ChannelLife Australia logo
Industry insider news for Australia's technology resellers
Story image

Exclusive interview: Red Hat on their A/NZ partner ecosystem

By Patrick Martlew
Tue 12 Dec 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Red Hat has been picking up steam in the local regions over the course of 2017.

While surges in interest in Hybrid cloud adoption, mobility and automation have played into their hands, the channel minded company attributes a well-rounded partner ecosystem as a driver of their growth.

We caught up with Colin Garro, Red Hat sales and channel director to give us an update on how their channel progress in 2017 and where they’re going headed into next year as they leverage the expertise of their partner programs.

In terms of the Red Hat Connect partner programs, how would you describe the progress of this program over the last couple of years?

I’ve been looking after the A/NZ channel business for just over 5 years now, and over that time it’s been an interesting journey.  We’ve got a 3 tier channel model that incorporates the most experienced through to the less experienced. I’ve deliberately avoided using ‘the biggest to the smallest’ there because we look at our partners irrespective of size and more focused on capability.

Our strategy in A/NZ has been very focused, so it’s not about creating hundreds and thousands of partners in the ecosystem. Whilst we welcome any partner in our ecosystem, it’s been about that focus. We proactively manage about 15 partners across Australia and about another half a dozen or so in New Zealand.

The key message is there is that we have a range of business partners across the advanced, ready and other unaffiliated classifications, but our advanced business partners don’t necessarily have to be our biggest partners. They’re the partners that have met the required qualifications, but what is of more interest to me is what experience that they have and what values they offer our customers.

You mentioned the three partners of advanced, premier and unaffiliated, can you just expand a bit on those specifications?

Ultimately it comes down to the number of accreditations they’ve got. The more accreditations they have, whether it be sales, pre-sales or delivery accreditations, the more of those that they have will qualify them into a particular tier.

Our advanced business partners have more accreditations, while our unaffiliated aren’t required to have any accreditations, although we welcome them into the program as it allows them to sell our software and solutions to our customer base.

What do you look for in partners?

For us, it’s about willingness to engage, invest and enable. Those three things form the key pillars of what we partner around. To me, a partnership needs to be something that’s around mutually beneficial, so if I ask a partner to invest in enablement, they’re going to want to see that they’ll get some sort of return on that.

Ultimately we build a plan and establish what we’re going to focus on, who are we going to focus that energy on, and what are the outcomes that we are going to see as a result of that.

If that plan isn’t mutually beneficial, and if it's just about selling Red Hat subscriptions, partners will become disenfranchised because they won’t be able to build a good Red Hat practice.

However, if there are services that allows them to engage in transformational projects, it allows them to architect, design, deploy and operate coherent and efficient systems and solutions for our customers, then there's a viable business forum and they’ll be more interested in working with us.

Last but not least, we’ve got a finite amount of people within our service organisation. Our intent is not to build a services organisation, it’s there to help our customers deploy our software.

We look to our channel to be able to complement our services organisation when we’re working with our customers. So the channel is our first port of call when we need capability here that we don’t have or we need capability on a particular technology, that’s how we think about engaging the channel.

In the age of subscriptions and ‘as-a-service’, does Red Hat see the channel as important as it once was? Why is the channel still so fundamental?

The channel is absolutely critical. Vendors don’t have an untapped workforce, so the channel aids you in reaching a customer base, we just can’t do it by ourselves. Whether it’s reach or the thousands of transactions that take place on an annual basis it’s definitely critical Vendors.

If we were to handle every single transaction that took place within Australia and New Zealand directly, we’d need a huge dedicated workforce just to accomplish that. The channel is critical to give us scale out into our customer base, and to allow us to deliver on our business imperatives.

What does Red Hat offer to partners in terms of benefits and advantages?

We make all of the training that our partners need to meet the requirements of the program free of charge. We provide that all online so that partners can work at their own pace. Clearly, I’m acutely conscious of the fact that any enablement is an investment of time, so we want to make sure that any enablement is free to them.

