SolNet loses 25 in regroup

Twenty-five SolNet staff have lost their jobs following the termination of Sun's reseller agreement with its former agent.

Twenty-five SolNet staff have lost their jobs following the termination of Sun’s reseller agreement with its former agent.

However, SolNet chairman Murray McNae says all have either been offered jobs at or are in talks with other Sun resellers and Sun itself.

McNae responded to Sun’s abrupt cancellation of SolNet Ltd’s supply agreement on November 24 by transferring the assets of the company to another entity, SolNet Solutions, of which he owns 48%, with the remainder equally split between three SolNet managers.

The new entity’s assets include about 100 staff, who now form what McNae is calling a “vendor-independent, total solutions and services” provider.

Independence of Sun is “a real oppportunity”, McNae says.

“It is what the market has been telling us they wanted as they saw we had a great team of people, but sometimes being too closely aligned to one vendor was an issue.”

But McNae holds out some hope that the Sun relationship might not be completely over.

“We still have a dialogue with Sun. [Sun Australasia boss] Jim Hassell called me on Wednesday; I put a couple of suggestions to him last week about how a future relationship might look.”

McNae was due to fly to Sydney on Friday to discuss the possibility of continuing to sell Sun software and education services, both areas in which SolNet has developed expertise.

One of the issues to be resolved is money SolNet owes Sun, which McNae characterises as the normal indebtedness of a reseller to its supplier.

Sun is believed to have issued a statutory demand for payment, and cited financial reasons as the rationale for ending SolNet’s supply agreement.

As to where SolNet Ltd staff might end up, neither of existing Sun resellers Computerland or EDS will confirm they’ve hired any. But Computerland managing director Chris Mackay says if ex-SolNet staff do become available, he would talk to them.

“We’re not engaged in approaching them at this stage.”

EDS New Zealand managing director Rick Ellis says EDS is not considering hiring ex-SolNet staff, nor is it considering stepping up sales and support activity as a result of the distributorship change.

“We are in direct contact with Sun who are a key partner globally. We are confident that together we will ensure there is no impact on our New Zealand customers,’’ Ellis said in a statement.

Sun has said it will immediately hire five New Zealand sales and pre-sales technical staff, eventually lifting that number to 10.

Sun’s Hassell was unavailable before deadline.

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