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Red Hat Ramps Up Channel Efforts

Red Hat's indirect channel now accounts for more than 60 percent of company sales and its partner force is growing, executives said Tuesday.

At a briefing held one day after announcing its intent to buy open source middleware firm JBoss, Red Hat told a group of investors that it is expanding its focus on VARs and systems integrators to broaden global uptake of Linux products and services.

JBoss has primarily a direct model but will leverage Red Hat's channel "where it makes sense," JBoss CEO Marc Fleury said during the briefing in Raleigh, N.C.

Today 61 percent of Red Hat's business moves through indirect channels including OEMs and systems integrators. But now that the OEM business is established, Red Hat is turning its attention to its distributors and volume- and value-added resellers in the U.S., said a Red Hat executive who has been running its channel for two years.

"Two years ago our model was a direct relationship with customers," said Ed Boyajian, vice president of worldwide OEM and North American channel sales for Red Hat. "We had to go through a transformation. To create leverage and scale, we knew we needed to have engagement with partners to drive that business."

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