Two of Symantec's largest resellers have called a meeting to expresstancy fee scheme. their outrage at the vendor's decision to restructure its ACT channel on a franchise model.
As exclusively revealed in PC Dealer (8 April), Symantec has launched a scheme, which charges resellers #50,000 to become consultants but will restrict their selling power to a geographical region.
Bruce Webster, MD of Business Critique International, and Alan Brown, MD of Brown & Company, are meeting with John Wakeman, Symantec sales director of Northern Europe and Dieter Giesbrecht, EMEA vice president, on 16 April, when they will formally reject the scheme and clarify their legal position if it goes ahead.
Brown said: 'I don't believe that Symantec has the legal right to do this and we will sue if our business is affected. Symantec must be held accountable.'
A letter from Symantec to its ACT resellers confirmed that the vendor was proceeding with the scheme, despite almost universal resistance.
The letter stated: 'As of 3 August, you shall no longer be accredited as an ACT certified consultant and shall no longer be entitled to hold yourself out as such, unless you requalify as an ACT version 4 certified consultant.'
In a further act of defiance, some of the smaller ACT dealers have discussed plans to form a breakaway alliance selling both the latest version of ACT as well as rival products such as AVG's Goldmine and the soon-to-be-released Sales Logic, which was developed by Pat Sullivan, who designed ACT.
The managing director of one reseller, who asked not to be named, said: 'I have been in discussion with two or three of the other smaller companies.
We may form a nationwide alliance, but it would be on our own terms.'
Channel sources suggested that the proposal was really a disguised attempt by Symantec to dump the majority of its existing dealers and create a more direct channel with Marketing Action filling the role of master reseller.
Wakeman fuelled the suggestion by refusing to confirm whether he expected existing ACT resellers to adopt the scheme.
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