Red Hat eyes channel expansion after Q1 growth

Open source vendor Red Hat says that it is looking to augment the breadth and depth of its Middle East and Africa partner community

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By  Julian Pletts Published  July 4, 2009

Open source vendor Red Hat says that it is looking to augment the breadth and depth of its Middle East and Africa partner community.

The vendor recently posted a 14% rise in Q1 profits over the same period last year, and it is off the back of this that it is confident the Middle East market warrants greater attention.

“In slightly over a year we have gone from 27 partners in the MENA region to over 300,” explains David Postel, channel manager for the MENA region at Red Hat. He adds that up until now this partner evolution has happened in an inactive fashion on the part of the vendor, with many partners eliciting contact with it, as opposed to the vendor initiating communications. Red Hat — which set up an office in the Middle East at the end of last year — is however, now planning to increase its partner recruitment efforts to match the demand that it sees in the market.

“The reason why we are now starting to ask for more partners is we want to move from a reactive market, driven by customer demand, to a more proactive market where we have partners who are educating on the products and solutions from a technical and sales point of view, who understand our business model and the value of it and who can go and educated the customer base and practically sell our solutions,” emphasised Postel.

The vendor says that as a result of the investment it has put into the Middle East region in terms of opening up an office and training partners on Red Hat products and solutions, coupled with the long term alliance it has had with distribution partner Opennet —which has been working here for the vendor in an agent fashion for many years — means that the channel can now work closely with it to capitalise on the prevailing end-user interest in open source solutions.

“The main area of focus is geographical coverage, we want to advance our partnerships in all of the main countries such as UAE, Qatar, Saudi, Oman and Bahrain. We want to have a more systematic coverage,” said Postel.

He went on to add that the vendor has seen significant growth in the middleware arena and that this is also going to be something that he is looking to drive through channel expansion during the coming months.

Postel was not able to give specific statistics as to what percentage of the growth seen by the company in the first quarter of the year the Middle East commands, but he claimed that the percentage growth of the vendor’s Middle East market has been consistently stronger than figures recorded for other global markets.

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