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Open source software is now one of the primary drivers for technology innovation, while open source communities can often serve as an exemplar for how modern software development is carried out in fast-moving organisations. We are proud to have been participating and contributing to these communities, when open source technologies ran only on under-desk computers powering “Shadow IT” to now helping to drive the modern datacentre and public clouds. It’s no surprise that driving community-powered innovation through participation is part of Red Hat’s DNA.

As this shift occurs across industries and regions, organisations are now asking Red Hat, as a strategic partner, to help them better adopt open source technologies as foundational elements of their datacentres. More than just seeking to save money and take advantage of technological innovation, we are seeing more enterprises want to actually participate in open source communities and adopt some of their principles, which can lead to better agility, increased responsiveness to changing business needs and increased collaboration.

We have been helping customers adopt open source practices and culture through our global consulting practice but recently, after discussions with our customers, we have created a formal offering. Red Hat's Open Innovation Labs is a consulting service that seeks to help companies integrate people, methodology, and open technology to solve business challenges during an 8-12 week residency.

Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs launched globally a few months ago and, today, we’re proud to announce that we’ll be opening our first dedicated European space in London in early Spring 2017.

But what does that mean in practice for our UK and EMEA-based customers?

You can think of Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs as a startup incubator designed for the enterprise. Your team will join us in a residency in our Labs to work collaboratively with our experts, helping to build solutions to your business problems using Red Hat’s open source technology stack and DevOps methods. Organisational and cultural change can be hard to drive in your day-to-day environment; it can be easy to get side-tracked by ongoing activities or be held back by your organisation’s processes and inertia, helping to prevent you from taking advantage of your full potential. By working side by side with us, you can be able to more rapidly accelerate your business initiatives, by working on creative new digital applications or revitalising existing projects, such as moving a monolithic application to a modern micro-services architecture.

The dedicated London lab and our ability to run pop-up labs, from Amsterdam to Zurich, is an exciting offering for our customers.

The Open Innovation Labs are about inspiring a new way of working, helping enterprise IT teams discover a new way of working within the open source model and better equipping and training these teams to bring this change back to their organisations after completing the residency. With the right mix of new technology and expert help, you can better innovate in new, more nimble ways, bringing the start-up, community-style mindset to your organisation.