Channel partners of the Sun/Netscape alliance - now called iPlanet - were told they faced an opportunity the scale of which they have never seen before, at a seminar in London last week.
Mark Salter, UK channel sales manager at iPlanet, thanked resellers for sticking with the newly formed software vendor. "I know it's been a difficult road, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. All the programmes we've promised are now in place," he said.
Salter told attendees the iPlanet organisation and channel lacks the resources to meet demand. "We've been walking away from opportunities because we haven't been able to manage them," he revealed.
Martyn Fildes, channel programme manager at iPlanet, said three levels of accreditation would be introduced: software reseller, authorised software partner, and authorised enterprise software partner.
Products will be divided into three corresponding categories, and resellers will have to give their authorisation numbers to place orders. Fildes said restricting access to products would protect the investment of resellers that had acquired higher accreditation levels.
Fildes said the Netscape Xpert range of ecommerce products would not be distributed because of their complexity. Salter reassured resellers they were not missing out on a volume opportunity, admitting that iPlanet has seen only two ecommerce sales in Europe so far.
There is no fee for entering the programme, but resellers will be expected to match iPlanet's investment of four per cent revenue into a market development fund. An incentive growth fund will also be established to reward growth measured by comparing fiscal quarters with the same period a year earlier.
To the amusement of some resellers, Slater also reiterated iPlanet's intention to be platform independent.
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