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Novell today added Datrontech to its list of UK distributors with the launch of its Novell Systems Partner Programme. The networking vendor spurned its existing distributors to appoint Basingstoke-based Datrontech to target an untapped market. It will sell Novell NetWare for Small Business and NetWare 5 products, and offer Novell upgrades to OEMs. Novell has chosen the UK as the first place to bring the channel programme to Europe. It was originally launched in the US earlier this year. The company is targeting Datrontech's 4000 system builders not currently using Novell's UK channel. This is the first time the two have worked together, with Novell snubbing its existing distributors Computer 2000, Azlan and CHS. It is also the first time system builders will be able to sell OEM versions of NetWare for Small Business and NetWare 5. Dustin Newport, Novell EMEA distribution sales manager, insisted there was no conflict of interest among its distribution channel regarding today’s appointment. "We have not had a programme to address this market before. The Datrontech decision was deliberate -- we wanted a clear distinction when selling these products to a new market and new customers," he said. Newport said this market was expanding rapidly thanks to companies finding it easier to buy plug and play components. The programme is largely aimed at tier three and four OEMs selling to SMEs. Datrontech said networking had become one way to bolster flagging margins for system builders. Fiona Squire, Datrontech UK business manager, also outlined plans to educate its system builder market. Training seminars are planned at the Novell site in Bracknell, showing how to install products onto servers. Three people will be appointed to the sales and marketing side to visit OEMs, and a new Web site will detail product availability and technical Q&As. ®

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