AN AGREEMENT between Novell and the Ministry of Education (MOE) to provide software to all state and integrated schools may yield rewards for the company’s channel partners.
Matthew Christie, Novell country manager, says his company has been working with schools for a number of years but this deal marks the first centralised approach to licensing.
While the MOE is managing procurement, Christie says each school can make its own decision as to which platform and software it wants.
Although partners have been involved in delivering services to schools, Christie says this only amounted to a small portion of revenue.
“Now our partners can potentially expand their services base. Schools will be reliant on those businesses to provide them with the information they need to make the decision,” he says.
Christie says that initially Novell partners will have to leverage the opportunities this deal presents as he is working towards a schools partner programme.
The 18-month agreement places Novell in direct competition with Microsoft — which signed a similar arrangement last year — but Christie believes Novell’s offerings, combined with the advantages of Linux and open source, will provide schools with cost-effective, secure and reliable systems.
“This is a great bit of business for Novell and we are really excited that we get to introduce a whole new generation to the benefits of open source.”