Red Hat make heap big customer portal pow wow

Red Hat has gathered the tribe (sorry, I mean users) under the auspices of a new discussion pow wow (sorry, I mean the Red Hat Customer Portal) to enable the tribal elders and young squaws (sorry, I mean community) to lay down battle plans for the next age of development (sorry, I mean discuss features and use cases for the next planned release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7).

Enough of the Native American Indian metaphors, let’s move on.

Designed to be an “extension to the interactive processes already underway” with the open source community, the new discussion group has been labelled as more than just a social chat forum.

Indeed, the company describes it in grand terms as, “… invaluable to Red Hat engineering development groups.”

This, of course, is where Red Hat draws the line between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and commercially licenced versions i.e. access to the portal only comes by virtue of a Red Hat subscription.

“Since its inception, Red Hat has always operated in a truly transparent and collaborative way – the open source way – and this is especially apparent in the way we approach product development,” said Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, platform business unit, Red Hat.

That was “truly transparent and collaborative” as long as you pay your subs then right?

“Having a formal process that allows customers to influence new features and overall product direction can be beneficial for vendors and customers alike,” said Elaina Stergiades, research manager, software support services, at IDC. “By including this capability in an online portal, software support providers can simplify the feedback process and increase engagement between internal staff and customers – providing expanded benefits and additional value for support subscriptions.”

We don’t need to give you the link to the portal directly, that’s what Google is for; but if you do get lost, look for the smoke signals somewhere near the Red Hat Network (RHN) log in area on the company’s web site.