Business development: is Red Hat Exchange a real change?

Red Hat keeps working hard to create the first Open Source powerhouse: after JBoss purchasing Red Hat last week announced its Red Hat Exchange program, somehow redefining its long-term strategy.

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Some excerpts from the Red Hat press release:

Red Hat Partner FederationRed Hat customers are demanding the benefits of open source beyond the infrastructure level, but have been impeded by the complexity of deploying open source business solutions. In response, Red Hat has worked with customers and partners to develop Red Hat Exchange (RHX), which provides pre-integrated business application software stacks including infrastructure software from Red Hat and business application software from Red Hat partners.[..] Through RHX, Red Hat seeks to reduce the complexity of deploying business applications and support the development of an active ecosystem of commercial open source business application partners. RHX will be available later this year.

Probably JBoss acquisition can’t be considered a step toward building a (large) multi-unit enterprise, or at least this is not the only strategy Red Hat put in place at this stage.

Customers are demanding services beyond the infrastructure level, but offering them technical integration, broad support, legal indemnification, in one one-stop shop solution could be tough. Red Hat is getting its chance to become the leader of the pack through RHX, some firms already joined and welcomed the initiative.

I totally agree that it is an important signal on the importance of the open source enterprise stack, let’s see at which extent Red Hat will be able to keep federating partners.RHX may help open source vertical applications uptake, as asserted by Paul Doscher, Chief Executive of JasperSoft:

Rhx is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for applications, I think it will knock down the last barrier delaying companies from adopting open-source applications.

Neither Gartner nor IDC are betting on Open Source applications’ rise yet, but Red Hat has good chance to run an important role in the open source ecosystem.

RHX approach is definitely less risky than keep acquiring, especially considering that getting advantage of increasing returns with non-rivarly goods is not easy.

Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, Red Hat, RHX, non rivarly, increasing returns