Open Source IT Channel Learns to WalkOpen Source IT Channel Learns to Walk
Open source companies are finally getting on their feet in the IT channel, The VAR Guy believes. In fact, companies like Digium, GroundWork Open Source, Openbravo and Untangle are following Red Hat and Novell into the IT channel -- on a global basis. Here's a look at their progress.
July 14, 2008
Open source companies are finally getting on their feet in the IT channel, The VAR Guy believes. In fact, companies like Digium, GroundWork Open Source, Openbravo and Untangle are following Red Hat and Novell into the IT channel — on a global basis. Here’s a look at their progress.
First, some background: During their early days, many open source companies didn’t want or need channel partners. Instead, they depending on direct sales as well as “community” members who assisted open source code development and product evangelism. That’s wonderful for a start-up. But growing up — and going global with localized support — requires VARs, integrators and managed service providers (MSPs).
Big open source companies (Novell, Red Hat) have revamped their partner programs in the past year to accelerate growth. Now, smaller open source companies are getting hip to the trend. Consider these developments:
Another key trend here: These are global — rather than regional or country-specific — partner programs.
When it comes to going global, open source companies have a distinct advantage over closed source software rivals. The reason: While closed-source companies pay millions of dollars and spend months to re-write applications for specific regions and territories, open source companies can depend on their global community members to do that type of localization work.
In fact, many open source VARs are actually local developers who have fine-tuned applications for specific countries or languages.
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