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Red Hat Launches Distribution Effort With Open-Source ISVs

Red Hat will combine its Linux and JBoss products with ISV applications for sale to the midmarket through the channel.

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The move is designed to broaden the market for Red Hat software by developing more complete solutions for midsize companies, said Roger Egan, vice president of channel sales in North America, in an interview.

Red Hat launched the Catalyst Program at the Red Hat Summit & JBoss World conference in Chicago this week. The effort will include development of a social networking and collaboration Web portal to help build a community around the vendor's entire ecosystem, Egan said.

"The way we increase the sale of Red Hat products is to sell solutions," Egan said. "For us to really penetrate the midmarket, we really have to talk about solutions."

The Catalyst Program is in addition to Red Hat's main channel partner program. Two weeks ago, the company revamped that program, adding a new "premier business partner" designation to the existing Advanced and Ready partner tiers. The company wants to increase the amount of sales it makes through the channel from about 55 percent today to more than 70 percent.

Under Catalyst, Red Hat will combine its open-source software, including its flagship Linux operating system and JBoss application server, with software from other vendors and sell them to its 1,500 VARs in North America through distributors Tech Data and Synnex. Red Hat also will provide resellers with sales and marketing assistance.

Red Hat has more than 3,500 ISV partners and the vendor said the first Catalyst bundles would include software from Alfresco, Ingres, EnterpriseDB, Jaspersoft and Pentaho.

At this week's conference, Red Hat also unveiled Red Hat Network Satellite 5.3, a new release of the vendor's systems management software. Enhancements to the software improve its productivity and reduce operating expenses, according to the company. The release is the first based on the Spacewalk open-source project launched in June 2008.

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