Novell Channel Chief Javier ColadoNew Channel Chief Javier Colado has his eyes on multiple opportunities to bolster Novell's partner program. In this quick email interview with The VAR Guy, Colado describes some of his executive experience, and some of his initial goals.

Novell announced Colado's move into the channel chief position on Sept. 12. At the time, The VAR noted that Colado will need to build some bridges between Novell's SUSE Linux and ISVs and integrators.

The VAR Guy traded email with Novell PR in recent days, and lined up an online interview with Colado. Here's a look at the quick Q&A session.

The VAR Guy: Did you raise your hand for the job? How did your name get on the short-list of candidates?

Colado: Well, ever since joining Novell the channel and partners have been a big part of my job – for the last two years I was area general manager and vice president for western Europe, Middle East, and Africa and was responsible for all operations, sales and marketing. And before Novell I've had executive positions with McAfee and Lucent Technologies, where channel was the focus.

Our CEO Ron Hovsepian knew my background and approached me about the job. He reasoned that I had both the right skill set and understood first-hand the challenges we face internally to really be successful. I jumped at the opportunity.

The VAR Guy: Where were you based prior to moving into this position and where will you be based now?

Colado: I'm based in Spain, in Madrid. Over the next couple of months I'll be moving my whole family to the Boston area and I'll be working from Novell's Waltham HQ. It's an exciting time.

The VAR Guy: Do you see an opportunity to connect the dots between SUSE Linux ISVs and integrators/partners? If so, how so?

Colado: Absolutely. First, if you look at just the Novell portfolio, we have a lot of cross-selling and upselling opportunities for our partners. There are ways ISVs and integrators can, for example, cross-sell our identity and security management products into a Linux opportunity and add a lot of value for customers with high-margin services.

On top of that, we have made great progress with the ISV community during the past year. Our goal now is to keep on increasing the number of certified applications running on SUSE, and on top of that to take the ISV relationships to a different level, so integrators and solution providers can benefit from all these efforts. We therefore plan to work much more closely with some of these ISVs, by for example running common campaigns through our partner ecosystems.

The VAR Guy: What did you do during your previous posts at McAfee and Lucent?

Colado: I was with McAfee, originally Network Associates, for almost 6 years. I was responsible for their business in the western European countries, and for the last 18 months I was senior vice president of worldwide service providers and mobile division. This was a new division aimed at the major telcos, service providers and mobile operators both to fulfill their own corporate security needs and enable them to offer security services and solutions to their customers.

Before that, I was with AT&T/Lucent for about 9 years. I was Managing Director for business partners and channels for Spain and Portugal, responsible for all the existing channel organizations within Lucent, as well managing sales in that territory.

A constant in my career has been a focus on developing and nurturing business through the channel and partner networks. This is what I really enjoy.

The VAR Guy: Any other key messages you’d like to share with the NOVL partner community?

Colado: Creating this new role at Novell is a reflection on how important it is to our business. Novell is already executing on a transformation from a direct to an indirect sales model --  managing this transition is absolutely critical to Novell's continued growth and success.

We started on our channel and partner transformation strategy some time ago, and have made great progress. We need to do more. The main goal is to build on the existing momentum and accelerate the channel transition. We need to make our existing partners more successful by further refining the value proposition we offer, and this is a major initiative in place today. On top of that we need to identify and recruit new partners. We have a very aggressive plan to make this happen.