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Taking a page from Red Hat president and CEO, Paul Cormier’s post, I’d like to take a moment to recognize what the past year has meant for the partner ecosystem and where we go from here. Not for the first time, we heard Paul explain the importance of partners in Red Hat’s story: 

"The channel is what made Red Hat. Without our partner ecosystem, Red Hat would be a very different company."

Partners are the connective tissue between Red Hat and customers. This has remained true throughout most of Red Hat’s history, this was true in 2020, and it will be our truth as we grow in 2021 together. Red Hat and our partners proved to be resilient this past year, but what stands out to me is the momentum fueled by partners in a time filled with uncertainty and challenges. 

When the world changed, Red Hat leaned on our open source foundation and extensive partner ecosystem to help support customers shift and scale to meet new demands. Organizations were forced to adjust operations and services overnight and, in many cases, began accelerating digital transformation. Open hybrid cloud is no longer just an opportunity but a business imperative.

With this in mind, Red Hat partners have become more united than ever, leading customers worldwide into a more secure, open future. As we look ahead, I have nothing but confidence and pride in what we've accomplished with the Red Hat partner ecosystem. We know the best is yet to come. 

Embracing change

The technology industry prides itself on constant evolution and innovation. We can agree that 2020 was one for the books, but Red Hat and our partners have come out on the other side stronger and prepared for whatever the future may hold. 

Last year we introduced the Renewals Intelligence platform in order to equip partners with clear, actionable data to drive their renewals business with Red Hat. From historical performance to predictive sales insights, the Renewals Intelligence platform helps partners track business opportunities to retain and grow their customer base. Now, more than 180 Red Hat channel partners worldwide are using Renewals Intelligence. 

As organizations around the world continued or adjusted their digital transformation in 2020, our partners were there to help them find success. In particular, we saw Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform being used as platforms to support flexible, agile and automated workloads across our global partner ecosystem. Here are a few standout partner success stories that demonstrate how the Red Hat open hybrid cloud portfolio is being used around the world: 

  • Advent One, a leading Australian managed service provider (MSP) that specializes in hybrid cloud solutions, used Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to automate the deployment of services to customers. With Red Hat, Advent One reduced deployment times by approximately 50%, created a self-service portal for customers and advanced their skills via Red Hat training courses. 

  • Optiz Consulting is a digital services provider based in Germany that became a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner in order to expand its support and offerings for customers. Red Hat OpenShift is now the foundation for Optiz’s OpenDevStack platform to help customers migrate monolithic applications to a microservices architecture, improving productivity and accelerating the rate of innovation. 

  • Taashee Linux Services has been a Red Hat partner for more than ten years in the Asia Pacific region, and now, Red Hat solutions comprise 60% of its overall business. Eager to further expand its skills, Taashee joined the Red Hat OpenShift Practice Builder Program to access hands-on training, marketing resources and rebates to build cloud-native practices using Red Hat OpenShift. Since joining the program, Taashee has quadrupled their bookings revenue. 

  • Vizuri, another long-time Red Hat partner based in North America, used several Red Hat technologies, including Red Hat OpenShift, to develop an innovative solution for insurance underwriting. As a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider (CCSP) and Apex partner, Vizuri was able to increase exposure for its solution and influence the sales cycle to drive continued growth. 

Enabling partners with training and accreditation

Another key element to partner success has always been our Red Hat Online Enablement Network (OPEN) program, which supports partners with extensive training and accreditation offerings to help them build further skills around Red Hat products and open hybrid cloud. 

In 2020, we launched 131 new and updated courses for partners around application services, OpenShift, Ansible Automation Platform and Quarkus, to name a few. Red Hat also enhanced the Red Hat OPEN training system user experience with a new sharing functionality for partners to easily share direct links to assets, as well as an added option for partners to receive curated recommendations for training based on their areas of focus. 

All in all, Red Hat partners earned more than 44,000 sales and technical accreditations worldwide last year. 

Looking ahead

This year Red Hat plans to increase engagement across our partner ecosystem using a customer-centric strategy. Together with our partners, we will work towards continued success with customers based on Red Hat technologies and partner innovation. By combining Red Hat’s leading open source portfolio with fine-tuned skills to address today’s dynamic business environment, partners can build new integrated solutions, sell existing software and offer services to deliver heightened business value for customers. 

Many of our partners started with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and then Red Hat OpenShift, but we’ve worked hard to help them stretch across an entire open hybrid cloud architecture. Now, partners have the opportunity to expand their offerings even further to maximize on the benefits of Red Hat technologies, beyond RHEL and OpenShift, to support managed wordloads in any cloud or on-premise environment, cloud-native applications and more. Next, we are setting our sights on the edge, managed services and security

To do this, we are scaling activities with partners worldwide and working to extend relationships with many of our long-time partners. The Red Hat partner ecosystem has always operated on a spectrum - from the solution providers to independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators to strategic alliances with public cloud providers. Entering 2021, many customers are on the path to hybrid cloud, partners are skilled up and Red Hat is looking even more to its partners for mutual success.

We have already made significant strides with our partners with new tools like Renewals Intelligence and expanded OPEN training, and plan to build on that established momentum with the rest of our ecosystem. ISVs and systems integrators in particular are uniquely positioned to grow jointly with Red Hat and can look forward to energized and intentional efforts to build, sell and support solutions together in 2021. 

In addition, we view managed services as a key element to operating in a hybrid cloud and Red Hat partners as the key enablers. OpenShift Dedicated is already offered on many of the major public clouds as a fully-managed service of Red Hat OpenShift on AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. As we extend our offerings with these strategic alliances and public cloud providers, we aim to enable partners and customers across any cloud environment to achieve successful business outcomes. 

There is a lot to look forward to for Red Hat and our partners. Be sure to register for Red Hat Summit 2021, a free, two-part virtual experience for partners, customers and open source enthusiasts. Stay tuned for more updates on how Red Hat plans to elevate our partners! 


About the author

Mark Enzweiler is Senior Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances for Red Hat. In this role, he is responsible for the development and execution of global partners and alliances strategy and sales. He leads the team that builds partner networks to efficiently sell and deliver a complete customer solution using the Red Hat portfolio. He joined Red Hat in 2006 as Vice President of North America Channel Sales.