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Linux Rules SMB Arena

Few technology sectors are showing more innovation right now than the Linux space. Open-source vendors and developers are creating cool, new products, and Linux solution providers are packaging the solutions and offering value-added services that get the most out of the platform.
Boise, Idaho-based EmergeCore Networks is a classic example. What's interesting is that a little more than a year ago, EmergeCore was in dire straits--its enterprise Linux solution simply wasn't selling, and the company was in danger of shutting its doors. The company recruited Dave Brown out of retirement to take over as CEO. Brown had retired a few years earlier after selling AIO Networks, the ISP he had founded.

Long story short, one year later, Brown stood onstage at CMP Media's Tech Innovators XChange conference to receive VARBusiness' Tech Innovators Award for his company's IT in a Box, an all-in-one solution that essentially combines everything a small or midsize business needs to run a Linux-based network system into a form factor that fits inside a briefcase.

To say that VARs are excited about the product would be to damn it with faint praise.

"We first met with EmergeCore last spring, and the product piqued our interest because of its potential to generate revenue right out of the box," says Ray Shah, president of GBD Group, a systems integrator in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

Since the product debuted in April, GBD Group has become EmergeCore's primary distributor in the Northeast; EmergeCore sells exclusively through the channel. Shah says the product has all the features and simplicity that appeal perfectly to companies in the SMB space.

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