Open source vendor SUSE claims the secret to its recent channel success has been the "surprising" method of pitching to resellers and customers alongside propriety firms such as Microsoft and VMware.
The firm has longstanding partnerships with both companies and claims that resellers and customers are far more receptive to its pitches when it works with the duo.
SUSE's UK managing director Brian Green said his team has had success with the likes of Kelway, Softcat and Bytes in the past year thanks to the approach.
"We have surprised some people by going into customer meetings shoulder to shoulder with sales reps from Microsoft and VMware," he said. "It has been quite a successful [approach] that has worked for us. Going to the manager of a large datacentre and suggesting you replace all the datacentre investment with pure open source is painful and I bounce on the steps on my way out," he admitted.
"Channel partners make considerable investments in Microsoft and VMware so talking to those partners and suggesting their go-to-market doesn't make sense is also [difficult]. We've said ‘we are the open open-source company'. The best way to deliver open source is alongside proprietary companies."
At the moment, the firm has about 30 active channel partners in the UK and globally, the firm's annual sales have grown 16 per cent year on year, Green said.
He added that his firm's approach does not water down the open source message and that he is not afraid to go head to head against its proprietary competition on certain deals.
"If a customer has not made a decision on what software the infrastructure should be based on or it is up for competition, we will compete," he said. "With the London Stock Exchange we competed very aggressively and won [a deal to] replace Windows in that environment."
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