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As reported by Accounting Technology in a February 22, 2008 article titled "NetSuite In The Land of Channel Conflict", the volume and pitch of the reseller communities complaints with NetSuite are clearly reaching a peak. Accounting Technology Editor-in-Chief Bob Scott reports that there are some very strong comments from the NetSuite channel, including claims that the NetSuite direct sales force is unethical and in competition with the NetSuite reseller community and partner channel. When asked about the conflict issue, NetSuite's largest volume reseller and partner Ray Tetlow, CEO of Skyytek.com, commented

“Channel conflict does exist and it is expected from a direct sales organization such as NetSuite. That we can live with. Where it crosses the line is when the customer wishes are not respected and artificial barriers concerning the rules of engagement are put into place. This prevents and enforces the customer, despite their wishes, to purchase their licenses from one vendor and implement with another vendor, obviously creating a conflict of interest. It's time NetSuite overhauled this philosophy when dealing with complex ERP systems."

UNHAPPINESS IN THE SAGE CHANNEL.
Sage is new to the channel conflict game and despite a statement that it hasn't heard about the beefs, I'd describe the channel as seething. The grumbling started when Sage rolled out its Assisted Sales program earlier this year, designed to pick up business “left on the table,” when resellers, say, sold an ERP system, but didn't do the “would you like fries with that?” approach in selling add-ons, upgrades and the like. Warning bells sounded the moment the program was announced. As pictured by some VARs, Sage is taking more than what's left on the table. It's picking up the table. One report had a VAR ready to close a deal after a lengthy courtship, when Sage swooped in and offered 15 percent off. “That surprises me,” was the reaction of Paul Johnson, Sage's sales VP for its Business Management Division. He termed the Sage sales force as “a very small team that's to provide selling resources for larger opportunities. On most of these deals, we bring the channel partn er in. We've helped the channel partners win some big deals.” Informed of that, one long-time Sage dealer scoffed, “Sage is no longer collaborative at any level. Sage's strategy is designed to drive sales for Sage at the expense of the reseller.” Although reports have focused on conflict in sales of MAS 500, this VAR said Sage was competing at every level of the business, including consulting. Nevertheless, he opined that his business is generally very good.

 

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