Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Dell OEM
Systems and SUSE are now offering customizable, integrated systems based on
SUSE Linux Enterprises, and supported worldwide by Dell, the companies announced on Jan. 24.

The two organizations are targeting the vast market of
businesses that incorporate computers into their final products or
solutions—but who are not computer manufacturers. Dell
OEM Systems
customers, for example, include MRI manufacturers and makers of
firewall appliances, said Jeff Otchis, Americas marketing director at Dell OEM
Solutions, in an interview.

Often, these companies manufacture their own computers
in-house—a time-consuming, expensive side-road away from their primary
businesses. Or they turn to regional OEMs that typically cannot offer the same
level or range of support a global provider like Dell, Otchis told Channel Insider.

“Customers have really realized the value of partnering
with a Tier One computer manufacturer. You don’t have to worry about quality or
support,” he said. “We can help them come to market quickly, much more
efficiently and focus on differentiating themselves from their customers.”

The market for embedded systems, sometimes called
intelligent systems, is expected to reach more than 4 billion units and create
$2 trillion in revenue by 2015 vs. $1 trillion in revenue last year, according
to IDC.
In 2015, these systems will account for about one-third of all unit shipments
of major electronic systems, compared with 19 percent in 2010, the research
company said. These systems collect data and automate actions in consumer and
industrial applications, including vending machines, refrigerators, cars, and
assembly lines.

Use of Linux to power these and other devices is also
increasing, researchers found. In one Gartner study, more than half of 547 IT
leaders in 11 countries surveyed have adopted OSS as part of their IT strategy;
almost one-third cited benefits such as flexibility, increased innovation,
shorter development times, and faster procurement processes, as well as lower
total cost of ownership, Gartner reported.

Through this agreement, Dell and SUSE are simplifying the
process and extending their existing relationship, Kerry Kim, director of
solution marketing at SUSE told Channel

“We’re seeing increasing demand for companies wanting to
deploy integrated systems – take hardware and software and customize it for a
specific need–as companies are realizing, ‘Yes, I used to do this myself, but
I’m better off letting the folks who are expert do it because, at the end of
the day, it’s much most cost-effective,’” he said. “Dell’s got a really good
supply chain foundation of expertise. They’ve got a great factory for turning
out [systems]. And we’ve got a really good customizable Linux operating

Dell will use
SUSE Studio, an image customization and provisioning tool, to build and deploy
application stacks based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server onto Dell OEM
Solutions’ embedded, built-to-order, and customized solutions. With SUSE
Studio, Dell can help its OEM customers reduce the complexity and overhead
costs associated with bringing integrated systems to market.

Perhaps the
biggest challenge is changing the mindset of organizations that have grown used
to building their own systems, said Otchis.

are a lot of companies out there that have historically done this themselves.
They may already be working with SUSE or a variety of Linux. We’re offering
them the opportunity to get out of that, and focus on what they do best,” he
said. "A lot of companies up until now have not had
the choice of incorporating Linux into their operating system in this
well-supported fashion. They’ve been doing it on their own.”

Dell OEM Solutions technologies, based on SUSE Linux
Enterprise Server, are slated to become available in the first half of the year.
Partners, including solution providers, can get involved now, Kim said.