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ZDNet: Can Linux cross the channel?; How to make money with Linux? Answer may be near or VAR

Feb 27, 2001, 19:54 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"We can see that the market for Linux-related services is growing -- what's at issue is who stands to reap these rewards. One of the greatest income opportunities for Linux lies in "the channel". Comprised of middle-tier companies that exist between vendors and end users, these value added resellers (VARs) stand to make even more money than the major distributors."

"...while most of the major vendors are chasing the big customers, they're ignoring other opportunities to make money. Who's looking after the needs of small to medium-sized businesses? Folks seem to forget that this is how Unix got its foothold in the days when VAX/VMS was king, maturing within the small and mid-sized business market while preparing to take on the enterprise. And so it shall be, I believe, with Linux."

"The Linux world has not come to grips with the task of assembling a market-savvy and aggressive field of Linux-friendly VARs and system integrators. Speaking as someone who's been involved with Unix and Linux VARs for more than a decade, I believe that there are plenty of opportunities for VARs and major service vendors to fill this gap."

"Of course, VARs need some Linux smarts in order to realize these results. They need access to higher level support when they come across issues beyond their knowledge and experience. But the current offerings of most Linux-based support vendors go horribly wrong in that they target the end user, directly competing with the VARs who are more in tune with those end users."

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