Red Hat, Synnex and Tech Data: Three's Company?

The VAR Guy

September 1, 2009

2 Min Read
Red Hat, Synnex and Tech Data: Three's Company?

Call it a careful test of partner relations. Take a close look at the Red Hat Summit today, and Red Hat seems to be hugging Synnex in one arm and Tech Data with the other. Of course, Tech Data and Synnex are fierce rivals. So why is Red Hat showing them equal love today? Here’s the scoop.

First, a little background: Red Hat today launched the Catalyst Program — a partner strategy that aims to give VARs a range of integrated, certified open source solutions. Take a closer look and you’ll find both Synnex and Tech Data endorsed the Catalyst Program.

In a prepared statement, Synnex Senior VP Bob Stegner says:

“Our partners selling into the midmarket want integrated solutions that are easy to deploy. Through the Red Hat Catalyst Program we can identify and train new partners on open source applications by giving them the step-by-step materials they need to educate their customers on the various solution sets available. Our goal is to make the on-boarding process as smooth as possible for our partners that are new to open source solutions. Red Hat is a great partner and we intend to be an active participant in Red Hat’s Catalyst Program.”

Also in a prepared statement, Tech Data VP Stacy Nethercoat offered:

“Open source solutions continue to gain traction and broader acceptance among businesses of all sizes, especially for business intelligence, content management and database applications. The Red Hat Catalyst Program is a significant opportunity for Tech Data’s Open Tech reseller and ISV community to better capitalize on the growing demand for these solutions.”

Hmmm. Is there a bigger story here involving Synnex and Tech Data — and their focus on Red Hat? You bet.

How Deep Is Your Love?

In recent months, both Synnex and Tech Data have been working hard to maintain Red Hat’s affections.

The situation reached a fever pitch when Red Hat in April 2009 launched the Open Source Channel Alliance with Synnex. That Red Hat-Synnex deal introduced some new stress on an existing Red Hat-Tech Data relationship, The VAR Guy hears. Plus, Tech Data had been developing a strategy of its own called the Open Source Ecosystem proposal.

Red Hat’s challenge: Move forward with Synnex and the Open Source Channel Alliance — without leaving a strong Tech Data relationship behind. Today’s Catalyst Program announcement proves Red Hat is working hard to maintain that balancing act.

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