VAR LinuxIT will go head-to-head with its open source vendor partners after launching its own range of Linux support services.
Following a 12-month trial, the pan-European reseller has officially released a support service for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which will be sold both directly to end-users and through resellers. It has also developed similar packages for SuSE, RHEL, Ubuntu and CentOS.
Peter Dawes-Huish, chief executive at LinuxIT, told CRN: “Many customers came to us because they wanted more support than the vendors could offer. We now have a portfolio of support geared to every open source platform.”
However, Hitesh Patel, business partner manager UK and Ireland at Red Hat, argued that LinuxIT would struggle to gain traction among large enterprises because it lacked brand power. “Most of our partners are not trying to re-invent the wheel,” he said. “There are a huge amount of resellers successfully selling professional services and leaving their respective vendors to carry out support.”
Patel said that LinuxIT was officially still a Red Hat Advanced partner, but stressed Red Hat only engaged with partners on the basis that they resold Red Hat support.
However, Dawes-Huish played down any rift between the two parties: “We’re still a very strong advocate of Red Hat’s,” he said.
Nigel Wright, UK sales director at rival Red Hat reseller Abtech, said: “I don’t expect Red Hat or Novell to be too happy because they are now in direct competition with one of their resellers.”
Michael Breeze, marketing manager at open source distributor Inte ractive Ideas, said: “This is a very competitive market. Oracle tried to do the same thing around Red Hat and has struggled to make headway.”
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