Corporations in today's world can't survive on their own. With large scale enterprises becoming so diversified the only way to efficiently operate is with partners. Without a solid partner ecosystem Red Hat would never be able to compete with other technology companies (many of whom are our own partners). Partners and more specifically the partnerships we cultivate are one of the larger reasons for why Red Hat is Red Hat.
The benefits of partners far outweigh the costs to ramp up a partner ecosystem. However, there will be certain changes required in order to allow partners into your company systems. Training and enablement, partner knowledge bases for documentation and perhaps even financial incentives for when a partner sells your product or a joint solution are some of the structural changes that would be required for a good partner program. While these changes can seem daunting the benefits of implementing them appropriately can include: broader industry recognition, increased product adoption, and of course an increase in sales.
Being a Partner Solutions Architect I am on the frontlines of Red Hat's partner ecosystem. It's easy from my position to see how a partner ecosystem can be beneficial to a company. But, I can understand how it's an overwhelming task to try and implement a new system. My current charter is to ramp up one of our newest partner segments, distribution or what some would call channel partners. While these companies are no strangers to Red Hat, distributors were historically not looked at the same way that ISVs or System Integrators were. That is rightfully changing as larger technology distributors like Ingram Micro, Tech Data, or Arrow pivot from merely selling the software to enabling partners, offering services, and in some cases even providing solutions.
Red Hat's partner ecosystem is not new and therefore, many of our partners are already onboarded and a lot of my colleagues are working through mature projects. Many of these mature partners provide technologies or services that would be considered competitive to our own offerings. A great example of this is with the hyperscalers (Azure, AWS, GCP, etc.). Each of the major public cloud providers offers a Kubernetes service which competes directly with our Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. However, being an open source company means you don't turn away from competition, you embrace ideas that are different from your own and you work together to provide a better solution to your customers. This mantra is a great one to live by for almost any company, and especially companies considering partnerships should definitely adopt it to help work towards better offerings. But what this also means is don't turn away from companies that may seem unorthodox. Every industry is in a state of constant change and with the uncertainties today, partnering together can help offer that extra push to make it through today and prepare for tomorrow.
Red Hat is always looking for partners and more information about our partnership program can be found here.