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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
SYS-CON.TV
SCO to Netherlands Distributor: 'Tough Luck!' Distributor to SCO: 'See You in Court!'
SCO to Netherlands Distributor: 'Tough Luck!' Distributor to SCO: 'See You in Court!'

In a phone conversation today with Erik Monninkhof, CFO and co-founder of Dupaco, the sole distributor of SCO product in the Netherlands, I learned that it's not just competing Linux distributions that are suffering since SCO changed management.

According to Monninkhof, Dupaco has had a relationship with SCO for 18 years. In 1986, they drove from COMDEX in Las Vegas to Santa Cruz and, for $5000, became distributors of SCO Xenix in the Netherlands. During the following years, they successfully sold SCO products, outlasting other Netherlands companies that also tried to sell SCO to eventually become the sole distributor.

To say that they were a loyal SCO vendor is an understatement. Monninkhof says that he attended every SCO Forum since then, visited Santa Cruz over 50 times, and has turned down repeated offers from other vendors to sell their Unix distributions in addition to the SCO line. And they succeeded with SCO, building a multi-million dollar revenue stream out of the SCO offerings.

When SCO opened a subsiduary in the UK, Dupaco's contract was transferred there. According to Monninkhof, the relationship between his company and SCO UK was strong. "The man [Jim Wilts, President of the Professional Services Division] who signed my contract has remained a very loyal friend since."

Imagine his surprise, then, when he received an e-mail last month informing him that in 30 days, the distribution contract would be terminated. According to Monninkhof, SCO is offering their country managers in Europe exclusive franchise arrangements in the countries they handle. This means that the existing distributors are effectively cut out of the picture, not even being given a chance to vie for the franchise rights. Worse, under a marketing program started by SCO several years ago, Dupaco has been providing SCO with their leads and customer contacts, meaning that the new franchise will be primed to raid Dupaco's customer base. Dupaco had felt comfortable doing this because they had been assured by the European SCO management that SCO would never move to a direct marketing model in the Netherlands.

Puzzled to say the least, Monninkhof called his country manager, who basically told him he could remain as a zero-margin reseller, but the termination was a done deal. Since he was going to Lindon, Utah on other business, he called SCO to arrange a meeting. At first SCO agreed to talk, then changed their mind and told Monninkhof that there was no one at SCO to talk to and visitors were not being allowed in the building.

Undaunted, Monninkhof showed up at SCO's doorstep anyway, and within seconds, security had appeared and escorted him off the premises. He was also given a letter indicating that his company was no longer welcome at SCO Forum (which was about to be held in Las Vegas, and was the other reason that Monninkhof was in the country.)

In his own words humiliated, Monninkhof and his partner were halfway to Vegas to make their presence known, when they decided not to burn any bridges and returned to the Netherlands. However, they did decide to take legal action.

Although the contract specifies a 30 day notice for termination, which is legal in the US, it may not be legal in Europe, according to Monninkhof. He stated that European courts require that the length and nature of the business relationship be taken into consideration. Monninkhof said that a month for every year of the contract would be a more reasonable time period, which would give Dupaco a year and a half to make new arrangements. The case is due to be held in the Netherlands this coming Wednesday, the 17th of September.

Luckily, SCO is only around 5% of Dupaco's totally revenue now, so even if they find themselves cut out of the SCO story, it won't significantly damage the company's health. But Monninkhof's pride has definitely taken a major hit, especially in light of the long and cordial relationship he says they enjoyed with SCO in the past. Asked to comment on the changes in the company, he said: "It's not the same SCO that we started doing business with 18 years ago."

Contacted for comments, Elbert Vlastuin (SCO Regional Manager for Benelux) confirmed that Dupaco's contract had been terminated and that SCO would be in court on Wednesday, but disputed Monninkhof's claim that the only offer on the table was to be a zero-margin reseller. "SCO in Benelux has decided to take a new approach to the market, we want to be more visible to the market. We are looking for a solution to the current situation, where there is only one distributor, how to work with them."

About James Turner
James Turner is president of Black Bear Software. James was formerly senior editor of Linux.SYS-CON.com and has also written for Wired, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. He is currently working on his third book on open source development.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 3

Hello Again,

As Tsu Dho Nimh asked on 19 September 2003:
So ... what happened in court?

Well... Dupaco lost.

But. the new SCO office in the netherlands made an new
agreement with Dupaco. They will use Dupaco as a distri
and they will do the pre- and after sales themselves.
SCO can promote en sell the products and Dupaco will be
the supermarket where you can get the stuff.
Dupaco buys it from the SCO office in the netherlands.
The dedication lies fully at SCO now and the distri can
still eat from it too. Great solution I think.

