SUSE Linux Intensifies Partner Focus with New Comprehensive Partner Program, Dedicated Channel Organization

March 12, 2003

Dedicated resources and global processes extend reach and improve quality of solutions, services and support

SUSE Linux today announced steps to increase worldwide the reach, effectiveness and skills of its partners -- unveiling a new, dedicated partner organization and comprehensive partner program.

The SUSE Linux Partner Program will increase partner awareness and skills -- through focused knowledge transfer tailored to the specific skills, experiences and target markets of partners - and enhance sales and marketing support -- offering different levels from the SUSE Member Partner to the SUSE Premium Partner.

Under a single program SUSE will address the specific businesses of system integrators, resellers, ISV's, IHV's, consultants, training and support providers -- by organizing the SUSE Partner Program into four tracks: Business Partner, Technology Partner, Support Partner and Training Partner.

"Our partners are the soul of SUSE Linux," said Richard Seibt, CEO, SUSE Linux. "This new program - and the dedicated team we've put in place - will give our partners the knowledge they need and the skills they require to meet the needs of our mutual customers."

"SUSE has long been a key part of our end-to-end solutions," said Jimmy Lee, Director of emerging Technologies for Mainline Information Systems. "When we offer comprehensive suites of products and services to more than 4,000 customers, we must have the best in partnerships with technology suppliers. SUSE Partnership Program has helped us to close sales, and the new program looks like it will do even more for us."

The new program includes three levels:

  • SUSE Member Partner -- The perfect start for partners who want to become more familiar with SUSE Linux, Member partners will receive a continuous flow of business and product information -- expanding their own SUSE Linux qualification and market expertise. Access to SUSE latest business products in combination with web-based technology workshops, sales presentations and material will add to the Member Level partner education. Member Level partners are also entitled to use the SUSE Linux Maintenance Web and Knowledge Database.
  • SUSE Advanced Partner - For those partners already active in the Linux market, and who have indicated their competence/a proven track record in deploying SUSE Business Solutions --the advanced program offers sales and marketing support. Advanced Level Partners will be entitled to wear the SUSE partner logos and market their profile on the SUSE websites. They will have access to SUSE support facilities and each success Advanced Level partners have in selling or influencing sales of SUSE business products will be rewarded by the SUSE Leverage Program, introduced with the launch of the new Partner Program.
  • SUSE Premium Partner - Is for those partners who are able to offer their customers extensive Linux technological expertise and professional services. Premium Level Partners will have full access to all available SUSE sales, marketing and technology resources. To further fuel their business, any buying inquiries to SUSE from potential SUSE customers will be transferred to local Premium Level partners.
  • SUSE Leverage Program -- SUSE Leverage is an "Influence Reporting" and "Skills Re-Investment" program, designed for partners that generate demand for SUSE products. The program helps SUSE partners to achieve and exceed the requirements for their level. The SUSE Leverage Program only applies to SUSE Advanced and Premium Partners. As SUSE Partners continuously prove their success in sales and qualification, SUSE will recognize these efforts by investing more into joint sales, marketing, material and services.

Program entry and level change

Any company that has or plans to have services, sales, training, support, hardware or software in the Linux space -- and is willing to train their resources and is motivated to develop a commercial Linux strategy -- is invited to join the SUSE Partner Program. As companies prove their success in Linux sales -- by revenue and success stories -- and provide UnitedLinux certified resources or SUSE certified products, they are entitled to move up the value chain into the advanced level. The title "SUSE Premium" partner may only be bestowed by SUSE to the most loyal, highly committed enterprises, with a dedicated Linux strategy and a proven track record of successful SUSE Linux sales.

New VP Partner Sales and Services

SUSE Linux also announced the appointment of Petra Heinrich as vice president, Partner Sales & Services. Formerly the vice president for SUSE consumer business, Heinrich has been active in the IT sector for more than 14 years. She began her career at Lotus Development, where she led the Business Partners, Distribution and Partner Marketing efforts. One of her key responsibilities was the integration of Lotus Development's and IBM Software's indirect sales. Later, as Director Partner Sales at IntraWare AG, she assumed responsibility for IntraWare's international business development.

"SUSE is investing more in the development of those channel partners who show a commitment to expanding their Linux sales and technical capabilities while at the same time offering others a path into the exciting world of Linux," said Petra Heinrich. "Together with our partners, we will combine the promises of the Open Source movement with the strengths of traditional IT. Only the finest quality of solutions, service and support will enable the customer satisfaction to guarantee us and our partners long-term success in the market."

"The new SUSE Linux Partner Program will accelerate the success our partners already enjoy," said Holger Dyroff, general manager of the Americas for SuSE. "SUSE dedication to business partners already speeds sales for top-tier companies like Mainline, Arrow/Supportnet, MSI, Denver Solution Group, and Ricis. The new Partner Program will improve sales, support, and customer delight even further."

Additional information can be found at

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