September 1991

NeXT shifts sales groups

by Dan Ruby

Redwood City, CA: NeXT's recent shuffle of its U.S. sales management and support organizations does not indicate a shift in strategy, said Erna Arneson, NeXT's new director of channel sales. Rather, the changes, which combined four channel groups into a single organization, eliminated four regional sales offices, and shifted some managers to new jobs in the field, were designed to improve efficiency and effectiveness, she said.

In the reorganization, the old groups that managed dealer sales, VAR sales, and higher education were merged into a single organization headed by Arneson. Two other groups were established to manage sales programs and to target strategic markets. The channel sales and sales program groups report directly to Todd Rulon-Miller, vice president of sales, while the strategic markets group reports to Mike Slade, executive director of marketing.

"Under this organization, we have better integration of the channels," Arneson said. "Each channel will offer the same programs, giving the company better consistency across the board."

"This also gives us a central focus for communication to the field [sales force], and it provides better synergy between sales and marketing," she said.

The strategy for signing up new dealers and VARs is unchanged, Arneson said. As of July, almost 50 VARs were selling NeXT hardware, and 30 dealer locations were in place. She said the company was on track to make its goals of 100 dealers and 100 VARs by the end of the year.

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