IBM announced Tuesday that its Linux Center of Competency is now officially open in Bangalore, India.
Like other Linux centers that IBM has created around the world, the Bangalore facility will be geared toward helping Big Blue customers in industry, government and academia move toward open-source computing. The center also will have two branches in New Delhi and Mumbai.
The center’s opening is one of the Linux-centered events taking place as IBM Linux’s general manager Jim Stallings is touring the country to meet customers, government officials and independent software vendors.
Voyage to India
During his tour, Stallings noted that India is a rapidly growing market for the company.
In a statement in March, Stallings noted that IBM is seeing greater than 50 percent adoption rates for Linux in China, India and Brazil. “[That’s] because, as these countries have gone with Linux, many of the customers for these governments are also adopting Linux,” he noted.
IBM is certainly not the only country to explore the possibilities of having a firm foothold in India. Last year, Intel invested US$41 million in Bangalore to set up a design lab that would work on the cores of Centrino and Xeon processors.
More recently, Microsoft announced at the end of May that it is planning a massive research initiative that will be housed in a development center in India. The facility is due to open next year near Hyderabad. Oracle, too, is planning a center in India.
The Bangalore facility joins the growing number of Linux Centers of Competency. Others are located in areas such as China, Germany, Russia, Japan, Brazil and Austin, Texas.
The centers feature technology briefings, product demonstrations, workshops and events. They also are designed to benefit ISVs, which can use the centers to showcase their applications on Linux.
The Bangalore center will have a general industry focus, while the branch centers will employ slightly different strategies. Mumbai will specialize in the finance and banking industries, and New Dehli will address the e-governance arena.
Gartner research director George Weiss told LinuxInsider that the use of the worldwide centers give IBM a reputation as a leader in Linux, which gives the company an advantage as Linux becomes more commonplace in enterprises.
“The centers raise the awareness level of the operating system,” he said. “There’s going to be deeper penetration into the corporate enterprise, due in large part to IBM.”
As well as focusing on India, Big Blue has also just announced that it will launch a new Open Software Client Services blueprint for customers in Brazil.
The program is designed to sell more Linux-based computer systems in the country and will focus on the retail, financial and government sectors initially.
According to IBM, the services also are designed to extend existing support of Linux distributions such as Red Hat, Novell-SuSE and a Latin American distribution called Conectiva Linux.
In a statement about the Brazilian initiative, IBM director of Linux services strategy for Global Services said, “IBM is leveraging its own industry consultants and worldwide services expertise to respond to growing customer demand in these emerging countries and niche segments of the market.”
Fly, Little Penguin
As Linux adoption grows, IBM is betting heavily that it will spread worldwide, and that Big Blue can spearhead the movement. According to Gartner, IBM is the top vendor of systems running Linux, with 32.6 percent share of the Linux market. In comparison, HP has 29.1 percent of the market.
IBM’s moves toward establishing a worldwide Linux presence demonstrate that the company is committed to seeing the open-standards system spread to all points of the globe.
Mike Ferris, product marketing manager for Red Hat’s enterprise and desktop Linux division, told LinuxInsider that the growth of Web services has sparked more adoptions in the world market.
“With Web services and Web interfaces, the focus goes beyond individual applications,” he said.
He added that this is welcome news for those companies, like IBM, that want Linux to have a wider presence. Many analysts have noted that the major hurdle for larger Linux deployment has been the reliance on proprietary applications, such as those from Microsoft.