Open source provider Red Hat is heavily investing in its partners across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), with a keen focus on growing their business.
“We’re continuing to invest in training people, engaging in proof of concepts, and taking value to the market in different ways, but we do that through our partners,” Red Hat A/NZ channel director Garry Gray said. “We wouldn’t be the organisation that we are without our partners.
"It is a genuine partnership and we’re investing in them because we believe in what they see in the market, and they’re investing in us, because they see what we’re doing as well."
As for the pending acquisition byIBM, Red Hat maintains it will be business as usual. So much so that IBM partner ecosystem general manager, John Teltsch, recently expressed the two different partner channels will be kept independent.
Business process management and automation integrator, Leonardo, is one example of a partner that is heavily invested in Red Hat.
About five years ago, Leonardo created a technology arm of the business, spanning into new services and partnerships.
The company has about 70 staff spread across offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Byron Bay in NSW, and Perth, with customers spanning financial services, telco, retail, manufacturing, government, mining and utilities.
Leonardo managing director of delivery Adam Mutton said it has seen an explosion of growth in the past 18 months with a pipeline of opportunities lying ahead.
“Leonardo has a very unique value proposition that we call full stack, from process architecture, to implementation, and maintenance and support," Mutton said. "We couldn’t have done that without Red Hat and the technology they bring to the table. It’s an 18 month investment and we’re now starting to see the fruits of that labour coming through.
“The amount of work that we’ve done in the process automation space has really started to bubble and come to the fore.
"We’ve done a lot of work with the Red Hat professional services team in that space, and also in terms of pipeline from that point of view, we’re really seeing an explosion of growth occurring. We’re retooling and setting ourselves up, through the marketing campaigns and we see a big pipeline opportunities."
Partnering with other types of Red Hat partners is also a strategy that works well for Leonardo, especially when it comes to entering new regions such as New Zealand or Saudi Arabia where it has a partnership with ES Consulting and India with Q3Edge Consulting.
“We’ve met other partners that we can work with that has enabled us to grow,” he said. “We’ve also done a lot of joint demonstrations with Red Hat, and go-to-market opportunities have driven that pipeline of work. We’ve got several key proposals and business cases that we’re working with."
Gray added that as Red Hat brings new technologies to the market, partners such as Leonardo, are continuing to invest through up-skilling staff.
“We know what our technology will do and we know Leonardo’s capability to deliver, and we’re confident together as partners that the customer will get what they need in terms of the business outcomes and value,” Gray said. “I believe in the technology and the outcomes we can achieve.
"We’ve got partners who are 70 people strong and ones that are thousands of people, and each add value in their space."
One partner that fits into the larger spectrum, is Deloitte Digital. Principal and CTO Ken McElhinney said it consciously thinks about what’s next in the market, and is constantly experimenting and testing new technology concepts.
“Within Deloitte Digital specifically, we’ve got innovation sheds in a number of studios globally,” McElhinney said. “Places like Deloitte and Red Hat try to create an environment where that sort of innovation and creativity is encouraged.
"We’re all trying to provide the best service to our customers and this is one of the ways that we think we can do it."
An example of experimenting with an innovative concept gave way to the creation of DeloitteAssist, a voice AI-enabled nurse call system.
“It wasn’t necessarily a new invention, but we took technology that was already there and assembled it in a way that it hadn’t been used before, in a different environment, which helped solve a problem,” McElhinney said.
“It’s a great example of how a simple problem with the right sort of attitude in an organisation can really make a substantial difference. It’s fundamentally changing the way nurses deal with time."
Another example is how Deloitte uses Red Hat's OpenShift -- an on-premises platform-as-a-service built around Docker containers orchestrated and managed by Kubernetes on a foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Saul Caganoff, principal and CTO and platform engineering at Deloitte Digital, explained it uses OpenShift as its default delivery model, which has made it easier for Deloitte to test new versions of customer solutions and keep up with maintenance.
“Whenever a customer wants a solution from us, Open Shift goes in first and that can be on-premises or in the cloud on AWS, Azure, or anything else - it’s agnostic, which allows our engineers to work in a cloud agnostic manner,” Caganoff said.
“It’s the whole idea of the hybrid cloud model is something that customers really want to do."
Consumer data rights was also another big focus for Deloitte Digital, which Caganoff explained carries on the theme of open data, decoupling and liberating the data from the systems it currently gets locked up in.
“We see that is going to have a big impact on our customers, and provides challenges around privacy and personally identified information,” Caganoff said.
“How consumers can effectively provide permissions around these things? We get into very intricate and potentially confusing permission models, which is one of the things that we’ve started working on. How we can provide consumers on who has control over the access to their own data?"