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This week, Red Hat is celebrating an important milestone. It’s been five years since we acquired Ansible, an open source community project with a new way to approach managing systems and applications. Now, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a full, enterprise-class solution and recognized leader in infrastructure automation that has been adopted extensively by our customer and partner ecosystems over the past five years.

While many factors have likely contributed to this demand, we cannot point to increased adoption and expansion without also acknowledging Red Hat’s partner ecosystem. Our partners are responsible for supporting customers through certified content, expertise and integrated Ansible solutions that help automate systems worldwide. From facilitating engineered solutions to managed services, partners play a fundamental role in Red Hat’s journey with Ansible Automation Platform and the technology’s expansion so far.

In honor of this Red Hat and Ansible anniversary, we’re reflecting on some lessons learned with our partners in recent years. 

Lesson #1: End-to-end automation is a necessity 

As the industry continues to move toward hybrid and multicloud environments, it has become more important to bridge the divide from traditional platforms and containers all the way to the edge. We recognize that with this new cloud-native era comes new barriers and management needs. Yesterday, Red Hat announced the integration between Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes and Ansible Automation Platform, designed to connect traditional platforms, containers and edge through automation. 

This is another step forward to help our partners and customers navigate their cloud journeys. By making it easier to use automation for Red Hat OpenShift environments, we are helping drive application modernization and breaking down workflow silos. 

Lesson #2: Listen to developers

When it comes to Ansible Automation Platform, developers are often the primary users of the platform and therefore critical to the decision-making process for customers. We’ve discovered that our partners are able to drive more impactful outcomes for customers when the developer teams are brought into the fold. Red Hat’s independent software vendors (ISVs) and Certified Cloud Solution Providers (CCSPs) can help remove the pain points associated with technology adoption, integration and deployment so developers can focus on creativity and innovation. 

Lesson #3: Success is achieved together, not apart

Red Hat firmly believes that our partners are critical to customer success, and we have learned that both Red Hat and our partners can accomplish more when we work hand-in-hand. With this in mind, Red Hat launched the Ansible Automation Certification Program to help partners grow market awareness for automation solutions and better educate customers on the benefits of Ansible Automation technologies. 

Today, we have more than 50 certified partners in the Ansible Automation ecosystem and most recently have seen a rise in security partners. As enterprises face a growing number of security threats and attempt to maintain operations and efficiency, Red Hat’s partners are using Ansible Automation Platform to help customers connect and automate various security vendor platforms. In just the past few months, Red Hat has certified seven new security partner integrations for Ansible Automation Platform.  

Lesson #4: Don’t forget about mid-market customers

Ansible Automation Platform has the ability to automate systems from end-to-end, which makes it a crucial tool for companies looking to improve efficiency and consistency across operations. Red Hat has many partners that focus on what we call engineered solutions, or solutions that Red Hat and a partner jointly contribute to. We have found that automation is particularly useful in these cases where Red Hat and a partner are combining multiple technology components to form a cohesive solution.

Many mid-market customers are tied to existing infrastructure, whether out of desire or necessity. When Red Hat partners approach these customers, they can do so knowing that solutions like Ansible Automation Platform can offer flexibility and scalability regardless. 

Lesson #5: This is only the beginning 

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform has been a transformative solution for many of our partners and customers, especially in a world where efficiency, security and agility are essential. Automation is especially key for partners involved in managed services. In fact, one Red Hat partner relies on Ansible Automation Platform to manage over half a million endpoints for their managed services outsourced customers. As a result, the customers have experienced heightened productivity and are now interested in exploring the use of Ansible Automation Platform in other areas such as networking and multicloud management. Based on this usage by our partners and managed services outsourcing providers, Red Hat has been able to make further improvements to the Ansible Automation Platform to continue meeting partner and customer needs.

It’s been a remarkable and inspiring journey with Ansible Automation Platform and our partners over the past five years. Together, we have already made great strides to improve automation practices for our joint customers. While there have been many milestones and lessons learned already, we look forward to many more to come with the Red Hat Ansible Automation partner ecosystem.

About the author

Terri Hall is vice president of Global Partners and Alliances at Red Hat. She is responsible for driving strategy and revenue growth through the Red Hat OEM, GSI, ISV and Cloud partner ecosystems. Prior to joining Red Hat in January of 2016, Hall served as group vice president of Alliances and Channels at Oracle Corporation.

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