RealTime IT News

Red Hat Nabs Consulting Firm for $47 Million

At least one player in the beleaguered consulting services market can rejoice that it has been borne up by a savior.

Open source developer Red Hat Inc. Tuesday grabbed Atlanta-based consulting firm Planning Technologies Inc. (PTI) for $47 million in stock.

Armed with more than 200 engineers and consultants, PTI's forte is infrastructure consulting for a wide array of clients, including enterprise and service providers. PTI clients include AT&T, Nationwide Insurance, Home Depot, Delta Airlines and BellSouth. This deal is intended to give Red Hat customers a greater range of experts with which to discuss open source solutions.

It also furthers Red Hat's business strategy to offer a complete open source solution for software, from devices to mainframes, as well as global services with Red Hat Network as its backbone. Red Hat competes with Caldera Systems, which bought Linux service provider Acrylis Feb. 1 to do battle with Red Hat.

Around the same time, Red Hat nabbed Red Hat software maker Akopia to bolster its e-commerce offerings.

The Linux market has already seen one consolidation this month, as well as some layoffs. Last week, Turbolinux bought Linuxcare for an undisclosed sum. In the same week, VA Linux laid off 25 percent of its staff.

All of the mergers, acquisitions and firings aside, the sometimes controversial open-source model seems to have Microsoft Corp. as the most outspoken and harshest of its critics; many of its top executives, including CEO Steve Ballmer lambast the very notion of available and reproducible code as a threat to intellectual property.