Opennet Middle East & Africa, a master distributor and authorised Certified Training Centre of Red Hat Linux products for Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has announced the availability of new open source support packages targeted specifically at the SMB sector.
These packages, available at different levels, include support for up to four servers, phone and e-mail support, dedicated technical account manager, scheduled visits including workshops, knowledge transfer and technical presentations, incident visits, and training on the essentials at the system administration level with the option to earn RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) certification.
David Allinson, the General Manager at Opennet MEA said one of the traditional arguments against open source has been the lack of available support. Allinson explained that Opennet has so far addressed the needs of the larger enterprises with onsite support services.
“However, with SMBs today beginning to embrace open source applications, their need for top-notch support services has prompted our new offering to address these requirements,” he said.

Allinson further added that Opennet’s special SMB package offering will be a welcome option for customers that recognise open source’s essential role in meeting the needs of a challenging marketplace. Opennet hopes to help SMBs in the region reduce costs on IT support with these new options. The new support packages will help customers better deal with the economic conditions and make it easier for them to buy and deploy open source software.

He added, “We need to do something in this economy to extend a hand to our customers and we need to demonstrate our leadership in the market now. These offerings represent sound and timely IT investments that bring value by providing the kind of functionality companies need to invest in to improve efficiencies and achieve cost savings.”

Opennet is committed to helping SMBs become more productive, more efficient, and more effective by enabling them to maximise the return on their investment in open source solutions. The company is helping them create value that extends to their customers and, ultimately, to competitive differentiation and the bottom line.

“Through this initiative, SMBs in the region will be able to scale down in the slowdown, though still protecting their key IT assets. The package is also channel friendly and hence resellers will be able to resell the service. An offering such as this, will strengthen our portfolio of SMB solutions, enhance our channel partner programs, and help build awareness about the role of open source in SMB success,” concluded Allinson.

Opennet hopes to offer these packages through strategic partnerships with select channel partners across the region.'

Ketaki Banga

Ten years of content creation, strategising and managing the big picture. I write across various subjects and media including print, online, documentaries, television, advertising and marketing-communication. Currently, as the editor of SME Advisor Middle East – a magazine for small and medium enterprises – I handle print, online initiatives, magazine events and business development. Prior to this, I worked with ZK McCann Tanzania, handling brand strategy and campaigns in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi for clients such as Celtel (telecom), CRDB (bank), TANESCO (electricity), TTCL (telecom), PSI (Population Services International—an NGO), TCC (Tanzania Cigarette Company), TBL (Tanzania Breweries Limited), Mwananchi and The Citizen newspapers, Coke, Gapco (petrol), Hitachi, and more. In India, besides working with various publications, I was also a lead content developer with Tata Interactive Systems, an e-learning company that caters to top international clients. My job involved understanding instructional design fundamentals to design and develop educational and training content ranging across K-12, university, corporate and government lines of businesses.