Marja

Alo, alo? I used and programmed in C/PM and VAX, but, living as close to Rocky Point as I did, did I miss something? Novell has an OS? Will it run my Pinnacle? (Yes, I was even considered by Unix, In Safety Harbor, when they decided to go into the PC arena, but I was not interested, just wanted to program in dBASE IV>)

The current SCO issues seem to be following the track record
Of early MS and the OS/2 (business practice)
MS has been just as bad only they have been a lot quieter
About it and threatened the distributors with legal action if they
Went public

Novell was and still is a great OS (After NIX of course)

A few things disturb me:
Someone referred to SCO as "Mormon"; not taking issue with it, but questioning the proposition. There was a lot of talk years back when SLC (Salt Lake City, AKA the US Vatican) seemed to be taking over Howard Hughs Huges Houghzz, ah well. Now the flack is that SLC has run Cosa Nostra out of Nevada and set up their new HeadQuarters in Las Vegas. Now you tell me that SCO is LDS owned and operated; either give me evidence or leave me to believe that wrastling ain't fixed.
Next, the idea that the SCO debacle is motivated by M$, now there is a Novell idea. What bothers me is, why did it take this long for anybody to get that drift?
Additionally, I see that the entries stem from 9/16/03, but I just got wind of it today, 10/07/03; why?
Finally, though history does bear out the fact that "Big Blue" originally did refer to IBM (HAL), the anti-kudo really should be passed on to M$, since they are best - or - worst known for their big blue BSOD; far more impressive than anything IBM wants to be reputed for, don't you think?

Years ago, companies of various sizes, reged thier little devs and libs.. they shared/leased/leant it to other, then for no fee. Now the old-books get out of the closet and money is asked, huge amounts for various little libs and devs.

Companies are like states, states and companies are like families.. mostly those very close ones.. they look out for eachother.. sometimes for the good, or the bad.. but its all very ugly at the end. If threatned they sharpen their knifes.

You guys are morons! SCO is the greatest company in the world!

Oops! Thanks Moff. I meant to write big brother.

/bonks himeslf on the head.

I also saw on this website somewhere a link to a site that is spoofing Micro$oft's new licensing of protocols. They really are pushing the consumers too far. This is actually good since everyone will decide tat we are not going to keep putting up with their crap.

I love is when people say they are developers, but they write in Micro$oft's proprietary "high level" languages. Once Bill completley takes over computing, computing will be what he says it will be, not what is CAN be.

Down with GUI monkeys.

I was talking with an ExNetware server guy. Hes a CNE for like version 4.11 or so, his company left Netware(huge mistake). Now he spends all his time chasing patches and cleaning virus crap off his servers, SQL worms.. bah! He says that all of "skills" have atrophied. He was trying to do some simple command line stuff the other day and was completely paralyzed since there was no GUI. He told me that he hates his job and that being a Micro$oft server manager sucks so bad. He states that feels as if he has NO skills anymore.

Bill is ruining it for us. Being a network administrator used to be a position of power and carried an elite status. I was talking to the Blockbuster clerk at my local Blockbuster the other night and he stated that he was an Exchange admin on the side.

Well crap, I suppose when Mico$oft crap is everywhere, we can all get jobs as .

Bah! RANT...

Peng out!

Umm Peng:

Although I understand what you're saying, you should know that "Big Blue" means IBM, not M$ :)

So ... what happened in court?

What the hell is Erik talking about?
Dupaco is also offering Micro$oft products on their website. They sell personal computers en laptops with probably pre-installed windows on it. So WHAT IS THIS MICKEY BROTHER DOING ON THE LINUXWORLD PAGES??!!!!!!
This company cannot be 100% Unix or Linux dedicated.
Bill is the one that's laughing now.

A.B.

What amazes me is that nobody out there is stating the obvious. SCO was put up to all this nonsense by Micro$oft. Micro$oft is trying to figure out how to tackle the Linux contingent and decided to try and bluff it out of existence. Of course they couldn't do it themselves so they agree to infuse a large sum of money into the "license plan" for the payoff of SCO doing the dirty work. The cash infusion also served to help "validate" the "legality" of SCO's claim, should the item ever end up in court. Judges see big blue paying up, and having a real lack of knowledge of IT, they misconceive it as a good reason to side with the SCO claim.

Oh well, I think Linux will someday win out over Microsoft. Rome fell. Big blue will too. End the end, amazingly, it will be the thing that all big companies do when they get too big, they stop working for the customer and begin to just work for themselves. Linux and GNU can't really do that. The customer is the only market.

