At the core of any successful open source business is support. However much technology companies (open source or proprietary) may want to escape the need to actually support the products they ship, they can't. Customers love you until something goes wrong. Whether they love you afterwards depends on the quality of a vendor's support.
In Red Hat's case, support plays a central role in the company's business model and in its high ranking with customers. Brent Fox plays a central role in Red Hat's organization, helping to ensure the continued happiness of some of Red Hat's biggest customers. It's one of those jobs that doesn't get the attention it deserves...until something goes wrong.
The Open Road caught up with Brent to discover how support at Red Hat supports its customers, and how its model differs from that of other vendors.
Name, company, title, and what you actually do
Brent Fox, manager, Global Support Services, Red Hat. I am the manager for the customer Technical Account Management (TAM) team for North America, which is responsible for the technical relationship between Red Hat and some of our largest customers. TAMs act as the advocate inside Red Hat for the accounts with which they work. Prior to that, I was a programmer on the operating system development team from 2000-2004.… Read more