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Impi

Impi Linux 7.05 Desktop Released


South Africa-developed Impi Linux, a local version of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, today announced its latest release. With this release Impi Linux, is hoping to extends its existing public sector foothold and grab a little more of the enterprise sector.

Read more at:
http://www.tectonic.co.za/

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Impi Linux Announces the 'Mile High Club'


Impi Linux is proud to announce a brand new partnership programme, designed to bring the company’s offerings to its partners in a mutually beneficial way. Entitled 'The Mile High Club' to correlate with the company’s aviation theme for the programme, the intention is to better serve partners in providing Impi Linux's products and services to their clients.

By involving themselves in the programme, partners will be enabled to maximise their offerings in terms of Impi Linux’s range of customised, industry-specific Linux products and ensure their clients of the highest level of professional support.

“Impi Linux has decided to employ a dynamic partner strategy in growing its network of service providers,” says Gary Fortuin, managing director for Impi Linux. “Via this programme, we will be giving our partners access to some of the best local Linux skills on offer. Furthermore, our partnership programme has a developmental aspect to empower the SMME market to provides services within the growing Linux segment.”

“Given our strategic partnerships with international organisations such as Canonical and CodeWeavers, we will also be providing our partners with access to the same professional services and products we currently enjoy,” he adds.

The programme uses elements of Ubuntu’s partnership programme utilised internationally. “We’ve taken the programme from Ubuntu and adapted it to the local environment with its unique needs and challenges,” says Fortuin. “Just as we have taken Ubuntu itself and adapted it to specialised local demands, in the spirit of open source. Partners can therefore be assured that the services Impi brings them are optimised for the South African market.”

The programme will focus on breaking ground for Impi Linux’s products in the market and the generation of leads, which will then be handed down to the company’s partners. “The idea is that we do all of the hard work in arousing clients via our substantial network of connections and then pour the leads generated into the channel. Impi Linux takes care of the high-level technical requirements, strategy and marketing; its partners take care of the rest, with the company’s assistance.”

Mark Shuttleworth bought into Impi Linux last year, commencing the company’s relationship with Ubuntu.

As per the company’s agreement with Canonical, Impi Linux's products are now based on the dynamic Ubuntu platform. Whereas Ubuntu is aimed at a broad spectrum of Linux users, Impi's products are customised for specific customers, such as government departments, corporate enterprises and educational institutions. “Our products are focused on their intended environments,” explains Fortuin. “Impi Linux engages with customers alongside its partners. They take care of large scale deployments and support, whereas Impi takes care of escalated support, bug fixes and customisation requirements.”

In providing focused Linux products and services for the South African market, the Impi Linux partnership programme enables partners to provide their clients with the highest level of support and service via a relationship that places the partner in the most advantageous position for delivery.

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Impi Linux, Arivia.kom launch internship programme


Impi Linux and Arivia.kom have joined forces to launch a Linux internship programme. The two companies have made a commitment to train an initial 30 learners in the skills required to admin Linux systems. Candidates will conclude their training with a Linux Professional Institute(LPI) certification.

The programme is registered as an ISETT SETA(Sector Education Training Authority) internship programme.

"This programme will contribute to helping Government achieve its goals in the Linux and open source realm," says Sipho Yeni, managing executive of Arivia.kom's Focused Business Solutions division. "Until now, it has been a challenge to find the correct skills to roll out Linux and open source technologies at national, provincial and municipal level."

"The benefits of Linux and open source are also clearly evident to the majority of business minds in the local market," says Gary Fortuin, managing director of Impi Linux. "That said, however, it's clear that what's holding adoption back to a great degree is the lack of high-end, affordable skills in the market. With this internship programme, we aim to initially create 30 valuable resources for the local market to begin bridging that gap.

"In the long term, we see this internship programme gaining more support from industry and resulting in a further reaching transformational effect on the South African IT market," says Fortuin.

A third of the candidates for the internship programme already have some form of tertiary qualification in IT or computer science. "This means that roughly one third of the learners concluding the programme will be cross-skilled in numerous areas of the IT market," says Fortuin. "As those in the know within the IT market will testify to, these kinds of skills are most sought after.

"The other two-thirds of the selected candidates," he says, "have no formal tertiary education. This is where the highest transformational effect will take place, since we will be in a position to empower young
South Africans that have previously struggled to find employment with rare knowledge in the Linux and open source markets and vastly increase their chances of career success."

"One of the most valuable aspects of this programme is the fact that these skills will be created across the South African landscape," says Yeni.

"Since Arivia.kom has a national footprint, when it comes to experiential training, on the job knowledge creation and mentorship, the thirty candidates will be spread out across that national footprint. It means that unlike many internships undertaken in the local market, we will be creating a national skills base that can be tapped into at any business centre throughout the country," he explains.

Arivia.kom and ImpiLinux have concluded their recruitment process and have begun the training portion of the programme. On completion, the candidates will enter the workplace and begin using the knowledge they have gained in a first hand manner, in the field.

Ian Madonsela, Arivia.kom's business solution manager says that once the candidates have qualified they will be assigned to project teams headed by experienced project managers. "This will ensure that they will gain the requisite business and client interface insights that are so important to the success of any project."

