It has been nearly a month since Openbravo (the open source ERP provider) introduced support for Ubuntu Server Edition. But Openbravo for Ubuntu is going to require some time before it attracts paying customers, concedes Openbravo COO Josep Mitja. Here's why.

Back on August 6, I noted that Canonical was finally gaining some ISV (independent software vendor) momentum with such companies as Alfresco and Openbravo. Still, transforming those ISV relationships into revenue streams will take time.

In an Aug. 31 conversation with WorksWithU, Mitja conceded that he didn't have any Openbravo-Ubuntu customer references to share yet. He also noted that Openbravo's core products (enterprise resource planning and point-of-sale software) typically have long sales cycles.

Many of the seeds Openbravo planted in 2008 are starting to yield fruit now, added Mitja -- perhaps a subtle hint that the recent Openbravo-Ubuntu work won't bear fruit until 2010 or so.

Still, Openbravo is taking steps to speed small business application deployments -- both on-premise and in the cloud. The effort involves Openbravo Quickstart, a custom configured offering set to launch Sept. 1.

Mitja confirms that Openbravo Quickstart supports Ubuntu Server Edition along with other Linux stacks.

Meanwhile, Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10 -- set to debut in October -- includes several cloud enhancements that could further improve Ubuntu's appeal beyond the desktop. In the meantime, Canonical is working with training centers to expand the support network for Ubuntu Server Edition.

Competition Looms

Still, Canonical faces an uphill battle against Red Hat, Novell and Microsoft on the server.

Many application providers will rally to Red Hat's cause during Red Hat Summit this week in Chicago. And Novell says more than 2,000 developers are taking a look at the SUSE Appliance Program, launched in July.

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