Novell readies New Zealand marketing offensive

As Microsoft's Windows NT captures an increasing amount of mind and market share in the network operating system world, NOS market leader Novell is preparing a New Zealand fight-back.

As Microsoft's Windows NT captures an increasing amount of mind and market share in the network operating system world, NOS market leader Novell is preparing a New Zealand fight-back.

"I want every bit of business we're meant to have. I see sites which should've bought Novell products but made other choices because we didn't get the message across. I want to make sure we don't miss out in future." So says Novell New Zealand's new and inaugural country manager, Peter Revell.

"I think it would be fair to say the history of Novell in New Zealand is chequered ," says Revell. "We haven't been consistent and there have been changes with distribution. Now we want to establish a strong, long-term commitment to the market."

The changes referred to by Revell culminated in the relinquishment by Datamatic at the end of July of the Novell agency it held for years. (See Datamatic positive.) Comtech, which crossed the Tasman from Australia 12 months ago, is now sole Novell distributor here.

Novell has had offices in New Zealand since 1994 and is ready to expand, says Revell. However he's reticent about how many staff will be taken on, saying it will become clearer once the company's needs are identified. It has commissioned IDC to research the New Zealand market.

"In summary there are issues with our pre- and post-sales support, particularly with the resellers," says Revell.

"We need to strengthen our relationship with our resellers," says Revell. "In addition we need stronger co-ordination of our market programmes.

"We want customers and resellers to understand we're not NetWare only and NetWare is not just file and print. We have three key products--NetWare, with its NDS; GroupWise, for messaging and scheduling; and MangageWise.

"I've become aware of some sites where they haven't even evaluated the Novell offering. I'm thinking of a certain site where GroupWise would have suited best and they didn't even look at it."

Novell's other product push is an intranet/Internet offering. Revell concedes that every computer company is touting its intranet offering but points to Novell's networking background.

"We have put significant resources into developing for the intranet/Internet environment. Novell comes to it with a 10-year history of connecting people. I would envisage that we will stake a claim in that area in the same way we staked our claim in the networking area."

Revell joins Novell having been general manager of Acorn Computers, a position he held for three years following a stint in sales and marketing at Acorn Australia.

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