Monday, October 8

Open Source Companies Seek Channel Experts

By The VAR Guy

The VAR Guy isn’t looking for a new job. But if he were a channel expert (rather than a pretender), he’d send his resume into fast-growing open source companies that are seeking partner program expertise. Two prime examples: MySQL and SugarCRM both have open positions for channel veterans.

At first glance, The VAR Guy doubted that open source companies would need to invest deeply in the channel and partner programs. After all, open source companies are masters at building communities, where VARs, integrators, developers and consultants contribute code and expertise for the greater common good. But it turns out there’s a gap between open source communities and regional VARs that can service small and midsize businesses in particular.

Two prime examples: MySQL ranks among the fastest-growing open source companies, and is expected to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in 2008. Eager to accelerate growth, MySQL is seeking a partner marketing manager to help recruit new partners, generate channel demand and promote the MySQL brand.

Similarly, SugarCRM is seeking a channel sales manager to help drive revenue through OEMs, ISVs, resellers and systems integrators. SugarCRM is already a $15 million company (annual revenue), and company insiders have drawn up plans to help drive revenue to $25 million as soon as possible, The VAR Guy hears.

If The VAR Guy was seeking a channel marketing position, he’d target two market areas: Open source applications, managed services — or both. (Companies like Untangle cut across both markets.) The traditional software market, after all, is so yesterday.
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