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I am planning to start a company to sell Open Source Software solutions, like Ubuntu in enterprise space. I have around 6 years of experience in IT and Software sales, so I think this is the right time for me to make an entrepreneurial move. Since I love FOSS and want to contribute to the development of FOSS and especially Ubuntu (through business development)since I know that the only way companies like Canonical make money is by selling their Open Source solutions in enterprises (support and trainings).

I don't have any direct experience in the Linux/open source development, neither by qualification nor by work experience, but I have an experience of using and troubleshooting Linux from around 8 years, I think I have good enough knowledge to train and support Linux desktop. And I have IT and Software sales experience too.

My Question is what are the requirements of Canonical for partnering with a company, especially with people with my experience ? And how should I approach Canonical for such a partnership?

Secondly what are the barriers and challenges starting a business providing open source solutions ?

I would be Highly thankful if somebody who had such a contact/discussion with canonical, or is in the business of selling Open source solutions, or have any knowledge about this issue, could guide me in this regard.

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I am not affiliated with Canonical, nor do I represent them in any way. Though there are representatives on this site, I don't think this is the place for those questions. They do have a website you might want to look at. Particularly the Reseller Partner Programme. It includes a form that you can simply fill out, and they'll get in contact with you. You'll simply fill out name, addresses, what kind of partnership you're interested in and a description of your ideas. All encounters I've had with people from Canonical have been very friendly, so don't be afraid to contact them.

You might want to buy your penguin a new hat though. :)

This is where it becomes more generic. First of all, you should know that you're not required to partner up with Canonical in order to sell Ubuntu or services for it. However, they do own the trademark and other branding materials, so you'll have to read up on that. You'll probably want to partner with them so you can have an "intellectual upstream" to lean on when things get difficult. And they have some nice software that's not generally available that you might want to provide to your customers.

If your goal is to provide training to users, I would consider getting a certification if possible. LPI can provide that. They also have partnership programs. I'd check that out if I were you. There used to be an Ubuntu specific certification, but I don't think that exists anymore.

As every other upstart, you'll want to have a good plan. You need to know exactly what services you wish to provide, who you're going to provide it to, etc. Whether your goal is to attract customers or to enter partnerships, a good plan will be of great value and help create a good impression. But just contact them. I'm sure they'll be very helpful and friendly.

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Thanks Jo for your Ideas, I will definitely contact canonical, but before that I just wanted to know their evaluation criterion. Anyways Thanks again for your Comments I highly appreciate your efforts in answering my queries. I would still wait for more inputs from knowledge people here... –  Aamir Feb 16 '12 at 18:04
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