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Every year we gather our partners, Red Hat executives and industry thought leaders together at our North America Partner Conference to network, learn and celebrate our robust partner ecosystem. This year’s event is especially exciting because 2018 marks Red Hat’s 25th anniversary. It’s a great time to reflect on how much our partner network has grown, look where we’re going in the future and showcase some of the partners who contribute to our success.

The North America Partner Conference is one of my favorite events each year because it feels like an extended family reunion. It’s our chance to connect with many of our partners in person at the same time, share our knowledge and expertise, as well as listen and learn about their successes and the challenges they face. The theme this year is “Stronger Together” and I can’t think of a more apt description of our relationship with our partners. Together we are able to accomplish so much more than we can alone. Discussions that happen this week start ripples that will continue to expand throughout the year and help inform future changes that we make to our partner program.

The cornerstone of Red Hat’s approach has always been collaboration and engagement. Nowhere is that more evident than in our relationships with our partner ecosystem. Without those partners and the close relationships we have with them, Red Hat would look very different.

There is one group of partners that epitomizes this approach, Red Hat Apex partners in North America. Formerly known as the Red Hat Application Platform Partner Initiative, our Red Hat Apex partners help customers across the three pillars of Red Hat’s business: hybrid cloud infrastructure; cloud-native application development; and IT automation and management.

They do this by investing their business in application development, delivery and integration services. We have added more than 30 Red Hat Apex partners since June 2017 and nearly 50 percent of those partners are new to Red Hat. Collectively, these partners have achieved more than 2,300 individual partner accreditations within these solution areas, becoming advisors to customers looking for business transformation that can prepare their organizations for the future.  

As the IT landscape continues to change and new challenges arise more quickly, it’s important to recognize the vital role our entire partner network plays in Red Hat’s business. They’ve helped us become the world’s leading provider of open source solutions and will continue to help shape us into the future.

Linux changed enterprise IT and remains the foundation of Red Hat’s portfolio. It is the platform of choice for developers and also serves a foundation of hybrid cloud architectures, allowing for the consistent foundation customers require wherever apps are deployed. The strategic role it plays everywhere from the datacenter to the cloud has elevated Red Hat to an even more strategic role with our customers. For our partners, this can result in a significant business opportunity as they deliver valuable solutions that help customers across industries use the best of open source innovation to deliver modern applications.

The North America Partner Conference is where we come together with our partners to learn, collaborate, and celebrate their innovation and impact. Customer interest in open source-based, hybrid cloud solutions to help them achieve the promise of digital transformation has never been stronger, thanks in large measure to the partners who are helping deliver those solutions. I’m excited to spend the next few days exploring all that Red Hat and our partners have to offer those customers together.

Learn more about the Red Hat Partner Program.


D. Martin is vice president of North America Partner Sales at Red Hat.


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