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Case study

Version 1 partners with Red Hat to boost customer innovation

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Version 1 boosts customer digital transformation with innovative technology

Technology and digital transformation provider Version 1 has long-standing partner relationships and deep expertise in each of its partners’ technologies to help their customers achieve business success. Its partnership with Red Hat has grown over the past six years with customers such as the Department of Transport and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine seeking innovative Version 1 solutions based on Red Hat technologies. 

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Benefits

  • Brought innovative products and solutions to market faster, improving the customer experience 
  • Provided technical insight crucial to building success for customer accounts
  • Invested in a presence in Ireland, providing invaluable local support

Version 1 achieves business success worldwide

For more than 25 years, leading brands and major public sector organizations across the UK, Ireland, and the greater EMEA region have trusted Version 1 to deliver IT services and solutions for business success. The Irish-founded company with offices across the UK, Ireland, and India prides itself on using IT to make a real difference to businesses. Its 2,000-strong team works closely with its technology partners to help its customers navigate the rapidly changing world of IT.

The company’s excellence in proactive partnerships and technology solutions help make its customers successful. It combines its long-standing partner relationships and deep expertise in each of its partner’s technologies to tailor solutions to its customers’ unique needs. 

Building a partner ecosystem is a priority for Version 1. “I increasingly see that no one company can do everything themselves, or should do everything themselves,” said Karen Murphy, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Version 1. “I’m a big advocate of the partner-to-partner model and leveraging specialist expertise to bring diverse, innovative solutions to our customers.”

Red Hat and Version 1 grow a partnership organically over the years

Version 1 and Red Hat formalized their relationship in 2018 when Version 1 joined the Red Hat Solution Provider Program. “Our relationship with Red Hat has grown organically over the years as more and more of our customers have asked for Red Hat technologies,” said Karl Sullivan, Cloud Partner Manager at Version 1.

When the partners first began working together, Red Hat had no dedicated partner or customer team based in Ireland. In 2019, Red Hat started to build a customer- and partner-focused team across the country.

“We’ve been working closely with our Red Hat team in Ireland on local initiatives since it became established here,” said Nick Tarmey, Infrastructure Architect at Version 1. “That local presence has been invaluable.” Following a Red Hat partner day in Dublin in 2018, Version 1’s partnership with Red Hat became more strategic, with Version 1 joining the Red Hat Advanced Partner Program. 

Expanding the breadth of the partnership

When the partners first met in 2018, they were working together on a client project with the Department of Transport. Version 1 was responsible for the end-to-end API solution, from design through to deployment and maintenance. The technology and digital transformation provider turned to Red Hat for support on Red Hat 3scale API Management, Red Hat Single Sign-On, and Red Hat OpenShift. Red Hat also provided expert advice on microservices and containers. “The department had some very specific requirements that we needed to translate into a technical solution,” said Tarmey. “It was only through working with Red Hat experts that we were able to tease out those technical details and create an effective solution which the customer could understand and subscribe to.”

In parallel with growing its presence in Ireland, Red Hat helped Version 1 organize local events, including internal workshops at Version 1. Red Hat brought in guest speakers from across Ireland and the UK to share their expertise with Version 1 engineers. “Red Hat helped our technical consultants understand how you can solve business problems with Red Hat technologies,” said Tarmey. Other sessions – some locally in Ireland and others elsewhere in the UK – have focused on a wide range of topics. 

But the partnership works both ways. “In Version 1, we find a partner who is progressive and future looking. They take their commitment to driving the success for their customers seriously by developing clever, transformative technology solutions,” said Niamh Carroll, Partner Account Manager for Red Hat Ireland. “We enjoy a strong partnership as Red Hat Ireland can provide the Version 1 team with the face-to-face, hands-on expertise and support that’s needed from a partner.”

More recently, Red Hat and Version 1 have been working with a broader partner ecosystem. For example, Version 1 and Red Hat are now working with Microsoft in Ireland on a Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift marketing campaign. “Red Hat OpenShift is such a great platform for us,” said Karl Sullivan, Cloud Partner Manager at Version 1. “Not only is it a market-leading containerization platform; it’s also a really effective solution which supports a multicloud approach.” In addition, the Red Hat Ireland team is extending the reach of the campaign from what was originally focused on customers in Ireland to including customers across Ireland and the UK.

Version 1 expertise in Red Hat technology boosts business

Brought innovative solutions to market faster

In the beginning, the Smart Text solution as a concept was something Version 1 had been working on as part of its Innovation Labs and Smart Action Suite in use internally at the time. Red Hat’s market development fund initiatives helped Version 1 take that, replatform it and get it to work with Red Hat OpenShift. “From a funding perspective, Red Hat was a big help in terms of getting our solution off the ground,” said John Bolger, Head of Innovation Labs at Version 1. 

