Axon not about to follow suit

Systems integrator Axon says it's not about to follow the lead of competitor Gen-i and buy an open source service provider.

Systems integrator Axon says it’s not about to follow the lead of competitor Gen-i and buy an open source service provider.

After about a year of talking, Gen-i has agreed to buy Asterisk, a three-year-old Auckland open source specialist. Gen-i intends letting Asterisk be run as a separate entity, with the two organisations sharing resources where appropriate.

Axon marketing and client services head Scott Green says the company doesn’t believe open source business is expanding at such a rate to warrant buying a specialist service company.

“We’re seeing incremental rather than exponential growth in demand for open source,” Green says.

While Axon has been eyeing investment opportunities for the past couple of years, there’s “no open source vendor on our radar”, says Green.

Gen-i head Garth Biggs says the company does “a certain amount” of open source business already. The Asterisk acquisition is less in response to a leap in open source demand than an opportunity to buy a company with “focused, energetic leadership and a customer base we don’t have an understanding of”.

Biggs says Gen-i is interested in selling Asterisk products, in particular its Linux-based Firefly-X, described as a hybrid thin-fat client Linux workstation. Asterisk customers, meantime, will get access to Gen-i’s round-the-clock support service.

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