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Novell goes for gold with $2,995 fee for Platinum Vars

Scheme rolled out in US following European trial

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US Resellers wanting Novell Platinum status will have to pay for it, following the success of a pilot scheme in Europe. US Vars will be charged almost $3,000 for the privilege of a Platinum gong, according to this week's Computer Reseller News (CRN) Web site. They will join their cohorts in Europe, where Novell has been charging £2,000 since last March for entry to the equivalent top tier Business Expert category. Novell was expected to announce plans today that it would charge $2,995 per office location. Vars who are quick off the mark could save the fee by having their engineers certified on NetWare 5.0 by the 1 July deadline. The UK currently has 40-50 Novell Business Experts, according to Steve Brown, Novell UK country manager. This means the US scheme could prove fruitful with around 10 times the number of available punters in the channel. Originally, Novell wanted to charge $10,000 per Platinum Var, but strong opposition caused this balloon to burst, according to CRN. The $2,995 fee includes quarterly technical and sales training, technical support and access to the Novell Software Connect Library. While US resellers were of the opinion that Novell wanted to "weed out the non players", retaining only the keenest of partners, the vendor was keen to set the record straight. Speaking in CRN Chuck Meister, Novell vice president of field and channel sales, said: "It is not a proactive program to get rid of anybody. We looked at our channel, and we're providing more support for resellers that have more Novell focus. We're putting the wood behind the arrow, so that it means something and not spreading out the support too thin." ®

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