AI, automation and edge driving Red Hat channel

Vendor looks to identify areas where its partners can make a difference and provide support

Red Hat is looking to work closely with its channel to co-create opportunities, particularly around artificial intelligence (AI), automation and edge, as it continues to build on the momentum it’s generated with partners.

The vendor recently held its Summit, updating partners on products and plans for the year ahead, with Penny Philpot, vice-president for EMEA ecosystem at Red Hat, among those in attendance.

“Red Hat’s growth has always been fuelled by partners, who globally contribute to 70-plus percent of our revenue,” she said. “In EMEA, we have a strong base of partners that are really leaning in to work with us and our customers. A major driver is the way companies are looking to wrap their arms around AI, automation and edge computing.

“We’re focusing on co-creation with our partners as we see this is the key to helping customers capitalise on all these major tech trends while facing constrained budgets, scarcity of skills and greater demands than ever,” said Philpot. “Interoperability and jointly engineered solutions are more and more crucial if we want to bridge existing and new technologies.”

She said the firm was looking to expand and deepen how it worked with partners across all segments and regions.

“Two specific examples come to mind,” said Philpot. “We recently announced a no-cost subscription model, Red Hat Partner Subscriptions, which increases access to the Red Hat open hybrid cloud portfolio. This is particularly useful for partners when developing software solutions and proof-of-concepts, testing product offerings or enhancing technical skills.

“Secondly, we launched a range of initiatives at EMEA level to help partners with additional training and marketing tools,” she said. “An example is our Leading with Automation initiative, which is designed to recognise, elevate and reward partners using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform (AAP). This includes opportunities for additional margin, exclusive partner badges showcasing AAP expertise, dedicated marketing content and sales tools, enablement material, and exclusive sessions with our Ansible sales experts.”

Driving business through partners

The rest of this year will see the vendor continue to expand its efforts to drive more business through partners.

“Our growth strategy has partners at the centre, and we are looking to expand our proactive working model with all partner routes to market – especially those that can support our growth in the cloud, including hyperscalers and cloud solution providers,” said Philpot.

“Our role is to provide a consistent and secure experience across the hybrid cloud that is certified with a vast range of workloads to run on it. Another focus is to expand our support for customer business transformation with industry-leading ISVs,” she added.

“Ultimately, we’re looking for partners to lean in as an extension of Red Hat,” continued Philpot. “We see so much opportunity to combine each organisation’s unique skillset and focus to complement each other and solve business challenges. There is lots of scope to add services and delivery capabilities to solutions, especially when supporting our customers in the hybrid cloud.”

One of the key drivers will be around edge computing, and Red Hat views it as an extension of hybrid cloud and a place where its channel can make a difference.

“The need for consistency and portability across different underlying infrastructure applies all the way out to the edge of the network or the enterprise,” said Philpot. “We believe an open architecture based on containers is fundamental for scaling edge applications across distributed hardware platforms and environments.

“Edge computing solutions are complex, needing multiple technologies to work together,” she said. “No single vendor can meet all the business and technical needs of an edge computing use case. This is where collaboration and co-creation come in. There is a huge opportunity with edge to help enterprises develop holistic strategies. With our partners, we are prototyping and testing solutions and models that can scale to address the challenges and use cases of today and tomorrow.”

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