Red Hat trains partners up with services certification

New partner initiative to grow open source vendor's services business

Open source software vendor, Red Hat, has launched a Certified Service Provider (CSP) program in Australia.

Based on increased collaboration between Red Hat Global Professional Services and service-orientated channel partners, the program is designed to encourage the growth of open source services in the region. Red Hat managing director, Mac McLaren, said the program allowed partners to become an extension of Red Hat services.

"Partners are required to have four certified engineers before they can undertake the CSP course and we don't give them certification until they've completed a project with us in collaboration," he said.

Currently there are four partners signed to the program - Fujitsu, ICE Systems, Loftus IT and Surebridge IT. McLaren said there were a further four almost certified.

"We've got no limit to growth for the program. We're looking for good geographical representation with a couple of partners in each major location, so we're expecting one to two dozen partners on the program in the short term," he said.

Managing director of South Australia-based Loftus IT, David Bullock, said the program gave them access to enterprise customers with the opportunity to sell Red Hat support.

"Previously we've been focused on the SME space, but the emphasis of the CSP gives us leads straight into enterprise technologies, such as virtualisation," Bullock said.

"It fits with our growth plans. We have a history with Red Hat and open source, so we already had many of the required skills and this program suited us nicely," he said.

McLaren said Red Hat would be launching further programs around the JBoss Middleware platform to add services offerings to it in the near future.

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