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Red Hat conference will push digital transformation, partner co-operation

Red Hat’s results are due next week and it is holding its 2017 EMEA partner conference in Frankfurt as well, with a new emphasis on supporting customers’ digital transformation. The market is moving further towards adoption of open source technologies, partners will be told.

With cloud and the OpenShift platform expected to be a major part of discussions, and on the back of a recent deal with AWS, IT Europa spoke with Colin Fisher, manager EMEA cloud service providers, covering hosting, services partners and solutions providers. "The services partners have been talking about digital transformation to their customers for a while now; it is a natural part of the business because of their offering and services.”

The born-in-the-cloud providers have different needs from the traditional resellers and are a different type of partner and Red Hat has to manage their expectations. “They certainly seem to be more agile,” he says, “and cloud providers at the forefront of digital transformation are offering big data, analytics, mobility and so on.”

Now, native AWS capabilities have been embedded into the OpenShift environment - which shows the type of relationship Red Hat has with large service providers, he says. “We are seeing a lot of partnering with AWS and Azure, adding their open capabilities on top. They might offer JBoss as a service on top of Azure. So this gives them the chance to sell a Red Hat environment as part of AWS or Azure, which also means the partner does not have to invest in these AWS or Azure resources; it can be a white label offering.”

He highlights the opportunity across Europe, where all the major economies are seeing investment in specific solutions, and where the market is being driven by customer demand. Red Hat partners can range from the largest global SIs to boutique specialists in the region. And service providers and channel partners are partnering with each other, he says – a relatively new phenomena.

“If a customer asks for certain capabilities that a partner only has a part of, we can help find an associated Red Hat service provider with complementary skills – we are seeing a lot of that, and we encourage it with networking events, including what we have planned at the partner conference. We provide an overview of all our partners and tools to show what they can offer, and the Red Hat team itself works to hook partners together for mutual benefit.”

The Red Hat partners also seem further down the road to cloud than other parts of the industry. It helps that Red Hat’s entire portfolio runs on cloud, on prem or hybrid. The messaging to partners and customers is consistent, he says, and he aims to ensure that the messaging delivered by partners is the same as what Red Hat is saying. The raft of online training, white papers and marketing acts to support this.

  • As a part of this push to digital transformation, Red Hat has partnered with edX to deliver free technology training to the public. EdX was founded by MIT and Harvard and is a provider of open online courses that is both non-profit and open source. The first course to be made available via edX is Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which focuses on how enterprises are using Linux in real-life settings.