It has been roughly a month since Tech Data launched Open Tech -- an open source channel partner initiative. Why is the big distributor interested in the open source market? And how is Open Tech performing so far? I caught up with Tech Data VP Stacy Nethercoat for answers.

During a podcast conversation (see link below), Nethercoat conceded that some portions of the open source IT channel are still under development. But she pointed to mature relationships with Novell and Red Hat, and emerging opportunities involving open source ISVs (independent software vendors).

Nethercoat declined to compare and contrast Open Tech to the Open Source Channel Alliance, a partner initiative initially launched by Synnex and Red Hat. However, Nethercoat described why she thinks Open Tech is a unique market initiative.

Podcast Pacing

The podcast conversation covered...

0:00: Introduction
0:30: Tech Data Open Tech -- what exactly is it?
0:53: Tech Data's longstanding relationships with Novell and Red Hat
1:26: How does Open Tech potentially benefit Tech Data's channel partners?
2:15: How can partners begin to engage with Open Tech?
2:40: Is the Open Tech program open to solutions providers that haven't worked with Tech Data?
3:11: Are there enough VARs who are familiar with Open Source ERP, CRM and similar options?
4:10: How does Tech Data Open Tech compare to the Open Source Channel Alliance?
4:40: Will Open Tech include face to face and online communities?
5:13: Contact info for Tech Data Open Tech
5:30: Wrap Up

Beyond Linux

No doubt, many VARs have already mastered basic Linux and virtualization opportunities. But from what I'm hearing, it sounds like the real market need involves solutions providers who are willing to embrace open source ERP, CRM, groupware and the like.