Linux channel support boost

Open source users promised support.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 30, 2007

The regional Linux market has received a major boost after open source leader Red Hat committed itself to opening a regional support centre for the Middle East before the end of the year. According to the vendor, the ‘Red Hat Certified Support Centre' is scheduled to open in Dubai at the start of December and will be operated by local partner Opennet. The centre will be only the fourth partner-operated facility in the entire EMEA region. "There is increasing demand for Red Hat's open source solutions in the Middle East," commented David Allinson, general manager at Opennet. "We are pleased to be extending our agreement with Red Hat, making Opennet the first point of contact for Red Hat support for all customers."

The major advantage of the local centre will be for standard-level support holders in the Middle East. Previous support was offered on European timings - Monday to Friday - but the new centre will be able to offer regional timings.

This means customers which previously had to purchase premium support from Red Hat can now use the company's standard support, supplied through Opennet, according to the pair. Customers will also have the option to purchase on-site delivery of services from Opennet's team of Certified Engineers or Red Hat consultants.

Opennet will roll out extended Red Hat support in countries across the Middle East, including KSA, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and the Levant.

Clients will be able to call local numbers and technical queries logged to Red Hat will be directed to the Opennet certified support team for processing in local languages and at local times.

"Linux and open source software adoption is accelerating in developing markets such as the Middle East and local-language support is vital," said Werner Knoblich, VP and general manager EMEA at Red Hat. "Our expertise in Linux support, combined with Opennet local language support, ensures that customers will have access to the Red Hat Certified Support Centre, enabling them to migrate solutions to Red Hat and JBoss solutions faster," he said.

Opennet MEA is this year celebrating the fourth anniversary of its 20-strong office in Dubai. The company, which counts US$400m-a-year Tunisian conglomerate GMH as its major shareholder, became a distributor of JBoss products earlier this year.

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