Both Red Hat and Ice Systems believes the open source community needs to join together to become more structured.
In an interview with CRN, Lee Curtis, business partner at Ice Systems, said Red Hat is one of the few open source vendors implementing a 3.0 strategy.
He believes, open source has gone through a few key transitions, starting with what Curtis calls Open Source 1.0 where free software which could be tailored to an organisation’s needs. This was followed by Open Source 2.0 where a number of vendors creating software have become successful.
“Now that ‘Open Source 2.0’ has become more legitimate, resellers are now in a position to sell these types of products and services to their end-users. However, these resellers take on a risk because they have to invest their company’s money into training sales people, project members, technicians and engineers. Open Source creators aren’t set-up to help resellers with training or support resellers with technical configurations,” he said.
Lee claimed that is where Red Hat has stepped in. “The vendor has set up a system to take some of the risk away from the reseller, which allows us to deliver services at a high quality without all of the hard work,” he said.
There are a number of documents and skills being generated by technical engineers and resellers around Open Source products. Red Hats’ initiative allows resellers to utilise what other Red Hat service providers and engineers have done and, importantly, share it with their peers, said Curtis.
“This will allow us to use these lessons to our advantage. It also helps to bring on board other companies to sell as Red Hat engineers. This broadens the business of a lot of service providers and makes them almost like sub-contractors,” he said.
According to Curtis, it is crucial for the Open Source industry to become more structured as with structure comes more business opportunities and support. He added that this will also help to take Open Source products up to the level of proprietary software vendors, while still maintaining an open standard.
“We have international clients, so if we are servicing one of these guys and another reseller is looking after the same company but in the North American office, we can then deliver the same technical capabilities into the client,” he said.
Curtis believes if the support infrastructure is in place then resellers can deliver Open Source products into a commercial world and make it a less risky scenario.
“If we can all deliver the same services then customers have a better choice with who they want to go with for their open source product and can even start choosing resellers based on the specifics of their industry,” he said.
He claimed a structured system will allow the Open Source industry to become increasingly profitable.
CeBIT 08: Red Hat and Ice Systems join for Open Source 3.0
By Lilia Guan, CRN on May 21, 2008 2:48PM