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Santiago Madruga, head of EMEA Telco & ICT at Red Hat, outlines his team’s vision and strategy as he steps into his new role

Businesses are increasingly going digital. Services that were previously too expensive or simply not feasible can now be possible with a new wave of software-defined, communications-intensive technologies.

Communications service providers (CSPs) are at the heart of the digital value chain, with organizations across industries relying on communications networks and computing power for crucial elements of their services.

To meet these needs, networks should be reliable, elastic, more secure and location-sensitive. They should also be agile to enable the introduction of new services and capabilities more quickly and economically.

Networks now need to service not only consumers or centralized enterprises, but also dispersed devices and sensors that interconnect and distribute computing and storage capacity across the network in the Internet of Things.

These changes are already happening. Pure-play digital companies are disrupting the market, using open source technologies to help increase competitiveness and accelerate modernization.

Open source software can offer faster innovation and service lifecycles free from vendor lock-in. In essence, more hands come together in open communities, helping to find solutions faster and increase the speed of innovation. Open source software can be hardware agnostic, enabling the decoupling of software from hardware, allowing for freedom of choice as well as nimbleness and cost-efficiencies.

Red Hat plays an important role as a leading contributor in many key open source communities, collaborating to help define next-generation solutions for, among others, telcos and more broadly for the information and communications industry.

Beyond its code contribution and engineering work with open source communities, Red Hat invests to test, certify, document, support and provide associated services as part of its offering to customers.

Red Hat has been doing this for more than two decades, with successes across many industries (including telco) in datacenter environments, providing both efficiency gains and innovation opportunities.

In fact, 100% of telcos in the Fortune Global 500 rely on Red Hat already. Now with a focus on OpenStack, companies like Fastweb are modernizing their infrastructure with software-defined capabilities. Swisscom is another great example of innovation we’re seeing – it has built a more secure, unified and flexible cloud platform offered on-demand to its clients, based on Red Hat technologies.

Taking it a step further, T-Systems is already offering vertical-ready cloud services, which it expects will include container application platform technologies from Red Hat. Meanwhile, Telefonica is using Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to help its enterprise clients create mobile applications in a faster and back-office integrated way.

This is all very good - but it is not enough. To enable telcos and ICT companies to play a central role in the digital transformation of the economy, we must help them improve at the network service level.

To this end, Red Hat has built collaborations within the telco ecosystem, including forging alliances with leaders like Ericsson, Nokia, Telefonica and Intel, to enable its solutions and service levels to deliver on industry needs.

As a result, Red Hat and its ecosystem of partners are today able to provide pre-integrated, production-grade NFV infrastructure solutions - like that which Cisco is offering.

For Red Hat, the open source solutions leader, this is an exciting time. Our associates across the globe are helping enterprises in a great many industries along their quest to become more digital. We are in an exciting position to help support the backbone that they all require: the connectivity telcos provide.

Personally, I feel privileged to be part of this transformation together with the Red Hat family, our partners and our customers.

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