Obsidian gets Ubuntu deal

By   |  May 19, 2005

Ubuntu Linux has signed Obsidian up as the first certified support partner in South Africa. Obisidian expects to certify 15 engineers for Ubuntu — the same number of certified Red Hat engineers it has in its stable.

Announced at the LinuxWorld show in Sandton yesterday (18 May), the relationship is described as \”arms length\” at this point by Shuttleworth, with no revenue share agreement currently in place between Shuttleworth\’s Canonical and Obsidian. It is possible that in the future, Canonical will back Obsidian with third-line support in a more formal contract. Canonical has access to over 40 engineers worldwide, and Ubuntu is supported by over 100 partners globally.

\”The appointment of services and support partners is a vital part of Canonical\’s strategy of providing a free and open source operating system, but at the same time giving users the choice between using free, informal support channels like the Internet, or pay-per-use formal channels like the services offered by a support partner like Obsidian,\” says Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth.

\”Canonical has a strong relationship with Obsidian Systems, that spans many good experiences. That relationship has enabled Canonical to gain good insight into the company\’s expertise in the open source arena. Going forward, we will continue working with Obsidian on a local basis, driving open source adoption in South Africa,\” says Canonical\’s Jane Silber.

Muggie van Staden of Obsidian says the agreement further solidifies its product-agnostic go-to-market strategy, coming hot on the heals of its Red Hat Advanced Partner certification. The company also supports SuSE and Mandrake.

Van Staden says Obsidian will offer an entire spectrum of support services on Ubuntu, spanning mainly telephonic and remote support service, engaging in on-site if absolutely necessary.

Obsidian also used the opportunity of the show to launch its new corporate identity, with a definite superhero concept behind the logo. The latest announcement certainly backs up its superhero image, cementing Obsidian\’s lead in the local Linux support marketplace.

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