South Africa is one of the richest countries in terms of Linux skills, with local developers and implementers considered to be among the best in the world.
That's the word from Paul Holt, director of Red Hat UK, Ireland & South Africa, during a briefing to discuss his company's plans for its recently-opened office servicing South Africa and the rest of the continent below the equator.
Linux and open source software are frequently sidelined because prospective customers believe there are few skilled people available to implement and maintain these systems.
However, Holt disagrees. "You're actually better placed than a lot of other countries – the skills set in South Africa is very good.
"Many of the large companies, and the telcos in particular, have got excellent skills."
Quality is only one part of the equation, however: the number of skilled people still needs to be increased, he says.
Red Hat's country manager Louis Seyffert points out tha Obsidian is already running regular training courses and Torque IT, which also runs training, has agreed to increase the frequency of its courses.
Red Hat opened its local office about three months ago. So far, it consists solely of Seyffert, but within the next few months will be expanded to include both technical and commercial staff members.
Although anyone can download the Linux distribution for free, Red Hat offers its enterprise products – including updates and telephonic support – via the reseller channel.
Distribution is done by Linux Warehouse, while there are currently two enterprise-level partners, Obsidian and Aptronics, certified on Red Hat. TSI is certified on the JBoss middleware.
Seyffert says the company is looking to expand its partner network and expects to sign up six new enterprise resellers within the coming weeks.