Red Hat introduces new 'value' partner model

Red Hat introduces new 'value' partner model

Focuses on build, sell and service

Credit: Dreamstime

Red Hat is shaking up its partner model as it places a deeper emphasis on ‘value’, with the new model set to be launched in March 2020.

At the Red Hat Forum in Melbourne, the company's global channel sales and alliances senior vice president, Mark Enzweiler, said that Red Hat is changing its partner model to be ‘value focused’. With this goal in mind, the new model concentrates on three core partner components of "build, sell and service".

The open source software company's partner model previously branded partners as an independent software vendor (ISV), reseller, distributor, managed service provider (MSP) or global systems integrator (SI).

“The new model we’re moving to is build, sell, service, meaning whatever they engage with the customer, we want to motivate and incent you, and that’s what we’re targeting and putting our investments in,” Enzweiler explained.

“If you happen to be an ISV and ‘build’ a solution, but you sell it using other partners in the network, then we’ll concentrate our investment on the ‘build’ part. Other partners all they do is primarily sell, that’s fine too.” 

Enzweiler said the company had put some initiatives on hold until the acquisition by IBM was closed in July.

“We’re now going into hyper speed,” he said.

Enzweiler revealed partner contribution to its business globally was at 74 per cent overall in bookings, and was at 77 per cent last quarter. In Asia Pacific that sits at 85 per cent.

“Red Hat is not going to be successful without its partners, particularly in this region,” Enzweiler said. “90 per cent of our net new customers, come from a partner, averaging four new customer logos a day.”

“It’s very important that we stay together in what our priorities are and theirs, and where their strategies and ours touch, is where we want to concentrate our investment.

“We have to shift to this new value model because it really is about where is your highest value,” he said.

Vendor partnerships is another area Red Hat is actively driving further as a way to boost customer and partner engagement. One example involves a customer solution the company devised alongside F5 Networks and Dynatrace, for its services partner, DXC Technologies, to take to market.

"We’ll be looking at how do we build more of these ‘partner-to-partner’ alliances, to drive these solutions into the customer set," Enzweiler said. “The forefront of our model is about the customer and partner experience."

In particular cases, there will be elements of ‘customised enablement’ for select partners.

“It will almost be tailored for their business, because not one size fits all,” he said. “In some cases, we’ll shift and do more on-site with them, in other cases it may a combination of that as well as some shadowing, where we will provide our own services people, it varies and will be much more customised.”

Red Hat A/NZ director of partners and alliances, Garry Gray, said that in the past 12 to 18 months, the company has spent time in enabling the partners it already has and matching partners that only want to concentrate on services with partners that only want to do the selling component or the build.

“The strategy from Red Hat reflects what is going on in the market,” Gray said. “We’ve got partners who are great at selling solutions, but they’re not interested in the service element, so we partner them up with partners who want to build service practises and vice-versa.

"We still have traditional partners that do all three, but that’s one of the great things of the Red Hat ecosystem is how we complement what’s already there, and leverage that to build the solutions.

“We’ve changed the approach to partners and they trust us a lot more and we trust them. We’re both investing and it’s great to see both sides of the ecosystem wanting to invest," he said.

Julia Talevski attended Red Hat Forum in Melbourne as a guest of Red Hat.

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