novell_suse_linux_arrow-distribution-training2Novell has taken two more steps to bolster SUSE Linux in the IT channel. Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions is now a Novell Authorized Training Partner in  North America. The move comes as Novell strives to migrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers to Novell SUSE Linux. Here's the scoop and some perspective from The VAR Guy.

First, the Novell training news. According to an Arrow press release issued today:
The Novell classes will be available through Arrow ECS’ award-winning vendor-authorized training program available through its Alternative Technology Group. Initially focusing on SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell and Novell ZENworks solutions, the first classes start in June and are now available for enrollment at one of Arrow ECS’ established training locations throughout the United States and Canada. Resellers can host any class at the location of their choice as well.
Although SUSE Linux sales continue to grow, Novell is playing catch-up in some areas. During its second quarter ended April 30, 2009:
Novell reported $39 million of product revenue from Open Platform Solutions, of which $37 million was from Linux Platform Products, up 25% compared to the product revenue from Linux Platform Products from the same period last year.
Nice, but consider the situation over at Red Hat. That software company derives the vast majority of its revenue from open source (Linux and JBoss middleware) and related consulting services, and Red Hat's quarterly revenue recently topped $166 million. And more recently, Red Hat and Synnex launched the Open Source Channel Alliance -- which aims to train 15,000 Synnex resellers on open source in the IT channel.

Making A Move

Novell promised to pursue Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers with special offers a few months ago. Now, Novell is putting its money where its mouth is. A relatively new online ad campaign promises customers: "Switch to SUSE Linux Enterprise and save up to 50% over Red Hat Support."

Novell introduced special migration offers for Red Hat customers back in November 2008. More recently, Novell and Red Hat have made competing claims about who has the most Linux ISVs (independent software vendors) -- though it seems clear to The VAR Guy that Red Hat is still winning the Linux ISV race.

But back to the story at hand: Will any Red Hat customers leap to Novell SUSE Linux? The VAR Guy must concede: He hasn't heard from any Red Hat customers marching toward SUSE. Our resident blogger has an email into Novell PR to see how the campaign is going. And in the meantime, Novell has partnered up with Arrow to speed along SUSE Linux and ZENworks training.

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