Novell Creates SUSE Linux Appliance Program

Vendor hopes to boost Linux infrastructure business while helping ISVs and VARs.

Hoping to drive demand for simpler, easier-to-use, purpose-built applications while boosting its own Linux infrastructure business, Novell recently created the SUSE appliance program.

Built around the vendor’s SUSE Linux Enterprise platform, the program seeks to help ISVs and VARs to rapidly build, update, configure, and go to market with software and virtual appliances.

We hope to dramatically expand ISVs’ opportunities in new markets, reduce their sales cycles, and attract new ISVs to the program,” said John Dragoon, channel chief at Novell.

“Our plan is to expand opportunities for our ISVs and VARs and for our own core business of infrastructure software,” he said.

“We want to help ISVs simplify the design of software so customers can install business-ready applications in minutes instead of hours,” said Steve Hale, Novell’s vice president of global data center channel.

Novell is providing ISVs with technical and marketing support to help them more easily bundle their software with the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform.

On the technical side, Dragoon said the program contains a comprehensive group of technologies to enable ISVs to deliver applications to physical, virtual or cloud environments.

As proof of its marketing support, Novell has deepened its commitment to the channel, said Steve Hale, Novell’s vice president of global data center channel.

Most noticeably, Novell has partnered with Tech Data Corporation, and plans to ink other distribution agreements in the coming months.

“We see tremendous opportunity for VARs,” said Stacy Nethercoat, vice president of software product marketing at Tech Data, which is building an open source channel strategy.

“VARs can provide appliance solutions to customers with in-house software development teams, enabling them to more efficiently deploy and manage applications enterprise-wide, she said.

Novell has more than 3,600 applications certified on the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform.

“We expect many of these applications to join the program as appliances,” said Dragoon.

ISVs signed onto the program include Adobe, HP, IBM, Ingres, Messaging Architects, Quest Software, SAP, and VMware.

“Software appliances can help simplify IT for small and medium businesses, helping them to focus on their customers while saving money,” said Bob Sutor, vice president Open Source and Linux of IBM Software.

"For close to five years, Messaging Architects has depended on SUSE Linux Enterprise as the foundation for our M+Guardian product," said Pierre Chamberland, CEO at Messaging Architects.

Chamberland said the appliance program will enables Messaging Architects to boost the number of configurations its offers and to grow its markets. The company has hundreds of SUSE Linux Enterprise-based appliances in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Despite the strong combination of Novell’s SUSE platform and thousands of compatible business-ready software applications, Novell has no intentions to launch its own cloud or sell applets a la Apple, said Dragoon.

TAGS: Linux,IBM,HP,VMware,ISVs

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