Caldera Looks for Linux Training Centers in Asia

Caldera Systems Inc. is looking for training institutions in Asia to develop good local skills for Linux -- a requirement before any Linux company can gain significant success in the region, a Caldera official said. In an exclusive interview with Computerworld Philippines, Ken Bergenthal, regional director of Caldera's Asia Pacific operations, said the hunt for training centers across Asia is part of the company's expansion efforts in the region.

Caldera, he said, wants to partner with Asian training centers to offer distribution-neutral Linux courses for local IT professionals. By developing a reliable pool of Linux skills, companies would gain more confidence in deploying Linux-based systems in their organizations, he added.

Bergenthal explained that Caldera wants to have more authorized Linux education centers not only in Asia but throughout the world to grow the number of Linux professionals.

So far, a certification program is not yet available for Linux professionals, but there are already industry efforts to form a Linux Professional Institute that would conduct independent testing for Linux-certified professionals. Another effort to create a Linux standard to ensure compatibility of Linux products is also underway.

Bergenthal said that they are only beginning to focus their business in the Asia Pacific, despite having over 800 resellers worldwide. Around 20 of these distributors are in the Asia Pacific, but 200 more are just waiting to enter Caldera's distribution program.

This is why developing good local support becomes much more important for them, Bergenthal said, because expanding distribution channels in the region would amount to nothing without local Linux skills to support them.

Just recently, Caldera signed a distribution agreement with Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., which gives Caldera wider coverage as Fujitsu will include Caldera's OpenLinux on many of its servers. Aside from added distribution muscle, Caldera also will gain a lot of benefits from Fujitsu Learning Media (FLM) training organization. FLM will work with Caldera to deploy the Linux company's Linux curriculum throughout Japan.

Caldera's partnership with Fujitsu, which has the world's fourth largest training organization, will boost for Linux training in general. IBM, which has the world's largest training organization, has already committed to Linux training.

Bergenthal added that a Japanese version of OpenLinux is expected in two months. Developing localized versions of the operating platform is also key to gaining the interest of Asian countries, and Caldera is already working towards this end, he also said.

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