New Collax exec brings turnkey Linux operating system to U.S. SMBs

Linux operating systems aren't always easy for the average person to understand. If a customer doesn't have a deep familiarity with Linux, pairing the operating system with Collax products may make Linux more comprehendible for customers..

With Paula Hunter, new V.P. of U.S. marketing for Collax. Hunter formerly worked with the Open Source Development Lab.

Question: What is it about open source software — aside from the cost savings -- that makes it attractive to SMBs

Hunter: Well, cost savings is of course important to every business, but SMBs often have to make sure every dollar they are spending has the maximum possible ROI. Beyond that, SMBs aren't really that different from a large company when it comes to their IT needs. They want something that has reliability and security and that requires as little in-house IT support as possible. Up until now, Linux needed more expertise than most SMBs could reasonably bring to the table, so it was out of reach as a technology alternative.

Question: Collax products are marketed as Linux operating system solutions that enable users with no Linux knowledge to run their businesses. Can you elaborate on that?

Hunter: Let's face it -- until now, Linux has been the stuff of geeks (and I say that with extreme affection). A typical Linux operating system distribution might come complete with thousands of projects. Most companies don't need or want all that. Someone who understands Linux knows what to do with all those options, but for an SMB, this is overkill and overwhelming. The Collax business server is a "pre-packaged" Linux distribution with applications that we have pre-tested, pre-approved and pre-assembled to ensure reliability and interoperability. We select the applications that an SMB is most likely to need and get rid of all those that are never likely to be touched.

Question: Is it a coincidence that you are coming aboard just in time to move Collax headquarters from Europe to the U.S.?

Hunter: No, it is not a coincidence. I am joining Collax to help launch the company and its product — a Linux server for small business — in the United States. My background in open source will help Collax establish an identity in this country within the open source community.

This 3 Questions originally appeared in a weekly report from IT Business Edge.

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