Open Source Expert Joins CompTIA’s Board
CompTIA — a large association serving the IT channel — has longstanding relationships with Microsoft and the traditional software industry. But one of CompTIA’s new board members could help to drive open source solutions across the IT channel. Here’s the scoop.
The name to know is Robert Stegner, Synnex Corp.’s senior VP of North America marketing. Stegner in April 2009 helped Synnex to launch the Open Source Channel Alliance (OSCA). The OSCA, in turn, is striving to train more than 15,000 Synnex solutions providers to promote, service and support a range of open source applications.
Admittedly, the OSCA has been quiet lately. And rival efforts — such as Tech Data’s Open Tech initiative — have surfaced.
Sources say the OSCA’s goals for 2009 were conservative: Organize and engage a range of open source software companies for an eventual run at the channel. Once the software companies were in place, the OSCA launched the Open Source Jump Start Appliance. The appliance, based on an HP server, has a range of bundled application options that Synnex VARs can test and demonstrate to their customers.
Fast forward to 2010, and Stegner’s move onto CompTIA‘s board of directors is intriguing for multiple reasons.
- Sure, CompTIA remains committed to closed-source software partners. That’s logical. But the association has been taking a close look at the open source market and striving to build new relationships. A key example: Roger Egan, Red Hat’s North America channel chief, was among the guest speakers at CompTIA’s Breakaway 2009 conference.
- Dozens of open source companies are building channel partner programs, according to The VAR Guy’s own Open Source 50 report. Many of those software companies have already joined the OSCA. Next up, Stegner could help the open source firms to partner up with CompTIA’s channel membership.
To be clear, Stegner’s move onto CompTIA’s board isn’t a pure open source discussion. His background as a distribution expert pushes far beyond open source. And the OSCA demands only a portion of Stegner’s time at Synnex. With those considerations in mind, some skeptics may suggest The VAR Guy is over-stating the open source story here.
Still, Stegner is the type of guy who can provide plenty of advice if CompTIA is serious about assisting VARs with their open source strategies…