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Red Hat bolsters support for resellers adding value

EMEA channel boss has indentified areas where the vendor can increase the assistance it gives partners and ways to protect and reward value

Red Hat is increasing the support it offers partners and increasing the protection it provides for those trying to look after their deals.

The firm’s director of partners for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Kevin Bland, has identified a need to increase the support it gives to traditional solution provider partners.

Like many vendors, the firm has dedicated leaders that cover global systems integrators (GSIs), cloud providers and independent software vendors (ISVs), but Bland felt it also needed to have similar levels of dedication with the general reseller base.

“We’re now at this point of evolution where the majority, in terms of number of partners, that sit within our ecosystem are what we would term as traditional, we call them solution providers,” he said, adding that those partners deserved a leader at the vendor to focus on their needs. “At the start of July, I stepped into that role. The reason I did that with passion is because I fundamentally believe that this is the evolution ground.

“We’ve got to connect these partners with our GSI partners, with our ISVs, with CCSPs [certified cloud security partners]. Some will turn into cloud service providers, some will evolve into ISVs, some will be a good route to market for those organisations, and some will supplement it with skills and services,” said Bland.

“We believe that with our additional assistance as a vendor, we can really help drive that integration and drive those partners forward to the new world,” he added. “We want to make sure we recognise the partners’ value, whatever that might be, and give them a framework to work to with Red Hat.”

Bland said his focus for the rest of the year would be to get the support role working, and he was aware it had to be a framework that was scalable and repeatable across EMEA.

At the same time, Red Hat is looking to make life better for all partners with the decision to offer deal registration protection around renewals.

“I’m keen to work out how we can be more encouraging to our partners who are clearly value add and identify those and make sure we’re really supporting those that are out there doing a great job for us and a great job for our customers,” he said.

Since July, the firm has been working on plans to reward value-added partners and has had a soft launch of a scheme that premier partners have been working with to make sure that those delivering the goods get protected throughout the lifecycle of a customer relationship.

“[It is] a programme that rewards partners for working in renewals, where they are clearly adding value to a customer and to us,” he added. “We’re in a subscription world where second year, third year, fourth year, there is a risk for any partner investing in a customer that someone else is going to come and take that away because they’ve got a lower cost model as a business.

“It’s a great message for our partners and I think it demonstrates what we’re about,” he said.

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