Tech Data Expands Open Source Partner Program
Open Tech, an open source partner program organized by Tech Data, has gained a new member. Specifically, KnowledgeTree, an enterprise content management company, has joined Open Tech. The VAR Guy welcomes the news but our resident blogger wonders: Are VARs starting to embrace Open Tech and the rival Open Source Channel Alliance? Here are some clues.
First, some background on big distributors promoting open source solutions to VARs. Tech Data launched the Open Tech initiative in November 2009, and Tech Data VP Stacy Nethercoat provided more perspectives in December 2009. Meanwhile, Synnex and Red Hat launched the Open Source Channel Alliance in April 2009.
Open Tech and the Open Source Channel Alliance both hold promise on multiple fronts. For Linux solutions providers, the two distributor efforts could open the door to application opportunities. And for closed source application specialists, Open Tech and the OSCA provide disruptive and frequently lower-cost alternatives upon which to build solutions.
The open source channel is certainly growing — as The VAR Guy’s own Open Source 50 report revealed in 2009 (the 2010 survey is under way now).
Still, neither Open Tech nor the Open Source Channel Alliance became overnight hits. Instead, both efforts are going to require years of training, education and marketing.
KnoweldgeTree‘s decision to join Open Tech is promising. In some ways, it’s similar to Alfresco’s 2009 decision to join the Open Source Channel Alliance. In both cases, open source content management systems are moving into the IT channel.
So what’s next? The VAR Guy continues to watch both Open Tech and the Open Source Channel Alliance closely. So far, most of the moves are small, “let’s get started” efforts. But our resident blogger expects both organizations to accelerate their open source channel moves in the second half of 2010.