OPEN source giant Red Hat says it is experiencing strong growth in the Australasian region and is seeing more organisations using Linux deeper in their systems.
George De Bono, Red Hat’s southern region manager, says his company is in the guts of a massive refresh cycle but believes there are other crucial factors driving growth.
“My personal opinion is that the IT industry has been waiting a long time for the next big thing. The last time was Y2K when there was a reason to do something and it’s a similar feeling at the moment,” he says.
He describes Red Hat as riding on the backside of the blade wave and says there is a definite groundswell in the market.
De Bono says New Zealand is critical in proving his company’s partner story and says the vision is for partners to sell, install and deploy Red Hat — acting as a microcosm of the company.
“There is a very strong ISV community here and Red Hat’s goal is to allow its partners to get out there and transact — it isn’t interested in crossing swords or stepping on anyone’s toes,” he says.
Although New Zealand isn’t yet producing enough revenue to justify a Red Hat presence on the ground, De Bono doesn’t see that as a hindrance to growth.
“I’ve made it clear to our partners what sort of figures we should be achieving for that to happen and they are slowly stepping up to the mark. Red Hat has made some support changes to accommodate New Zealand and if there is a situation where we are required in person, well, I’m only four hours away.”
He says that because of the skill level of local partners, such as OSS, there is very little that can’t be handled within the country.
“It makes sense for people in New Zealand to buy our products from a reseller rather than online — it’s better for the economy and because Red Hat knows about it then it’s in a position to provide support.”
The company is drip-feeding its partner programme to the region and has decided to incorporate its training with Auldhouse rather than set up a separate venture.
De Bono says he will have a customer advisory board established here by December, which he hopes will include partners, customers and other vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
He stresses that his company will retain its open source status.