Novell to Enhance Partner Program, Add SUSE Linux Partners

March 19, 2004

Novell today announced a new, comprehensive partner program that will bring under one umbrella the company's global solutions, technology and training partner relationships.

Waltham, MA

  • Benefits of Novell's extensive global partner ecosystem extended to SUSE Linux partners
  • Novell PartnerNet program to include solution, technology and training partners under unified umbrella
  • Novell's new Linux offerings, including partner solutions, provide new sales opportunities for new and existing ISVs, IHVs and solutions provider partners

Novell today announced a new, comprehensive partner program that will bring under one umbrella the company's global solutions, technology and training partner relationships.

The enhanced PartnerNet® program - which will incorporate SUSE® LINUX partners - will enable more effective synergies between Novell's solutions provider, hardware, software and training partners, enhance recruitment of independent software and hardware vendors (ISV/IHVs), help drive new business for partners, and provide new options for customers to engage with Novell. The addition of SUSE Linux's more than 560 global partners, including its extensive hardware partner network, to Novell® PartnerNet provides Novell important new go-to-market capabilities and expanded Linux-based offerings.

"Having a thriving partner program as we move to embrace open source is vital to the success of our customers and ourselves," said Hal Bennett, vice president of business development for Novell. "Novell's partner model parallels our one Net vision - one Net, one program, one model. We not only want to make it easy for partners to work with Novell, but to work with each other as well. Inviting SUSE Linux's partners into PartnerNet brings us new solutions providers and technology partners who know the Linux space. With great foundation technology from Novell, increased third-party application and hardware support, and knowledge and services from our extensive solutions provider and training networks, Novell can serve its global customers better."

With its move into the Linux space and acquisition of SUSE Linux, Novell has gained new partner interest across the board, from hardware and software vendors to solutions providers. The launch of the Novell Certified Linux Engineer and SUSE Certified Linux Professional programs has created demand for new partner training offerings. Novell is creating a single umbrella program that allows partners to engage with Novell in a manner that bests matches their business model and the markets they serve. Novell will have three mutually reinforcing tracks in its PartnerNet program, creating a unified, comprehensive ecosystem of thousands of partners worldwide:

  • Solutions providers - Value adder resellers, distributors, channel partners, consultants and system integrators who help take Novell/SUSE Linux solutions to market and provide business and technology services to clients.
  • Technology partners - ISVs and IHVs who own, develop, distribute and support commercially available applications and hardware that support or integrate with Novell/SUSE Linux technology.
  • Training partners - academic and commercial education specialists who deliver online and classroom training to support Novell technologies and Novell certifications, including SUSE Linux training and certifications.

The new PartnerNet program will deliver more flexibility to customers in how to purchase and deploy Novell solutions, a larger number of Novell and partner solutions to meet business challenges, and greater opportunities for partners to work together for mutual benefit.

Leverage Existing Program Infrastructure

Novell is moving quickly to bring the benefits of a unified Novell partner ecosystem to SUSE Linux and Novell partners. As Novell and SUSE complete the steps necessary to achieve a fully integrated umbrella partner program, a number of short-term initiatives are underway. All SUSE Linux partners retain their current benefits and are also automatically eligible to enroll in Novell's PartnerNet program at no additional charge, giving them access to Novell's software evaluation libraries, training and ongoing channel programs and sales tools. Similarly, Novell's top-level partners can gain immediate access to the existing SUSE Linux partner information network and benefits, providing access to SUSE Linux technology and hardware and software certifications, as well as go-to-market support offerings, joint lead management and training programs. Novell remains strongly committed to its Clear Channel initiative, launched in 2001, which defines and reinforces a strong role for solutions partners in Novell's go-to-market strategy.

As part of its enhancements to the PartnerNet program, Novell will offer four specializations for those partners who wish to develop and promote a functional expertise. These specializations, which mirror Novell's main solutions offerings, will be:

  • Linux: Expertise on the SUSE Linux platform and related infrastructure pieces like storage, clustering and cross-platform management.
  • Secure Identity Management: Focusing on directory and related technologies used to build a comprehensive security and management approach to the network based on identity.
  • Resource Management: Specializing in tools to manage heterogeneous networks, from servers to desktops to handhelds, including software distribution, configuration, versioning and patch management.
  • Web Services: Expertise in Web application development and integration using a standards-based, services-oriented architecture to integrate legacy systems and data into a Web environment.

Promoting SUSE Linux with Partners

Novell is also launching today several initiatives to create, port, certify and promote partner solutions for the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform. The SUSE Linux Software Development Kit - available at no charge - contains a set of development tools, including Eclipse, KDevelop, libraries, compilers and documentation environments, to help developers write, port and migrate their applications to the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform across hardware architectures. Novell is also launching the SUSE Linux READY program to ease to partner requirements for certifying their hardware for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Platform and to facilitate the porting, testing and creation of business applications for the platform. Finally, Novell will also publish the SUSE Linux Solution Directory, a listing of partner solutions available on the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform that will give customers an easier way to locate what they need from partners. Additional details on these new initiatives are available at

"Novell's recent moves into the Linux space have opened up significant new opportunities for partners like us who specialize on Linux, and the acquisition of SUSE greatly improves the overall Novell product stack," said Joseph Basanta of Systems Solutions, a SUSE Linux Premier partner. "Novell's enhanced PartnerNet programs will help us meet growing customer needs by offering a broad range of Linux solutions, across all the leading hardware platforms, backed with enterprise strength training and sales tools. We're very excited about Novell's new direction and Novell's commitment to making all its partners successful; it is truly a mutual benefit to all the parties involved, but most of all to customers and potential customers."

More information on Novell's PartnerNet program is available at

About Novell
Novell, Inc. is a leading provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management (Novell® Nsure™), Web application development (Novell exteNd™) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise™), all supported by strategic consulting and professional services (Novell NgageSM). Active in the open source community with its Ximian and SUSE Linux brands, Novell is firmly committed to open source and offers comprehensive Linux products and services for the enterprise, from the desktop to the server. Novell's vision of one Net - a world without information boundaries - helps customers realize the value of their information securely and economically. For more information, call Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272) or visit Press should visit

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