Channel partner programs

Red Hat CEO: Storage, OpenStack, OpenShift Partner Programs Accelerate


CEO Jim Whitehurst says Red Hat will increasingly leverage channel partners as the Linux company ramps up its storage, OpenStack and OpenShift businesses. Whitehursts' partner-centric comments surfaced during Red Hat's Q1 2017 earnings call with Wall Street analysts this evening.

Total Q1 revenue was $568 million, up 18% year-over-year in constant currency. GAAP net income for the quarter was $61 million, compared to $48 million in Q1 last year.

Looking ahead, Whitehurst described how Red Hat's push beyond Linux will increasingly leverage channel partners. "I do think we are building greater capability with our partners on OpenStack," he said. "Two things are happening there: First, our product is getting easier to use with each release as the installation and management tooling gets better. Second, our partners are getting better at supporting OpenStack."

Until this point, Red Hat's OpenStack push has been "supply constrained" he said, meaning that the company didn't have enough partners to support the cloud software platform. But going forward, partners are becoming "more capable of selling and installing that for us."

Red Hat OpenShift Partners

Meanwhile, OpenShift -- which supports platform as a service -- has a growing ecosystem of partners and customers. "Our OpenShift Commons membership crossed 200 organizations from over 40 countries and includes Global 2000 enterprises, ISVs and SaaS providers, systems integrator partners and public sector institutions."

Whitehurst also pointed to Red Hat's growing ecosystem of storage partners. "We continue to build out our storage partner ecosystem," he said.

Overall, partners influenced 78 percent of Red Hat's sales in Q1 2017, up from 75 percent in Q1 last year. Much of the partner momentum will be on display at next week's Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, Whitehurst said.

Still, Red Hat also is ramping up its consulting business. The company has acquired 3scale, a JBoss middleware partner focused on APIs for web-scale applications.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.