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Caldera boosts sales-partner program

The Linux and Unix company adds a host of new incentives to try to lure business partners--a key part of its sales strategy.

Caldera International has added a host of new incentives to try to lure business partners--a key part of the company's Unix and Linux sales strategy.

For sales, Caldera relies on companies that integrate their own higher-level software with Caldera's Unix or Linux operating system. On Monday, just before the opening of the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, the company announced new enticements for those partners.

The Orem, Utah, company now offers these resellers free technical training and online education materials. In addition, Caldera offers special prices for technical support and product support, the company said.

With its reseller deals, Caldera has taken a different approach than its competitors. Red Hat focuses on direct sales and support, while SuSE in Germany leans toward consulting services.

Caldera's reseller strategy was shared by the Santa Cruz Operation, a company whose two versions of Unix--OpenServer and the more modern UnixWare--Caldera acquired in 2001.

However, the recession and diminished Linux hype has hurt the company, with a net loss of $131 million in its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2001. Digesting the SCO Unix products was a substantial part of that loss. The company wrote down $74 million of goodwill and intangible assets because the SCO products didn't produce the expected revenue, the company said in a regulatory filing, mentioning additional factors including the weakening of some partnerships and the loss of some key executives, among other things.