Open Source Meets Managed ServicesOpen Source Meets Managed Services
September 20, 2007
Sometimes The VAR Guy just can’t let go of a hunch. For a few weeks now, he’s been asking MSP platform providers if they would ever open source their software. Most MSP companies told him they haven’t considered such a strategy. That will change next week, when Untangle launches an MSP Partner Program focused on open source network security.
Under terms of the program, MSPs will be able to offer Untangle’s network security solution to protect customer networks from spam, viruses, spyware, adware, and unwanted content (like stuff written by me, perhaps). The hardware as a service program requires no up-front payments from the MSP. Instead, managed service providers can pay a monthly fee — similar to a lease fee — while charging their customers a slightly higher fee to generate ongoing profit.
In theory, Untangle’s partners could benefit greatly from the open source approach. After all, they will have access to Untangle’s source code — giving them the ability to make enhancements and modifications that may further benefit customers.
The VAR Guy doesn’t have a feel (yet) for the quality of Untangle’s products and services. But he’ll be sure to do some investigating during the MSP Alliance conference in San Jose on Sept. 24 and 25.
As you may know, The VAR Guy is a bit of an open source fanatic — regularly reading up about the Ubuntu Linux operating system at AllAboutUbuntu.com. If fact, he hears some rumblings that Untangle expects to leverage Ubuntu in the next few months.
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