Avnet dives into Linux

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Distributor Avnet Partner Solutions has signed to distribute Novell SuSE Linux enterprise products to the mid-market and broaden its reach into the ISV community.

Distributor Avnet Partner Solutions has signed to distribute Novell SuSE Linux enterprise products to the mid-market and broaden its reach into the ISV community.

At the same time, the companies have launched what is claimed to be Australia’s first Linux testing and certification centre for ISVs, dubbed the Novell Authorised Testing Centre (NATC).

The centre would enable partners to have their applications certified to run on the SuSE platform. Avnet would work with partners to validate their systems, drivers, storage products, and ensure applications meet specific performance requirements.

Under the distribution agreement, Avnet joins Express Data on Novell’s distribution list. Avnet would sell Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and Linux Openexchange Server.

Colin McKenna, managing director at Avnet, said these products fit well with Avnet’s line card and are well-suited for IBM and HP server solutions.

The distributor is also offering dedicated Linux resources and a Linux Express Program that helps partners sell the SuSE enterprise platforms.

Avnet would also take advantage of Novell’s base of around 400 ISV partners, in addition to its own ISV base –- companies that operate predominantly in vertical markets.

McKenna said that, while the Novell relationship wouldn’t initially contribute significantly to total sales in dollar terms, it was an important strategic arrangement. He said the company wanted to be the "go to place for solutions in the mid-market".

In the meantime, Avnet Partner Solutions has plans to expand its business into China and India and was close to acquiring a distributor in China in order to open a subsidiary there. An office in India would soon follow, he said.

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