You do get customers who threaten the self-support,
Thank you for your kind attitude.
A customer (or maybe not - I'd rather stick with Debian/Ubuntu after being labeled a threat).
OpenStack drove a chunk of Red Hat’s largest deals during the fourth quarter, with cloud proving more lucrative than its trademark Linux business. One-third of what Red Hat called its largest deals in the three months to February 28 contained an OpenStack private cloud component. More than a third involved Red Hat’s Ansible …
Disclosure: I work for Red Hat, but not in a customer-facing role (I work on Fedora, which has no customers).
I really dunno why you'd find that a problem. Jim's talking about *existing customers* who, when their support contracts expire, invoke the possibility of cancelling their support contracts and going self-supported instead (either as a negotiation tactic, or as a genuine option).
Remember the context of the call: it's an *investor* call. It's Jim, speaking on behalf of the company, talking to people with a very strong interest in the company making money. In that context, I don't see how you possibly *can* describe that from the perspective of the company other than as a 'threat'. We're a for-profit company, we need paying customers to survive. Our shareholders need us to have paying customers in order for their shares to have any value. So of course, from our perspective, the possibility of losing a paying customer is a 'threat'.
Of course no sane salesperson (I've heard they exist! Honest!) would describe it as a 'threat' when actually dealing with a customer. Nor would Jim phrase it that way when talking to customers rather than talking to shareholders, or talking to our sales teams. But really, it seems silly to take umbrage at the use of the term in this context.
Say you currently have a contract with Microsoft, but you're considering buying from Red Hat or Google instead when the contract comes to an end. Surely it's reasonable for Microsoft to consider that a 'threat' to their sales? Would you really get snarky about it if they described it that way, in an earnings call? There's really no difference to this case. A customer going to 'self-support' - which, to be clear, means using our software without paying us any money, an option you have with very few software providers! - is clearly a 'threat' to our revenue.
That you immediately look to those two as an option (rather than suse) suggests that you are either not a customer, or have been looking for a reason to move to a Debian-based distro (for whatever meaningful difference you think exists).
For what it's worth, red hat tends to score amongst in the industry when it comes to customer service.
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