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SuSE, SAP team on customer support

The new deal between the two companies is aimed at streamlining the process for customers who run SAP business software on the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Linux seller SuSE announced Thursday that it will team with business software powerhouse SAP to offer a new set of support services for its corporate customers.

The new support deal between the two companies is aimed at streamlining the process for customers who run SAP business software on the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. SuSE said those customers can now receive centralized support from engineers specifically trained in the combination of SuSE and SAP software. The engineers will provide assistance ranging from help with SAP applications to assistance with issues surrounding the Linux source code.

In addition, SuSE said it will incorporate fixes to customer-reported bugs into an untested patch available for immediate download on its Web site. After assuring that the patches work with SuSE's partners' software, the company will make a certified patch available.

The centralized support will be integrated into the company's current support contracts. SuSE Chief Technology Officer Jurgen Geck said the support deal with SAP is another endorsement of SuSE Linux as reliable software for businesses.

"It's an evolution of what we're doing so far," Geck said. "We're not alone in supporting our customers. We bring SAP along and many others."

Support has been a concern among some companies that are considering Linux as an alternative to Microsoft because of misconceptions about who is responsible for the open-source operating system, which is routinely updated by developers around the globe. By striking deals with well-known software partners, SuSE is hoping to alleviate some of those concerns about its version of Linux.

The company already has struck support partnerships with tech bigwigs such as Oracle through UnitedLinux, a Linux consortium that includes SuSE.

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