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Sita tender winners named


The winners of the State IT Agency's (Sita) open source tender have been decided.
Business Connexion, Gijima, Choice Technologies, IBM, ImpiLinux, Novell, Obsidian Systems and Sourcecom have been selected to be the suppliers of open source software and support services to the government and Sita over the next three years.

Project manager for open source at Sita, Wynand Swart, told Tectonic today that he has a signed formal letter from the Supplier Selection Authority awarding the tender to the eight companies.

Government departments can now "exercise an option to procure from any one of these [companies]", says Swart, adding that he did not know when companies would see the first contracts as a result of the tender.

The news comes after months of anticipation and speculation. Last week, the Supplier Selection Authority (SSA) - the highest authority in the tender selection process - decided to award the tender, after an evaluation process that stretched over five months.

Swart says six members in a technical team had to work through thousands of pages of documents submitted by the tenderers, before submitting their reports to the Supplier Selection Board, who finally submitted their recommendation to the SSA. "The technical evaluation was quite a strenuous exercise," he says.

Swart says three distributions were selected: Suse, RedHat and Impi/Ubuntu.

He says he believed the winners had been notified, although he notes that the procurement arm might still be in the process of delivering the letters of award. When contacted for comment, some companies who have been listed as winners said they had not received notification themselves and declined to comment.

Submissions for the tender closed in October last year, with at least 12 technology companies vying to be placed on the preferred suppliers list. The tender gives the government the option "of deploying OSS solutions where and when required" during a "phased migration process" according to the tender document

Original article on Tectonic

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Shuttleworth invests in ImpiLinux


New Linux distro to combine the best of Ubuntu's stability and Impi's local innovation.

*Cape Town - 28.09.2005 - *Mark Shuttleworth, together with ImpiLinux and various other investors have announced the successful conclusion of an agreement to combine forces in the South African and SADEC Linux market. The next version of Impi will be based on Ubuntu, and Shuttleworth will make a substantial investment in the new company.

The result will be a distribution of Linux, still called “ImpiLinux”, that draws on the robust and innovative underlying technologies prevalent in Ubuntu and the localised features and functionality prevalent in ImpiLinux. Impi will be a truly South African variant of the popular Ubuntu platform, which has in the past year become one of
the world's most popular desktop Linux operating systems. Ubuntu itself will continue to remain freely available on the global market, while Impi will offer additional commercial functionality not available in Ubuntu, as well as strong localisation for the South African marketplace. Impi will initially be available in English, Xhosa and Afrikaans, with the potential for translation into additional South African languages on the basis of customer demand.

Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and the Ubuntu Linux project comments: “The Impi team are justifiably proud of their pioneering reputation in the South African Linux market. This additional financial backing, additional development resources through a combined development approach with Ubuntu, and a relationship with the global company Canonical, puts Impi in a very strong position to offer a world class product for the South African desktop Linux market” he says.

Gary Fortuin, current ImpiLinux shareholder, will take-up the role of company MD in the new entity, which will be named `ImpiLinux (Pty) Ltd'. Gary brings years of experience in the local IT industry, having worked with both Microsoft and the Impi Linux project.

The majority shareholding in the new venture will be held by
Shuttleworth's HBD Business Holdings, with an additional shareholding from Khuselo Investments (Pty)Ltd. Khuselo Investments will be jointly represented by Eddie Funde, current chairman of the SABC and Pumla Radebe, Johannesburg City Parks Chairperson. In addition, 20% of the shares in the new entity have been earmarked for BEE, in the form of a trust that will disburse shares to previously disadvantaged employees over time.

Fortuin says one of the biggest differentiators will be the Impi development team's local perspective and closeness to its customer base. “Because we are a South African organisation, communication between customers and ourselves takes place far faster than with any internationally staffed support offering and should a face to face meeting be required, this can be facilitated at far less cost and
hassle,” comments Fortuin.

“Also, as a local company we can make a strong commitment to Black Economic Empowerment. In terms of the localised features the new distribution will boast, Fortuin says the development team will start by working closely with South Africa's major broadband providers to build native support for their access devices and solutions into the operating system. “We will also be enhancing the local language support prevalent in Impi to ensure that Impi provides ICT access to South Africans in their home language, helping to preserve and strengthen South African
cultural heritage while providing the country with a technology platform for the 21^st century” Fortuin says.

“Other features will take the form of customising the environment to best suit the local user, through making the look and feel more visually appealing and more South African in flavour,” he says. “In addition, we will ensure that Impi can support global standard formats such as Adobe
PDF, DVD discs, and MP3 music files. Impi could potentially even run Windows applications, with commercial xtensions that provide for greater desktop compatibility between Windows and Linux.”

“Going forward, Impi will tailor its solution to the needs of the South African market, thereby taking the fantastic innovation made possible by Ubuntu into the enterprise space. We maintain committed to keeping local funds local, channelling all revenue into improving the ImpiLinux solution, increasing its sustainability and driving adoption of Linux and OSS in the local market. While these are bold commitments and aspirations, we believe they are more than possible,” adds Fortuin.

“This venture adds previously unseen depth to the local ICT market. The new team has the skills and the technology to create a Linux distribution that meets all the critical needs of corporates and government departments.” Shuttleworth concludes.

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