Novell is to start charging partners to join the lowest level of its PartnerNet scheme.
Sources have told CRN that this is part of the vendor's overall plans to change its PartnerNet programme. It has been confirmed that this will take place in the US in January, although no EMEA date is available.
The vendor intends to change the name of its authorised entry level to Silver and begin charging partners a fee. The amount has yet to be set for Europe, but in the US it will be about $300.
CRN also understands that the vendor plans to make it mandatory for every Silver partner to have one Novell Certified Sales employee on board.
Steve Derbyshire, managing director of Telamon Systems, said that as a top-level partner, his firm has always paid a fee.
"We get much more help with promotions, events, marketing and support," he said. "Every other programme I am on charges me, so why not Novell? And if it's free, you have to consider what you are really getting anyway.
"It probably won't be a huge fee anyway, so it won't be a barrier to entry. It will just stop resellers joining who don't invest or put time and effort in with the vendor."
Scott Fletcher, chief executive of Novell Platinum VAR ANS, agreed. "It's a great idea because it will stop any old contractor signing up," he said.
"You can still sell the products without joining the scheme. The accreditation is more about the ability to deliver than just selling product. It would be better if Novell sold only through accredited resellers and made discount levels more attractive to those that put in the most investment.
"We spend £100,000 on our relationship with Novell, so the £2,000 for the 'badge' is not that significant. Discounts levels are the big issue, which I am sure Novell will address in time. It has already introduced a demand agent rebate scheme for top-level partners."
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