JBoss Launches New Certified Partner Program

The Certified Partner Program, announced in early June, includes four partner designations: the JBoss Certified Solution Partners, JBoss Certified Technology Partners, JBoss Certified System Integrators and JBoss Authorized Service Partners. JBoss said the program addresses the needs of ISVs, systems integrators and VARs.

The Atlanta-based open-source software company had launched a partner program last year, but that initiative was revamped to meet customers' growing need for trained personnel and certifications for mission-critical applications, JBoss executives said.

"The [new] program has so many new elements that it's not worth comparing it to the old program," said Tom Cooper, vice president of worldwide channels at JBoss, and a former Oracle and i2 executive. "We want to create an ecosystem around it."

The JBoss Certified Solution Partner tier enables ISVs to certify their applications on JBoss' application server, as well as on the entire JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS), Cooper said. Partners can earn revenue by registering leads with JBoss and securing support and training contracts. Margins range from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the partnership level. ISVs with basic membership qualify for 10 percent of the deal, while premier partners can earn up to 20 percent, he said.

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Certified Technology Partners are ISVs and developers that embed the JBoss application server and software stack into their applications. These partners also offer first-level and second-level support and are eligible to receive 50 percent of the value of the support contract. JBoss would offer third-level support on those contracts. Several large ISVs currently are enrolled in the program, including Novell, Computer Associates International and SpikeSource.

"It's a good revenue opportunity for them and a one-stop shop for their customers," Cooper said.

Another program tier, JBoss Certified System Integrators, offers professional certification for personnel and product support for systems integrators, consulting firms and migration companies. Under this designation, JBoss offers three training courses that address administrative, Web and developer needs plus five levels of certification. Current integrator partners include Capgemini, Hewlett-Packard and NRI. HP, for example, trained and certified 150 of its systems integration personnel on JEMS, Cooper said.

The JBoss Authorized Service Partner level is earmarked for partners that want to resell JBoss-branded support and training services. Novell and HP are among the first partners in this tier, Cooper said.

In February, JBoss launched the JBoss Open Source Federation, an initiative designed to seed its methodology in the market as a standard for helping other open-source projects become professional open-source companies.

JEMS, which made its debut in December 2004, includes the JBoss J2EE-compliant application server, the Hibernate object-relational mapping tool, the Apache Tomcat JavaServer Page, the jBPM workflow engine, the JBoss Cache and the JBoss Eclipse IDE.