Reseller News

Directory Concepts bids for Novell franchise in NZ

Trans-Tasman consulting and professional services company Directory Concepts hopes to secure a franchise to represent Novell in New Zealand.

Directory Concepts was established in Australia in 1999 and it was officially incorporated locally last August.

CEO and country manager John Whale says his company has had “very close ties” with Novell. It has been providing local consulting following a shift in the vendor’s approach in late 2008, which gave partners a greater opportunity to be its consultants.

He says it is the largest Novell partner in the Asia Pacific region and shares premises with Novell in Wellington.

Whale says Novell reduced its staff numbers in New Zealand when the company progressively moved to the partner-led consulting model.

Novell declined to comment at this stage on local staff numbers, who other local partners are or the rationale for the franchise approach in New Zealand.

However, in November 2008 the company told Australian Reseller News it was increasing its investment in channel enablement, after a lack of focus on the partner community. This included clarifying its services engagement model and skilling up partners in this area.

Two of Directory Concepts’ employees previously worked for Novell, says Whale, adding the company has six staff based in Wellington. The company wants to raise staff numbers to 15 within 12 months and to open a branch in Auckland, Whale says. The companywants to take on more former Novell staff, as it has another four positions open that, when filled, will bring staff numbers to ten.

Directory Concepts wants to give Novell greater focus in New Zealand if it is the successful franchisee, says Whale.

There is, he says, another company in the running for the local franchise, which he says will be decided next month and come into effect in July.

Gen-i is a Novell Gold partner, holding Platinum status for PlateSpin and Identity Manager products. However, a spokesperson says it is not in discussions with Novell about a franchise agreement.

The vendor incorporated its local operation in 1996. Its revenue has fallen from $8.4 million for the year ended October 2005 to $1.6 million for the year ended October 2008, according to filings with the Companies Office website last July. In 2005 Novell’s local operation posted an after-tax profit of $1.04 million, but recorded a $134,938 after tax loss in the 2008 financial year, according to these records.

Internationally, Novell recently rejected a bid by hedge fund Elliott Associates to take the company private.