We’ve now started to introduce advanced accreditation, which is on top of delivery accreditation that is a core part of the program. With advanced accreditation, we bring an instructor in from wherever that core capability exists, and it’s actually the same training that we make available to our internal people, and once again we don’t charge for that.

When I talked about focus partners, they allocate a general account manager who then becomes the glue between them and us and helps to build plans, while also organising marketing energies so that we can go to market successfully.

So making the training free and allocating resources to help them grow their business are big benefits. Hopefully, that results in a successful Red Hat practice for our partners.

You have two training programs, the partner enablement network and the Red Hat training certification program, how do each of these specifically operate?

The accreditation is purely related to the partner program, while certification can be done by anyone. Certification training is quite a well-recognised program and In fact, I was reading a Gartner article recently where they talked about the competitive advantages that individuals receive when they complete the certification training.

The core difference between the two is that one is part of a program and one is a certification that stays with someone for the rest of their life. They’re very different in the target audience for those programs.

What do you foresee as the major challenges in growing the partner program going forward?

Our challenge is around how we identify and work with the right partners, and once we’ve done that, we need to assess how we create a solid value proposition for them that will make them want to invest in a Red Hat Practice. Once we’ve gotten to that point, we need to look at developing and executing a plan that will foster mutual benefits.

I’m not sure that I would classify that as a challenge. For us, we need to continue to grow our business because we’ve had 62 consecutive quarters of growth, which even in itself provides an opportunity to the channel.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Ericsson and Ciena, Telstra enhance service capacity for Telstra's optical network
Ericsson, Telstra, and Ciena have announced new enhancements to Telstra's Next Generation Optical Network, which will increase the service capacity of Telstra's optical network to 400 GE (Gigabit per Second Ethernet).
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
What brands can expect from Amazon Prime Day in Australia
Amazon Prime Day is the annual two-day shopping event, kicking off this year from July 12-13 and is the global online shopping platform's biggest sales event. 
Story image
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards finalists for 2022 announced
Finalists have been announced for this year's 2022 Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS Awards), recognising the achievements of online retailers in Australia.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Human Resources / HR
Honeywell launch third RAP in support of Reconciliation Australia
"RAPs provide a framework to leverage their structures and diverse spheres of influence to support the national reconciliation movement."
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
NEC expands Open RAN ecosystem with Aspire Tech acquisition
With its agreement to acquire Aspire Technology, NEC Corporation has further increased its capacity to deliver End-to-End Open RAN ecosystems.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria entrusts Oracle support and security to Rimini Street
“Our finance team are very happy with the support and security that Rimini Street provides, which keeps our assets and our customers secure."
Story image
Online shopping
Consumers want speed, visibility in return for brand loyalty
72% of Australian shoppers want complete online order visibility and 63% are loyal to retailers who deliver goods the fastest.
Story image
ASI Solutions named finalist of Microsoft Surface Partner of the Year
"ASI Solutions has a strong Microsoft focus, building value by helping customers maximise investment in modern workplace solutions."
Story image
Civil Defence
OutSystems platform chosen as part of ADF contract
"To be included in this project is a reflection of our ability to deliver secure, modern digital outcomes for defence at an incredible pace."
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Google Cloud launches new Digital Accelerator bundles for Aussie SMBs
The new bundles are designed to help Australian small and medium-sized businesses embrace digital transformation and take their businesses online.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Sony releases a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers
Sony has unveiled INZONETM, a new gaming gear brand for PC gamers that makes gaming more immersive and offers greater gaming ability.
Story image
Hands-on review – CleanMyMac X utility for macOS
We get hands-on with a useful utility that macOS users never thought they needed but probably do.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
SAS wins Microsoft ISV 2022 Partner of the Year award
"We formed the SAS and Microsoft strategic partnership with a shared goal of making it easier for customers to drive better decisions in the cloud."
Story image
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.