still being worked out,' he said.
He insisted that the changes would not affect the way the companies work with the channel. 'We have informed the distributors that there will be some changes. It will be a pleasant surprise for Netscape resellers and I'm sure it will get a warm reception,' he said.
A representative at Unipalm said: 'We are Netscape's only distributor so we are negotiating at the minute for the merged Sun/Netscape products.'
Netscape's future is looking rosy, according to analysts at IDC. It claims Netscape holds the largest share - 9.5 per cent - of the Web commerce applications market. According to the latest figures, the market soared 154 per cent to dollars 444 million in 1998 and is expected to increase by a further 280 per cent to dollars 1.7 billion in 1999.
Albert Tang, analyst at IDC's e-commerce software research programme, said: 'Netscape has done it better, faster and earlier than anybody else in the market and is likely to remain one of the leading vendors in the coming year.'
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