Interview

BANKING ON OPEN COLLABORATION

Ritesh Syal, Director, Partner Ecosystem, Red Hat India/SAARC, India.

Through open hybrid cloud, Red Hat delivers a flexible cloud experience that is centred on speed, stability, and scale – all prerequisites for digital transformation

One of the largest enterprise open-source software solution providers in the world, Red Hat believes in the creation of better software by tapping into the collective talent and innovation of open-source communities. Red Hat uses an open-source software development model to create its enterprise open-source products and solutions. Red Hat is a proud contributor to all aspects of the software stack, from the operating system and developer toolchain to middleware, desktop, and cloud. Red Hat developers actively participate in hundreds of well-known open-source projects like the Docker container engine, Kubernetes and OpenStack, and many many more.

[quote font=”tahoma” font_size=”13″ font_style=”italic” color=”#262626″ bgcolor=”#f9f9f9″]

In order for partners to be successful, they will have to collaborate with multiple vendors to provide a complete solution to their customers.

Ritesh Syal
Director, Partner Ecosystem,
Red Hat India/SAARC, India

[/quote]

To get a glimpse into the world of Red Hat’s Partner ecosystem and channel business, we had caught up with Ritesh Sayal, Director, Partner Ecosystem, Red Hat India / SAARC.

As Director, Partner Ecosystem, Red Hat India / SAARC, Ritesh Sayal is responsible for growing Red Hat’s Channel Business in the region. In his career spanning over two decades, he has been associated with organizations like Nutanix, Oracle, and SAP. Proficient in handling marketing operations encompassing sales and marketing, channel management, sales planning, product launch, team management, and client servicing, he is a resourceful leader who has managed large corporate business partners.

In this special interaction, Ritesh Syal, Director, Partner Ecosystem, Red Hat India / SAARC, reveals his vision and channel strategy, key focus areas in channel business, growth roadmap for 2023, and much more. Edited Excerpts…

Please give a brief introduction to your company.  

We are the largest enterprise open-source software solution provider in the world. Open source has made way for almost all the technology innovations like analytics, AI, ML, and blockchain including cloud computing and as we embrace new ways of working,  open source has become more appealing to customers. Since its inception, Red Hat has believed that open collaboration helps create more stable, secure, and innovative technologies. Enterprise customers rely on the stability and long-term support that a product can provide. As a result, Enterprise open source has become a preferred choice for organizations around the world for their IT architecture and development model. Besides lower infrastructure and software costs, CIOs are leveraging open source to drive continuous innovation. This is where Red Hat steps in – By tapping into the collective talent and innovation of open-source communities, we believe we can create better software. At Red Hat, we use an open-source software development model to create our enterprise open-source products and solutions. Red Hat is a proud contributor to all aspects of the software stack, from the operating system and developer toolchain to middleware, desktop, and cloud. Red Hat developers actively participate in hundreds of well-known open-source projects like the Docker container engine, Kubernetes and OpenStack, and many many more.

What key megatrends do you foresee emerging in the channel market?

With the changing business and technology landscape, cloud computing will gather much more momentum with the growing adoption of edge computing, containerization, serverless computing, and cloud-native applications. As a result, companies will shift their focus to multi-party solutions built on joint needs with an emphasis on high-value alliances to optimize their partner experience.

In order for partners to be successful, they will have to collaborate with multiple vendors to provide a complete solution to their customers. Going forward, co-creation and shared risk partnership will also become important. Partners will have to be skilled in the concept of all emerging technologies to be able to implement their expertise and foresight in making more informed transitions and fulfill the role of system integrators while providing services to their customers.

Which areas do you want to focus on in the channel – skillsets – sales and marketing, vertical and technology practice development, service capability, etc.?

We at Red Hat, believe in strategic partnerships which are fundamental in ensuring our customers’ success. Our endeavor & motto is to “build partnerships that deliver digital transformation the open source way”, At Red Hat, it is our constant endeavor to up-skill our partners and build programs that are designed to enable them and take advantage of the opportunity, helping enterprises and governments in accelerating innovation through more agile IT infrastructure and applications. This can also enable partners to differentiate themselves in a saturated market of IT service providers. With the right service capabilities, partners can generate higher profits as well as retain and grow their customer base. Today, there is a tremendous opportunity for partners who can identify the hybrid cloud opportunity and build service delivery capability. In line with this, our partner programs like the Red Hat OpenShift Builder Program, and the Ansible Automation Platform Certified Partner program help our partners build containerization and automation practices and capitalize on the growing adoption of hybrid / multi-cloud by customers. The Red Hat Partner Program is designed to help our partners develop successful hybrid cloud practices and solutions to deal with evolving challenges that digitization entails.

We undertake various joint go-to-market activities with our partners, organize events, webinars and workshops, and various other marketing activities to create awareness, our Red Hat Consulting business unit plays a vital component

What is your expectation from the channel this year? 

This year we are going to focus on the commercial segment which is mostly the SMB sector, which is undergoing digital transformation at a very fast pace. According to a study, India’s business spending is set to reach $15 trillion from $7 trillion in 2022. This huge growth is being steered by MSMEs and brings in a great opportunity for us. Hybrid cloud will always remain the priority and it cloud cannot exist without the partner ecosystem. By nature, a hybrid cloud involves multiple cloud computing environments, whether private or public clouds, in a data center or at the edge. The challenge, therefore, becomes enabling operational connectivity across these environments to optimize workloads and support efficient, integrated, and protected operations for successful business outcomes. This is where partners come in. Red Hat’s open-source solutions provide a powerful foundation for partners, such as independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators, to build and sell unique solutions based on Red Hat technology.

There are other revenue streams beyond selling Red Hat solutions or engineering their own products that Red Hat partners such as resellers, service providers, or technology integrators can unlock by helping customers to realize ROI. Many organizations face a shortage of skillsets a barrier in their digital transformation journey. Here Red Hat partners can effectively extend engagements with customers and generate long-term business value through new revenue streams by diversifying their portfolio to offer customers professional or managed services. In the coming days, we do not expect our partners just be about the technical integration and product development opportunities associated with Red Hat open source technologies, we want them to be part of the customer’s success.

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