Pioneer-Standard, HP Link On Linux


Distributor Pioneer-Standard and Hewlett-Packard this week started a program that offers Linux sales and technical-support tools to channel partners.

The tools will be offered to solution providers via Pioneer-Standard's KeyLink Systems subsidiary. It also will be offered to direct to end users via its Pioneer-Standard Enterprise Sales Group arm.

The joint program with HP provides solution providers and customers with services such as porting applications to Linux, testing proofs of concept to ensure that Linux applications are stable, and helping ISVs develop Linux solutions to be sold by KeyLink VARs, said Pat O'Connor, vice president of marketing for HP products at Cleveland-based Pioneer-Standard.

To cut partners' time to market, Pioneer-Standard and HP also will provide services through the distributor's professional services group that integrate, test and deliver complete Linux solutions, O'Connor said. The group provides services to end users and solution providers, as well as outsources services to other solution providers, he said.

Although several vendors have improved their Linux offerings, O'Connor admitted an affinity for HP's Linux wares. "I have HP in my title, so I'm biased toward HP," he said. "But IBM also has a very, very robust Linux initiative. When IBM and HP come out with solid initiatives, you know Linux is here to stay."

The program is KeyLink's first large initiative since parent company Pioneer-Standard decided to divest its component business, said Pat O'Connor, vice president of marketing for HP products at Cleveland-based Pioneer-Standard.