The Innovation Award winners at the Red Hat Summit 2007 with Red Hat’s CTO, Brian Stevens.

The most encouraging and rewarding part of my job is hearing about, speaking to and witnessing the success that our customers enjoy with the implementation of Red Hat solutions. This year at the Red Hat Summit in San Diego, we had a unique opportunity to meet, hear the stories of and recognize six customers who have used our solutions in the most innovative and impressive ways and were chosen as winners of the first annual Red Hat Innovation Awards. We also had the opportunity to present the Red Hat Innovator of the Year, one of the six category winners that was chosen via online voting by the community.

In February of this year, Red Hat launched the first annual Red Hat Innovation Awards to recognize Red Hat users, customers and partners who stood out for improving processes, overcoming technology challenges and enhancing their bottom line through Red Hat and JBoss solutions. Basically, we wanted to recognize the unique and inventive ways that others are able to use our technology to solve problems specific to their individual companies. In some cases, we provided the technology and support and the user/customer/partner provided the unique modifications necessary to solve the problems at hand. In other cases, our savvy engineers and support teams thought up inventive solutions to solve the distinct challenges that were presented. In the end, Red Hat solutions were used to solve each of the six winners’ unique problems, while providing other encouraging benefits like flexibility, cost savings, heightened performance and more.

The Innovation Awards consisted of six unique categories that have allowed us to share six outstanding customers success stories with you. The winners include:

  • Joint Red Hat/JBoss Deployment: DST Health Solutions
  • Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Implementation: Warner Music Group
  • Increased Return on Investment: ProQuest CSA
  • Ecosystem: McKesson Provider Technologies
  • Emerging and Leading Edge Technologies: Comcast Corporation
  • Innovation In Government: Hill Air Force Base

Today we recognize the Red Hat Innovator of the Year - Hill Air Force Base. Part of the U.S. Air Force, the Utah-located base saw high technical demands from its nearly 23,000 employees. In speaking with those close to the back-end systems, we learned that with the base’s complex Windows and Oracle system, it experienced system shutdowns eight times over a three-month period, costing the base nearly $1 million per hour of downtime. What Hill Air Force Base needed was a reliable, secure and cost-effective solution. They found this solution here at Red Hat. We were able to provide the base with help in its data center restructuring using secure Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With our solutions, Hill Air Force Base was able to spend just two percent of the cost of the its old operating system. And then Hill’s CIO brought further innovation to our solutions. He built a new system from scratch with no effects on existing users. The system was up and functioning over a weekend’s time. Since, Hill has reduced its footprint by 25 percent. The nightly load time went from 12 to three hours per night. Total cost of ownership was lowered and the system’s reliability and security have been heightened. Hill Air Force Base truly deserves its title as Innovator of the Year and we extend our congratulations.

Meeting the representatives from each of the Innovation Award-winning companies as well as our other valued customers was, as always, an incredible experience. The award winners all participated in a panel discussion about their use of and success with Red Hat and JBoss solutions, attended multiple customer events and were recognized during our closing keynote at the Summit. These stories are a great testament to our focus on customers at Red Hat. We see incredible customer-driven innovation in our community that guides us to set our company direction based on customer wants and needs. These category-winning innovators are perfect examples of the customers who have made Red Hat what it is today. On behalf of our whole company, I’d like to extend congratulations again to all of our winners and also wish to encourage others with innovative stories of Red Hat and JBoss solutions to submit stories in next year’s Innovation Awards.