Version 1 was selected by its long-standing customer, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to create a new platform called Smart Text. The machine learning (ML) text analysis platform correctly categorizes documents, enhances system security, and allows new features to be implemented faster. The solution was named a Red Hat Innovation Awards Winner at the 2021 Red Hat Summit.

Smart Text, hosted on Red Hat OpenShift, scans uploaded documents and flags potential human errors. “Smart Text greatly reduces both administrative overhead and lost business hours as employees divert efforts to resolve any potential breach,” said Bolger. “It also helps DAFM avoid reputational damage, thanks to the solution’s GDPR risk mitigation capabilities.”

DAFM is very excited by this new capability. It has already signaled its intent to roll out this GDPR risk mitigation capability across other payment schemes it administers due to the success realized to date. “Smart Text is now a key piece of Version 1’s Smart Action Suite set of enterprise-ready productivity applications focused on addressing our customers’ most common challenges,” said Bolger.

Provided crucial technical insight

The technical expertise Red Hat has shared with Version 1 has helped it deliver highly successful, innovative solutions to its customers. Being able to meet customers’ requests for Red Hat technologies has helped Version 1 achieve higher levels of customer success and customer satisfaction.

“With Red Hat’s support, Version 1 was able to accelerate the delivery of solutions built on Red Hat technologies to succeed in growing customer accounts,” said Sullivan. Customers commented positively on how the solutions based on Red Hat technologies that Version 1 has delivered have transformed their business.

“The information and input from Red Hat have been brilliant, and the technical expertise of Red Hat is invaluable to us,” said Tarmey.

“Nobody understands Red Hat’s technologies more than Red Hat themselves. Our close relationship has helped Version 1 gain a deep understanding of Red Hat technologies, to upskill our architects and developers; but, most importantly, it has led us to provide award-winning innovative solutions for our customers,” said Sullivan.

Red Hat OpenShift’s out-of-the-box functionality–with all the innovative capabilities around security, logging, monitoring and CI/CD it provides–combined with Red Hat’s expertise means Version 1 customers realize the full value of their Red Hat solutions, benefitting from Version 1’s freedom to focus on software delivery to maximize return on investment (ROI).

Strengthened support thanks to a local presence

Red Hat’s local presence in Ireland has been helpful for Version 1. While Version 1 had an excellent relationship with Red Hat UK, the UK team was invested across the entire UK market. “Just having somebody local is a great benefit,” said Tarmey. “Having that ability to go and meet face-to-face, do workshops in person, and mobilize people in the company is important.” Local workshops run by Red Hat Ireland have been crucial in engaging Version 1 consultants in learning more about Red Hat OpenShift. 

Sharing Red Hat’s culture of openness and innovation with open source technology helps to deliver value and fosters a closer relationship between the partners. “Having a Red Hat presence in Ireland means we understand Version 1, its values, its culture, and its customers,” said Niamh Carroll, Partner Account Manager, Red Hat Ireland. 

The local office has helped Version 1 enhance its innovative solutions built on Red Hat technologies, using Red Hat’s expertise and support to realize its own growth plans in the partnership. 

Building on a successful partnership with Red Hat

While the partnership between Version 1 and Red Hat may still be new, it has seen a great deal of success. Red Hat was proud to name Version 1 as a 2021 Red Hat Innovation Awards winner for its work with DAFM. 

This project was an example of how, as a leading technology and digital transformation provider, Version 1 can bring additional value to Red Hat’s middleware stack through its innovation team. Version 1 plans to continue to solve customer problems by developing innovative solutions that run on Red Hat technologies.

With plans to soon join the Red Hat ISV Partner Program, the partner anticipates working with Red Hat to package a number of its solutions to resell as off-the-shelf solutions on Red Hat Marketplace. “Red Hat Marketplace will allow us to expand our reach globally,” said Bolger. 

Version 1 is looking forward to growing its partnership with Red Hat. “To date, the support Red Hat has given us has been second to none,” said Sullivan. “I’m looking forward to seeing where this partnership takes us and how it can benefit our customers across commercial and private sectors. There’s a lot of potential for Version 1 and Red Hat.” 

About Version 1

Version 1 proves that IT can make a real difference to our customers’ businesses. We are trusted by global brands to deliver IT services and solutions which drive customer success. Our 2000+ strong team works closely with our technology partners to provide independent advice that helps our customers navigate the rapidly changing world of IT.


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