Canonical Sees Seven Opportunities for Ubuntu Partners
Seeking to promote Ubuntu to resellers and distributors, Canonical is making a surprise appearance this week at CompTIA Breakaway in Washington, D.C. Here, Canonical is outlining seven potential profit opportunities for partners that back Ubuntu, a Linux distribution that has mobile, desktop, server and cloud computing capabilities. Equally important, Canonical is promoting Landscape — a remote management tool — for VARs and MSPs.
To cash in on Ubuntu, Canonical is telling partners to focus on customers and prospects that are experiencing one or more of the following business pain points:
- High licensing costs for proprietary systems;
- Difficulty monitoring and managing servers or desktops;
- Slow, manual software updates and patching;
- Inability to ensure all machines are patched to the same level;
- Inability to provide enterprise-class support across servers or desktops;
- Unacceptable systems downtime; and/or
- Requirement to set up and take down new applications frequently.
Canonical outlines those seven partner opportunities as part of the Ubuntu Advantage partner program push. Canonical announced the new partner program about a week ago. Robin Barley-Waegener, a channel development manager at Canonical, is attending Breakaway to educate potential partners about the program.
The VAR Guy caught Barley-Waegener’s ear at CompTIA Breakaway. Our resident blogger also inspected Canonical’s new marketing and promotional materials. Simply put: Canonical finally looks like a company that’s serious about engaging channel partners.
Canonical’s partner strategy also pushes beyond Ubuntu. The company’s new marketing materials focus heavily on Landscape, a remote monitoring and management tool that VARs and MSPs can use to maintain customer networks. Landscape’s four core capabilities include package management; automation (for creating scripts); systems monitoring and cloud management.
The VAR Guy realizes that Canonical faces an uphill battle — especially in the North American software market.
In the server market, Canonical must somehow carve out a niche against Windows Server, Red Hat and SUSE Linux. Red Hat North America Channel Chief Roger Egan also is attending Breakaway. And SUSE Linux (now owned by Attachmate) also seems to be preparing new channel and cloud investments.
Sources say Canonical has some big server and cloud partner wins brewing in Europe and India… and the company is hoping to leverage those wins into the U.S. market.
Meanwhile, the desktop and mobile markets also represent fierce challenges for Canonical in North America. Although Ubuntu is widely considered the most popular desktop Linux distribution, Microsoft has solidified its desktop dominance with Windows 7, Apple is running strong with Mac OS X, and mobile offerings like Google Android and Apple iOS present further competitive challenges to Ubuntu, The VAR Guy believes.
Still, remember this: Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is just showing up.” With that thought in mind, Canonical is finally showing up at major channel events.