Sun beats channel drum ahead of programme launch

Sun Microsystems has rallied partners ahead of the imminent launch of its latest channel programme in the Middle East. The company’s Sun Partner Advantage (SPA) scheme will categorise resellers into four tiers when it is rolled out on July 1st.

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By  Andrew Seymour in Sharm El Sheikh Published  May 30, 2007

Sun Microsystems has rallied partners ahead of the imminent launch of its latest channel programme in the Middle East. The company’s Sun Partner Advantage (SPA) scheme will categorise resellers into four tiers when it is rolled out on July 1st. Sun has been transitioning local partners towards SPA since the turn of the year when it brought the curtain down on its iForce channel scheme. The new initiative, which Sun has been detailing to partners at this week’s Middle East and North Africa ‘Partner Update Event’ in Sharm El Sheikh, will separate partners into four tiers - associate, member, principal and executive – with a sliding scale of benefits. Executive level will house the server vendor’s most qualified Middle East partners, who are set to enjoy perks such as a 1% rebate on equipment sales providing they make Sun revenues in excess of US$1m a year. Resellers and integrators in Saudi have to exceed US$3m in order to qualify for executive status, however. “So far we already have 11 executive partners and 15 principal partners accredited,” revealed partners and alliances sales organisation chief Bruno Haubertin, who also announced details of a discount programme Sun is introducing to ensure partners are competitive in projects commanding special bid pricing. The ‘Competitive Additional Discount’ (CAD) marks the first time that the US-based manufacturer has had a “serious replicable process” to address the issue of special pricing in this region, according to Haubertin. More than 60 partners from across the Middle East and North Africa region have gathered in Egypt to hear the infrastructure vendor’s top regional executives, including managing director Chris Cornelius, outline its channel strategy and technology propositions for the year ahead. Bosses from Sun’s main distributor, Tech Access, have also versed attendees on its expanding role as the vendor’s regional channel development partner.

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