Behind Red Hat's growth in the local channel

Behind Red Hat's growth in the local channel

Looking into how partners are reaping success in the Red Hat ecosystem

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In the Australian and New Zealand market, Red Hat has continuously grown its share of business through the channel, which is sitting at around 60 per cent of bookings.

The growth has significantly increased in the past 18 months, coinciding with the appointment of Garry Gray to lead the channel charge in the region. 

Red Hat A/NZ managing director Max McLaren admitted that, prior to Gray’s appointment, it hadn’t been that successful with channel partnerships in the past, but there was still room for growth and the improvements it has made to date are clear. 

“We can’t be what we are without our ecosystem and partner community,” Gray said. “The growth in our business is directly attributable to both those elements. It’s easy to say we do all these great things, but at the end of the day, without the contributions to open source by us and the broader open source community, we wouldn’t get the innovation that we have to take to market without our partners actively engaged in that conversation as we wouldn’t be able to deliver those solutions and find the customers for them.” 

One partner that has been there for the long-haul is Melbourne-based Advent One. Established in 2000, the company specialises in enterprise storage, virtualisation, Unix, IBM-i, Linux and Windows, and also has a managed platform as-a-service offering, PlatformOne. 

To top it off, it is one of the very few partners globally that is both an IBM Platinum partner and a Red Hat Advanced partner. 

“We’re not only engaged as a channel organisation in Red Hat, but we’re also hand in glove with Red Hat sellers, to understand how we can support them,” Advent One CEO Jon Ossip said. “We see ourselves as an extension and we’re trying to achieve the same outcome, also building the Red Hat brand in the market, giving it a red hot crack.”

Ossip said it had invested significantly in recent years to achieve its Advanced partner status, and will continue to upskill its professional services people, deliver on the projects its engaged in, and continue to build and execute on what has been built. 

“Our business matures and reinvents by our customers dragging us along and making us mature and reinvent in order to stay relevant to them. That relevance is driven around providing value to our customers, not because we tell them there’s value, but because that’s how they perceive it as such. That sees us maintain diverse but complementary capabilities around cloud and cloud migration, consulting and managed services. 

“Where all these big rocks intercept, we’re able to help our customers in the areas of multi and hybrid cloud, multi data centre, cloud migration and our investments in Red Hat is the cornerstone and enabling technology for us to deliver these capabilities,” Ossip said. 

Auckland-based Section6, has been operating in the market for the past five years, and up until six months ago, also launched itself into Australian sphere predominantly working with enterprise, government, financial services, utilities and public sector organisations. 

The company provides architecture and implementation assistance with enterprise class open source platforms for containerisation, microservices, enterprise application integration, security, and platform-as-a-service. 

“We’re really trying to help organisations drive innovation in the digital space, not just into their systems of engagement, but also their core systems, and to transform the way that they’re delivering these solutions using a much more open way of collaboration within the organisations,” managing director Clemens Berndt said. 

Furthermore Berndt said it was introducing kit sets for customers, a set of repeatable patterns that are known to work, to help overcome the learning curve. 

 “A lot of our customers can definitely see the need to transform and to adopt not just new sets of technologies, but also different ways around working those technologies,” he said. 

“The challenge for the digital enterprise and adopting and leveraging the innovation, creates some complexities around support, security, compliance, regulatory issues, policy and so on. 

“We see Red Hat as a key partner to really deliver solutions that customers can have the best of both worlds - they can adopt these new ways of working, getting access to the latest innovation, learn the ways of working in a community and can do that in a way that also meets their other organisational needs.”

Additionally, Berndt said that automation was a critical platform and it has been developing an automation reference architecture framework to enable customers and deliver solutions.

Creating reusable automation and patterns, is one area where organisations could still realise value, he said.

“Having really good automation has had an impact on us, and the amount of investment from us as a partner and as a customer will add value in the areas where Red Hat hasn’t pushed into or where there’s more specialist requirements, but it’s also reducing technical debt,” he said. 

Consulting partner, Counterparts Technology, has been a Red Hat partner for the past 18 months. Co-founder and managing director of the four-year old business, Matt Wynn-Jones, said since it began engaging with Red Hat, the conversation takes a different pace and is mainly in front of developers and financial controllers deciphering ways on how to reduce IT budget and resources in order to gain the most efficiency and maintain higher levels of security.  

“Our thing is building trust and confidence with the customer and now applying that high level of skill,” he said. 

“The whole partner-to-partner network is extremely valuable for us within Red Hat. The partner ecosystem is complex, and it does rely on trust and goodwill, and what we can do to foster a more robust ecosystem, where our skills can be leveraged by others is a really good thing. 

“We try to collaborate as much as possible.”

Julia Talevski attended Red Hat Forum in Melbourne as a guest of Red Hat.

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