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October 6, 1999

Red Hat Builds European Momentum

By CBR Staff Writer

Red Hat CEO Bob Young was in London yesterday, beating the drum for his company’s efforts to globalize its Linux distribution and support brand. He was able to point to the successful establishment of a German bridgehead, thanks to the acquisition of local counterpart Delix GmbH, and a roll call of endorsements form major European systems players. But there was no hiding the fact that the Red Hat wave, if not actually the Linux wave, is not running so fast in Europe as it is in the US.

According to local sales director Andy Dickens, Europe is still behind the US by at least 12 months. Although Dickens saw strong demand for Linux, and so by association for Red Hat, in Scandinavia and Finland, and in Germany and France, elsewhere on the continent uptake is patchy. In the UK in particular (one of three country markets Red Hat sees as core to its European effort), Red Hat faces the task of convincing corporate customers that Linux is not the high risk product that they perceive it to be said Dickens.

The onus to convert the doubters will not fall entirely on Red Hat’s shoulders. Siemens, SAP, IBM, Dell, Intel, Oracle and Gateway have all signed to supply Red Hat Linux in Europe, and the Durham North Carolina company has also recruited major local resellers, such as the UK’s Computer 2000, and the pan-continental support of Ingram Micro. Since launching its European training strategy last month, Red Hat has added the resources Global Knowledge (in eight European markets) and Siemens in Germany to its own training center near London, in the UK.

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