Dear Erik Monninkhof,

Leave the past where it deserves to be, become Linux/*BSD reseller and you'll be sure you are helping your customers to be free in this internet-enabled-world.

BR
Fabian

SCO continues to amaze us all with their tactics, they lie cheat and steal code, implement it into system v and then claim it is their IP. The world will soon see the birth of a new OS, superior to Unix,and Windows, no infringing code of any kind and then what willl SCO do?, ooh they have probably been developing it for years and will claim it is theirs also but "the end result justifies the means" sorry SCO not this time.

4Horsemen

Hello,

It looks that this article is just from one perspective.
We did business with dupaco 8 years ago and dupaco
is also not the same dupaco from then anymore.
Dupaco is doing more hardware and software now.
They have so many different products now that
they cannot be SCO dedicated. Or dedicated to
any of the products.
So when Erik says "It's not the same SCO that we started doing business with 18 years ago."
He must know that we can think the same about dupaco.

Things change, business change, customers change so why
not change with the market. It would be stupid to not
change and try other ways to do business.
If you don't try, you'll never know.

Marja

I think we are missing a bit opportunity here. Cleary SCO doesn't give a rat's ass about the opinions of the Open Source community, will not provide sensible answers to query or anything even approaching proof of their claims. Yet right here they have given the OSS community the chance to hit them in the pocket books *big* time, which might cause them to take notice. All we need to do is bring the way that SCO treats their allies to the attention of their other partners and customers, especially if the comments made by Hans de Lange above go where I suspect they do.


