Driving The Open Source Spike Into Japan

The Pacific Ocean apparently isn’t the only thing that divides the U.S. and
Japan. The attitudes of how the two countries consume and deploy
open source technologies differ as well.

At least that’s the opinion of open source stack vendor SpikeSource, which now has a global partnership with Japan’s NEC
. SpikeSource is also now formally opening up a European
office to take advantage of open source opportunities in that market.

“Curiously enough, open source in Japan as opposed to open source in Europe
and North America is very much a strategic move from the system integrators
and the platform providers,” Joaquín Ruiz, vice president of marketing and product management at SpikeSource, told internetnews.com.

According to Ruiz, in North America and Europe open source adoption is
driven from a developer perspective. Open Source makes its way into the
enterprise because it’s what the developers are familiar with.

In many cases
companies start to deploy open source without even knowing that they are
deploying open source.

“In Japan it’s a much more conservative market where in the IT environment
they have much less discretion in terms of what they can actually deploy,”
Ruiz said.

“However, the system integrators and the platform providers
see open source as a significant growth area, so they are starting to make
significant investments. They have huge sway and influence over what is
actually deployed.

“In the U.S. and Europe, the customers have the most say in terms of what they
want deployed, and the system integrators deploy what customers want,” Ruiz
continued. “In Japan it’s the other way around.”

It’s that powerful influence that SpikeSource is tapping into with its
partnership with NEC to distribute SpikeSource solutions.

NEC already
provides Linux solutions to its customer base. The SpikeSource partnership,
according to Ruiz, enables them to capitalize on the growth of open source
both on Linux and Windows.

SpikeSource Linux solutions for NEC will primarily be based on Red Hat’s
Enterprise Linux. Apparently it’s the only distribution that matters in that

“In Japan what seems to count is one leading platform which is Red Hat,”
Ruiz said. “With regards to Asianux and TurboLinux those are just in
discussion with regards to market potential.”

The deal with NEC will also enable SpikeSource to grow their channel
business by leaps and bounds.

“They [NEC] own quite a bit of the mid-market and the enterprise, and they
have access to channels that allow us to grow instead of one by one, dozens
and hundreds at a time,” Ruiz said.

NEC isn’t just a partner of SpikeSource, it’s also an investor. NEC
was part of the $24 million Series B funding for SpikeSource that closed in

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