Sun Microsystems has restructured its channel partners, bringing its resellers into closer contact with its direct salesforce to discourage product fulfilment.
The vendor has divided its channel into two sectors: corporate partners ? largely hardware-focused resellers ? and applications partners ? independent software vendors ? to focus the resellers? efforts into vertical markets.
But one source claimed that the altered sales compensation structure for Sun?s direct salesforce could push sales away from resellers.
It is understood that Sun?s direct sales team will be compensated on the net revenue it sells. It was previously compensated using an estimated average.
A source said: ?It will force channel partners to focus on adding value, rather than just fulfilment. But there?s a danger that it will make a Sun salesman think twice about putting business through the channel.?
Pete Deane, Sun?s reseller partner manager, said: ?The new structure is a reinforcement of the firm?s channel-neutral policy.? He said Sun?s channel, previously comprising eight focus groups, would be simplified by being split into two. Partners will be managed on a UK basis, instead of in local geographic groups.
It is understood that master distributor Tplc will fall into the applications partner strategy, which belies its traditional role. But Deane said: ?The relationship between Sun and Tplc is as strong as ever.?
Andrew Morris, divisional director at Morse Computers, said: ?This model has been very successful in the finance sector, and there?s no reason why it shouldn?t be successful here.?
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