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

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.

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