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InfoWorld: Larry Augustin: VA Linux Systems' president and CEO examines the...Linux market...

Jan 30, 2000, 15:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Vizard)

"VA Linux Systems has distinguished itself from other Linux providers by offering complete systems and systems integration. But now, in an increasingly crowded Linux marketplace, VA Linux faces the challenge of competing with the likes of IBM and Compaq. Larry Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux, talked with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard and Executive Producer Katherine Bull about VA Linux's strategy, its competitors, and how Augustin plans to differentiate the company."

"InfoWorld: Can you give us a sense of what VA Linux's mission is compared to everybody else's in the Linux-distribution space and what differentiates you?"

"Augustin: Well, if you look at the Linux space, there are people out there like Red Hat [Software] that are primarily in the software distribution business. So, for example, Red Hat makes most of its money by selling CDs through a retail channel. Essentially that puts them in the convenience business. You know, you get a CD that's convenient to get because it's got everything together, and you get a manual printed with it, and you get some support that goes along with it. Our business model is based around selling full systems and solutions for the customer, so we don't make a retail CD. We work primarily with customers like dot-coms. Over half our business is in [selling to] dot-coms. We'll sell them systems, hardware, and support and services, [and we're] helping them architect their site, helping them design [the] management architecture for all their systems, doing some consulting services around the design of their Web infrastructure, all of those pieces. So we're working with a fewer number of customers but very much in-depth technically, offering them both systems and support and services."

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