Canonical has restructured its Enterprise support delivery channels for Ubuntu. Calling it the Ubuntu Advantage, Canonical is following its early June announcement with a partner program for technology businesses.
Tech Business Firms and Ubuntu are traditionally on disconnect
It is popular that Linux users will vouch for Ubuntu, while tech businesses prefer to refrain from open source per se. Recognizing this threshold amongst, Canonical proposes several enterprise-friendly services called as Ubuntu Advantage. The intent is to optimize potential hardware and software partner relationships.
The first step has been to build a better program with reseller partners. Under the Ubuntu Advantage partner program, resellers offer support services. These will include the Ubuntu server, desktop as well as cloud installations used by businesses.
Initially, the program will be partnering CSS in US, Asia, Europe, Middle-East as well as Africa. Japan will be serviced with Ashisuto, Scandinavian areas by RedPill Linpro while Alterway will service France businesses.
What the program offers
The program offers access tools as well as support to gain maximum returns on their Ubuntu collateral 24 X 7. This program covers services such as Ubuntu Landscape management, monitoring tool and creating the knowledge base to offer all the services under legal formalities.
Where Ubuntu Advantage program will provide the value-addition will be for services that are critical to the mission. The final goal is to lower cost of downtime for the system. Since these services are to extend beyond Canonical and will include local resources.
Why Resellers will find it lucrative
Canonical resellers will now increase their revenue with the additional services. Taking it a step forward Canonical now commits itself to offer full technical support with its recent Canonical announcement, which says, “marketing, technical, commercial and pre-sales support and an assigned account manager as part of the UA program.”
Canonicals’ earlier partner programs a mixed bag
Canonicals’ strategies are essentially good ideas but most have been a mixed bag during implementation. Probably one of its earliest enterprise support venture was with IBM; then a spin with retailing, open source software package; with several services on the lines of Red Hat and making its presence in Linux server market with operating system. Canonical has been successful with this last venture and has a lot of goodwill with these services.
Apparent failure of other ideas is attributed to constant flux in Canonical management circles leading to unfocussed growth. Businesses and enterprises require stability and they are apparently delivering on this with the Ubuntu Advantage.
The hardware certification program too is being redesigned. Earlier it allowed its manufacturers to choose two levels for endorsement-the ‘Ubuntu Certified’ and ‘Ubuntu Ready’. Canonical understanding that this was leading to confusion is going forward with a single Canonical authorized certification-the Ubuntu Certified.
Ubuntu Advantage will deliver if only
OEMs, ODMs, Resellers and Enterprises will be able to leverage the Ubuntu Advantage only if there is further stability within Canonical. This will surely open out the entire Enterprise market segment for Ubuntu and perhaps the day is not far off before we see Linux desktops and servers.