Open-Xchange Adds Red Hat Linux To The Mix

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The company, formerly known as Netline Internet Services, made its name offering collaborative software under both commercial and open-source formats for SUSE Linux. When SUSE was acquired by Novell two years ago, potential conflict arose because Novell already fielded its own Groupwise mail and was working on a next-gen Hula mail offering as well.

Until a few months ago, Open-Xchange sales went through Novell/SUSE, but then the company started its own sales and channel efforts. Now, in sort of an about-face, Open-Xchange and its partners will sell the company's wares with Red Hat or SUSE Linux distributions.

Open-Xchange CEO Frank Hoberg said the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based company had to cover all its bases.

"As we've said in the past, we want to become broader in our channel activities and not only rely on Novell. We are not kidding," Hoberg told CRN. "Therefore, one of the major steps is to make this stuff open-source, stepping a little bit away from Novell but maintaining a relationship with them."

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The addition of Red Hat should create more customer opportunities for Open-Xchange, particularly in the U.S. market, he said.