Open-source support specialists Credativ has launched the Open Source Support Centre (OSSC), which aims to provide support for a range of community-developed software from Linux to MySQL.
Launched in the UK on Tuesday after running successfully in Germany for the past two years, the OSSC enables users to access a wide variety of skills in different open-source distributions.
The supported distributions include Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Red Hat, Xandros, Gnome, KDE, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Kolab Groupware, eGroupware, Asterisk, Apache, Samba, Nagios and Xen.
Available support packages range from the Basic package (at £135 per month, two hours support with an eight-hour response time) to the Comprehensive package, which gives 24/7, 365-days-a-year support.
The company has also developed a cost model, whereby a customers users and systems are all covered under a single agreement. With around 30-plus specialist support engineers in the UK and Germany, the company believes it is able to offer a comprehensive support service.
"We have been running this scheme with great success in Germany," said Chris Halls, managing director of Credativ. "With 30 engineers, each experienced with three or four distributions, we can cover most distributions."
The company is also offering the option of exchanging unused support hours for alternative services available from the Credativ team. For example, the hours can be exchanged for services such as optimisation of security and advice on how to improve the quality of a user's computer systems.
Halls believes there is plenty of demand for this type of service offering support for open-source distributions. "There are companies offering support for open-source, but not in the way we are offering it," said Halls.
"This way you can work with one service provider that can support a large number of open-source projects," he said. "Currently, if an organisation is using several different types of free software distributions and applications, multiple support agreements are necessary."