Red Hat: Channel Today, Platform Tomorrow
Red Hat's new channel roadmap includes several core components:
Mark Enzweiler kept his promise. In November, the Red Hat channel VP told The VAR Guy that he was piecing together a next-generation partner strategy for the company. Several small announcements followed, but Red Hat’s ultimate channel strategy “Roadmap” didn’t surface until today. An encore, involving some sort of Red Hat online store and/or a complete open source platform, could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
Red Hat’s new channel roadmap includes several core components:
- Partner Investment. A new Global Partner Program will include leads for qualified partners, training benefits for RHCE and RHCA, and the ability to participate in Marketing Development Funds (MDF) for demand generation.
- The Certified Service Provider Program. Admittedly, this is old news positioned as a core component in the broader strategy. Announced in January 2007, the Certified Service Provider Program (CSP) is a global, invitation-only partnership designed to encourage collaboration between Red Hat Global Professional Services and service-oriented channel partners.
- Red Hat Partner Portal. Online since 2003, the portal is now being localized into German, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. Translation: Red Hat is going after Novell SuSE’s strongholds abroad.
- Red Hat Subscription Center. Allows partners to renew customer subscriptions, while Red Hat offers back office functions such as renewal reminders and renewal processing.
Red Hat plans to make additional announcements on March 14. Early reports last week suggested that Red Hat planned to open a full-blown online store featuring third-party open source solutions. But Red Hat seems to be distancing itself a bit from that speculation. In a message that just hit The VAR Guy’s inbox, a Red Hat spokesperson said the company will reveal “unique plans to continue to move beyond Linux to provide a complete integrated platform.”