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Marja wrote: Hello Again, As Tsu Dho Nimh asked on 19 September 2003: So ... what happened in court? Well... Dupaco lost. But. the new SCO office in the netherlands made an new agreement with Dupaco. They will use Dupaco as a distri and they will do the pre- and after sales themselves. SCO can promote en sell the products and Dupaco will be the supermarket where you can get the stuff. Dupaco buys it from the SCO office in the netherlands. The dedication lies fully at SCO now and the distri can still eat from it too. Great solution I think. Marja
Ted ... again? wrote: Alo, alo? I used and programmed in C/PM and VAX, but, living as close to Rocky Point as I did, did I miss something? Novell has an OS? Will it run my Pinnacle? (Yes, I was even considered by Unix, In Safety Harbor, when they decided to go into the PC arena, but I was not interested, just wanted to program in dBASE IV>)
Paging wrote: The current SCO issues seem to be following the track record Of early MS and the OS/2 (business practice) MS has been just as bad only they have been a lot quieter About it and threatened the distributors with legal action if they Went public Novell was and still is a great OS (After NIX of course)
Ted Bruner wrote: A few things disturb me: Someone referred to SCO as "Mormon"; not taking issue with it, but questioning the proposition. There was a lot of talk years back when SLC (Salt Lake City, AKA the US Vatican) seemed to be taking over Howard Hughs Huges Houghzz, ah well. Now the flack is that SLC has run Cosa Nostra out of Nevada and set up their new HeadQuarters in Las Vegas. Now you tell me that SCO is LDS owned and operated; either give me evidence or leave me to believe that wrastling ain't fixed. Next, the idea that the SCO debacle is motivated by M$, now there is a Novell idea. What bothers me is, why did it take this long for anybody to get that drift? Additionally, I see that the entries stem from 9/16/03, but I just got wind of it today, 10/07/03; why? Finally, though history does bear out the fact that "Big Blue" originally did refer to IBM (HAL), the anti-kudo really should be pas...
herodin wrote: Years ago, companies of various sizes, reged thier little devs and libs.. they shared/leased/leant it to other, then for no fee. Now the old-books get out of the closet and money is asked, huge amounts for various little libs and devs. Companies are like states, states and companies are like families.. mostly those very close ones.. they look out for eachother.. sometimes for the good, or the bad.. but its all very ugly at the end. If threatned they sharpen their knifes.
giant wrote: You guys are morons! SCO is the greatest company in the world!
Peng wrote: Oops! Thanks Moff. I meant to write big brother. /bonks himeslf on the head. I also saw on this website somewhere a link to a site that is spoofing Micro$oft's new licensing of protocols. They really are pushing the consumers too far. This is actually good since everyone will decide tat we are not going to keep putting up with their crap. I love is when people say they are developers, but they write in Micro$oft's proprietary "high level" languages. Once Bill completley takes over computing, computing will be what he says it will be, not what is CAN be. Down with GUI monkeys. I was talking with an ExNetware server guy. Hes a CNE for like version 4.11 or so, his company left Netware(huge mistake). Now he spends all his time chasing patches and cleaning virus crap off his servers, SQL worms.. bah! He says that all of "skills" have atrophied. He was trying to do some simple...
Moff wrote: Umm Peng: Although I understand what you're saying, you should know that "Big Blue" means IBM, not M$ :)
Tsu Dho Nimh wrote: So ... what happened in court?
Anti Bill wrote: What the hell is Erik talking about? Dupaco is also offering Micro$oft products on their website. They sell personal computers en laptops with probably pre-installed windows on it. So WHAT IS THIS MICKEY BROTHER DOING ON THE LINUXWORLD PAGES??!!!!!! This company cannot be 100% Unix or Linux dedicated. Bill is the one that's laughing now. A.B.
Peng wrote: What amazes me is that nobody out there is stating the obvious. SCO was put up to all this nonsense by Micro$oft. Micro$oft is trying to figure out how to tackle the Linux contingent and decided to try and bluff it out of existence. Of course they couldn't do it themselves so they agree to infuse a large sum of money into the "license plan" for the payoff of SCO doing the dirty work. The cash infusion also served to help "validate" the "legality" of SCO's claim, should the item ever end up in court. Judges see big blue paying up, and having a real lack of knowledge of IT, they misconceive it as a good reason to side with the SCO claim. Oh well, I think Linux will someday win out over Microsoft. Rome fell. Big blue will too. End the end, amazingly, it will be the thing that all big companies do when they get too big, they stop working for the customer and begin to just work for themse...
Fabian wrote: Dear Erik Monninkhof, Leave the past where it deserves to be, become Linux/*BSD reseller and you'll be sure you are helping your customers to be free in this internet-enabled-world. BR Fabian
4horsemen wrote: SCO continues to amaze us all with their tactics, they lie cheat and steal code, implement it into system v and then claim it is their IP. The world will soon see the birth of a new OS, superior to Unix,and Windows, no infringing code of any kind and then what willl SCO do?, ooh they have probably been developing it for years and will claim it is theirs also but "the end result justifies the means" sorry SCO not this time. 4Horsemen
Marja wrote: Hello, It looks that this article is just from one perspective. We did business with dupaco 8 years ago and dupaco is also not the same dupaco from then anymore. Dupaco is doing more hardware and software now. They have so many different products now that they cannot be SCO dedicated. Or dedicated to any of the products. So when Erik says "It's not the same SCO that we started doing business with 18 years ago." He must know that we can think the same about dupaco. Things change, business change, customers change so why not change with the market. It would be stupid to not change and try other ways to do business. If you don't try, you'll never know. Marja
Andy Blanchard wrote: I think we are missing a bit opportunity here. Cleary SCO doesn't give a rat's ass about the opinions of the Open Source community, will not provide sensible answers to query or anything even approaching proof of their claims. Yet right here they have given the OSS community the chance to hit them in the pocket books *big* time, which might cause them to take notice. All we need to do is bring the way that SCO treats their allies to the attention of their other partners and customers, especially if the comments made by Hans de Lange above go where I suspect they do.
Paul Kresh wrote: A lot of big company's are thinking this way. Dell is going direct and kicked the disributors. And it worked!!! MicroSoft is going to do it for it's enterprise products. So Sco it copying the strategy?!? Anyway on the website of dupaco I saw that the productlist of Sco products was not up to date. Maybe Sco wants to go direct to get the right information to the customers? But 30 days? Paul
Hans de Lange wrote: And in the meantime we're making a GOOD living migrating SCO sites to Linux!!!!! Thank you very much SCO!
Andrew Kaplan wrote: The industry experience that the Netherlands company has can be applied to Linux or another version of UNIX. SCO may be have the most notoriety at this tiume, but that does not make it the only *NIX vendor.
Ravi wrote: Hi, I wonder what will happen to the SCO employees who are selling SCO Unix? Darl Bride might start losing its sales and support team once they come to know of all this.
Hans de Lange wrote: Hi! Unipress Brussels was SCO distributor in Belgium in the past. We stopped ourselves a coupla years ago, when we realised that SCO's strategies and business ethics were going nowhere. Something interesting; could your reporter call mr. Vlastuin if -today- he is a SCO employee? According to reliable info (date 12/9/ from an ex-SCO employee) mr Vlastuin has been given his "independence" and will function as a commission-based free agent for SCO. At the same time SCO apparently decides to poach Dupaco's business and customers, and give it to this private individual... Worth checking this hot tip!!
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