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Every year I look forward to Red Hat Summit as a moment to collaborate, innovate and gain inspiration from our partner ecosystem. Now more than ever, I am convinced that this is the age of the ecosystem. The industry is booming with emerging technologies, which are influencing organizations to rethink the ways in which they operate, optimize and scale their business. For many, this means reconciling existing systems and infrastructure with new solutions. Long gone are the days of a single datacenter and single cloud strategy.

At the center of today’s IT landscape is the opportunity of artificial intelligence (AI). Today, you heard Red Hat discuss: The cloud is hybrid. So is AI. But what does this mean for our partner ecosystem? And with this in mind, how is Red Hat modernizing its partner program and go-to-market strategy to help partners evolve alongside Red Hat and our customers?  

Modernizing partner engagement

Each of our partners delivers something utterly unique to customers. It’s Red Hat’s job to ensure that we are maximizing the value that each partner brings to the table. We do this through transparent, open collaboration. As part of Red Hat’s updated partner engagement model, we are truly integrating partners within the Red Hat sales and technology communities – after all, the partner ecosystem is the fabric connecting technologies, applications and services to deliver flexibility and choice to customers.

Earlier this year, Red Hat announced the transformation of our partner engagement model. We assessed the full spectrum of Red Hat’s partner enablement, tools, resources, sales practices and learning paths to create a more cohesive, streamlined model to help empower partners as they bring innovative, co-created solutions to customers. By implementing a modular partner engagement model, supported by a more consistent and operationalized approach to incentives, tooling and programming, Red Hat is fostering greater simplicity and flexibility for partners as they extend their work with Red Hat and others across the broader ecosystem.

Capturing market opportunities

Simply put, Red Hat cannot achieve our AI vision without the support and active collaboration of our partner ecosystem globally. AI is not “one size fits all,” just as no single vendor can address every customer demand alone. Spanning digital labor, infrastructure, conversational AI and more, Red Hat’s vibrant partner ecosystem is skilled and poised to address the full spectrum of AI use cases with customers.

Today we announced several updates with hardware vendors and GPU providers like AMDIntel and NVIDIA to deliver greater optionality for customers when it comes to GPU resources and AI-optimized hardware. In addition, Red Hat is expanding our work with independent software vendors (ISVs) such as ElasticRun:ai and Stability AI to make it easier for customers to access critical AI capabilities directly from their Red Hat OpenShift AI console. Furthermore, Red Hat’s extensive catalog of certified AI/ML partner applications can be natively integrated within Red Hat OpenShift, as well as provide complementary or extended capabilities on Red Hat OpenShift AI.

By deepening our collaborations with leading hardware, software and application vendors, we are helping customers prepare for and thrive in an AI-centric world. While organizations aim to better understand all of the implications that AI brings – to their bottom line, business needs and operations – they need technologies and partners that can meet their business needs today while delivering the flexibility to be agile tomorrow. Many may find themselves at a crossroads in their IT roadmap, whether it’s migrating virtualized applications, moving workloads from the cloud to the datacenter or continuing on their cloud-native transformation. Now, they are also considering how AI fits into that vision.

As we continue to connect with partners this week at Red Hat Summit, I am energized by what the future holds for the ecosystem and our customers. This year, I am thrilled to host a dedicated partner ecosystem keynote to dig deeper into the market landscape together and demonstrate the strength of the Red Hat partner ecosystem – one founded on enablement, innovation and creating opportunities.

About the author

Stefanie Chiras is Senior Vice President of Partner Ecosystem Success at Red Hat, leading Red Hat’s global partner ecosystem engagement, and plays a critical role in increasing the understanding of the value of Red Hat's product portfolio within the ecosystem, defining the strategy for partnering with Red Hat for customer success. 

Prior to joining Red Hat in 2018, Chiras served as Vice President of Offering Management at IBM Cognitive Systems. As part of the Cognitive Systems brand team, she led worldwide business for the systems and software portfolios, AIX, IBM i, Linux, and the cloud stack. She has extensive experience in both business and technology, including technical roles that range from silicon technology to system architecture.

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