A bad experience with RedHat and Novell
Posted May 9, 2007 23:12 UTC (Wed) by hazelsct
In reply to: A think tank's view of free software
Parent article: A think tank's view of free software
> At the bottom of the stack, if you are a small operation you can buy a commercial support contract, see www.redhat.com or www.novell.com for details. Clue, neither company is selling a 'product', they sell support and at least RedHat is selling enough to jump to the 'big board.' Novell is working hard on catching up. So if 'support' is what ya just have to have give either one of em a call and a sales weasel will be right with ya to power close a deal just like you are accustomed with whoever you are wistfully comparing open source with.
I regretfully have to say this has not been my experience. I am a Debian developer going on six years, and Linux user and enthusiast for nine years. But I am paid to do engineering not system admin, and in any case we wanted a partner who would be around in case I left. So we went shopping for a Linux shop to provide a server, software and support for our mixed Windows-Mac-Linux (me) shop, and I was confident we'd find just such a "sales weasel" to "power close a deal".
Unfortunately, neither RedHat nor Novell put anything good forward. RedHat referred me to their list of RHCEs. Out of five outfits, only two replied to me: one was a one-man shop (not an option if you hope your business stays around longer than that one man), and the other didn't seem to want to do business with such a small firm as ours.
Novell was worse: they forwarded my inquiry to an internal sales rep who took TWO WEEKS to get back to me, then sent a single email referring me to a local Novell vendor. So I contacted the vendor, which sent a secretary to "assess our needs" -- who had NO CLUE about our technical issues. Totally unacceptable.
The message I got was: unless you're a Fortune 500 company, neither RedHat nor Novell wants to deal with you, nor are their supposed legions of business partners competent to do so. There are a lot more MSCEs (or is it MCSEs?) in the world, and the competition is producing higher quality.
As for our business, we will likely get a Windows server, as the "safer" option. I will remain a Debian developer, as I love the stuff, but am sadly disillusioned by the lackluster performance of the two "market leaders", and now understand why we are getting no traction in the SMB market. For the sake of the community, I hope others' experience has not been as bad as ours.
to post comments)