"Deployments are "where the rubber hits the road" with Linux.
When a company takes the risk and commits its resources to a
Linux-based system to perform "mission-critical" business
functions, that is, ultimately, the only sort of benchmark
that really counts in the business world."
"A large portion of proprietary software purchased by businesses
is not acquired directly from the company that produces the
software. It is acquired through a "sales channel" ("the channel"
in sales and marketing parlance), which consists of value-added
resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs). The vast
majority of VARs and ISVs today are geared up to work with
Microsoft Windows, applications, and developer tools. ... This is
where IBM's initiative to package its enterprise Linux applications
in a bundle for small businesses at a bargain basement price comes
in. The drastically reduced pricing isn't intended to attract the
small and medium size businesses that need the software -- it's to
attract the VARs and ISVs who service those businesses!"
"So about a year from now, around the end of 2001, these two
trends should converge. ... As the details of successful Linux
deployments are reported -- in conferences, in the trade press, and
in the market research of Gartner Group and similar organizations
-- and the reports are along the lines of "we did it, it works
great, and we saved $22 million in the first year," the question
asked by IT managers starts to shift. It shifts from "can
Linux do it?" to "how can we get Linux to do it
here?" And about that same time, the VARs and ISVs newly
geared up to support Linux should be able to provide plenty of
answers -- along with all the Linux companies, and the big
commercial vendors like IBM."
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