Red Hat adds Alstom IT as second distributor

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Alstom IT has signed a distribution agreement with Red Hat, becoming the open source-derived software vendor's second distributor in Australia.

David Ramsay, director of channels and alliances for Red Hat in Australasia, said Alstom IT would join Ingram Micro as a second, more specialised distributor for its Linux offerings.

"It's all about coverage. We have been looking at how we can grow our coverage," he said.

Ramsay said Ingram Micro was doing a good job as a broadbased distributor of Red Hat Linux but the vendor wanted to target organisations working with Oracle, IBM Software and Sun -- all strong partnerships for UNIX distributor Alstom IT.

He conceded Red Hat and Sun had "some issues" recently and had been perceived to be at loggerheads. However, the synergies between them were too strong to ignore, especially with the launch of Sun's Galaxy servers this month.

"The new stuff on Galaxy comes shipped with Red Hat," Ramsay said. "The choice of operating system for Sun partners will be advantageous for them."

Oracle and IBM software were "so strategic" when it came to Linux, he added.

Meanwhile, Ingram Micro's Red Hat sales were increasing quarterly. Demand was growing for open source-derived applications across the enterprise, Ramsay said.

Greg Newham, distribution manager at Alstom IT, said customers wanted "open source solutions".

"Our partner network will now be able to satisfy this demand. Red Hat also complements our business and the skills of our team very well," Newham said in a statement released by Red Hat.

Ramsay said Red Hat believed its sales would double in the first year as a result of signing Alstom IT as a second distributor.

"Next year, we'll see as much business coming through as we see today. And we're accessing a lot more partners," he said. "It's just getting bigger and bigger, as market acceptance of Linux and open source is growing in Australia."

Red Hat's Melbourne office had great employees that had contributed to a doubling of its business in the second quarter that ended in August. "The Melbourne office has gone a bit bananas," Ramsay said.

He said Red Hat was working on a series of initiatives that would help boost sales through its new Alstom IT stable of resellers. ISVs could look forward to some special attention as they were particular drivers of growth for Red Hat, Ramsay said.

Red Hat reported net income of US$45 million on total revenue of US$196 million for the full year ending February 2005. That compared with net income of US$13 million on total revenue of US$125 million for the previous year.
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