HP is seeking to enlarge its footprint in the enterprise Linux space by partnering with Red Hat and Novell, and has chosen Australia as the place to start.
The partnership will see the three companies working together to help customers with the integration and ongoing support of Linux.
When customers sign up now for HP Mission Critical Services packages in a Linux environment, they will be supported by an HP technical account manager (TAM) in addition to one from Red Hat and/or Novell.
The TAMs provide onsite technical and operational advice in areas such as best practice sharing, IT architecture planning, operational change management, technology deployments, problem escalation and resolution.
"HP already provides Proactive and Mission Critical services to more than 200 customers throughout Australia on proprietary HPUX, T64 and VMS platforms," said Mark Toner, Linux manager at HP.
"This partnership enables HP to deliver a similar service and experience in enterprise Linux environments."
Toner said that although HP has worked closely with both Red Hat and Novell for the sales and delivery of standard reactive support services and in reselling Linux licences, "this is a world first for HP, Novell and Red Hat, where we are taking a joint, proactive services and offer to market".
The partnership has started as a local one, but it is being extended into other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
"From research HP conducted using Gartner, we found the Australian marketplace to be more advanced in its adoption of Linux," Toner said.
"So we figured HP Australia customers are going to need services that support Linux used in core business applications environments sooner than other countries around the world."
The co-delivered, proactive services are designed to help customers through the transition phase whilst the co-delivered mission-critical services aim to help customers keep Linux running in core business and mission-critical application environments.
HP has some 200 customers who currently purchase proactive and mission-critical services, and recent profiling shows 50 percent of these customers are either experimenting with or deploying Linux.
In the coming year, HP is expecting to see growth of around $6 million to $13 million in Linux services locally.
HP is also developing partnerships with a number of middleware providers, like BEA, JBoss, and MySQL, with the aim of providing end-to-end, enterprise-ready Linux.