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Red Hat opens PH office to promote use of open source in digital transformation

From left: Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, SVP & GM for Asia-Pacific; Arun Oberoi, EVP for Global Sales and Services; Damien Wong, VP and GM for Asian Growth and Emerging Markets (GEMs)

Red Hat, a US-based open hybrid cloud service provider, has established a local subsidiary in the Philippines in response to the country’s readiness to take advantage of the potential of open source technology in the growing digital economy.

Red Hat’s Manila office is its 101st globally and fifth in ASEAN with the Philippines as the 45th country it has ever entered in. The company has a global employment base of 12,200 workers as of May 2018 and the first open source service provider to break the billion-dollar revenue.

“In the Philippines, we see a very robust infrastructure, highly educated talents as well as a committed ecosystem of partners and customers. By being here, the local presence will foster greater participation of open source within the community and encourage open source adoption among local enterprises,” said Damien Wong, vice president and general manager, Asian Growth & Emerging Markets (GEMs) at Red Hat, who, in a press briefing, cited their company’s strength as an open source cloud service provider.

Being a catalyst of open source innovation, Wong said Red Hat sees that there is a continuous innovation within the Philippines which is absolutely critical to the growth and survival of Filipino enterprises. It also has a strong move towards digital transformation which is something that will demonstrate Red Hat’s commitment to the Philippines. “We’re here to stay. We want to continue to extend what we’re doing with customers and partners in the Philippines who are giving us access to the local market.”

Red Hat is investing in the country to help it leapfrog in its transformation and turn the threat of digital disruption into an opportunity. It has built partner ecosystem in the Philippines with MDI, MSI-ECS, IT Group, UR Solutions, among others. Red Hat is also currently working with local enterprises in key verticals of financial services industry (FSI), telecommunications and public sector. Among its customers are UCPB, RCBC, Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippine Airlines, Globe Telecom, and the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

Red Hat collaborates with DICT

Wong has announced Red Hat’s partnership with DICT where it has laid out plans to develop a program designed for eGovernment applications for the Philippines. Leveraging on open source innovation, DICT will be provided with a platform comprising Red Hat technologies such as OpenShift Container platform that is designed to help developers create a cloud application which can be tested, piloted, and showcased to different agencies across the Philippine government, making it easier for them to embrace innovation.

Wong said the collaboration is a win-win situation as the community can get access to world-class leading technologies for the ability to create applications that are meaningful for government agencies and good for Philippine citizens and from the Philippine government standpoint.

Partnerships such as this will be continued in their future strategy but must be augmented by local presence of Red Hat people who are capable to serve customers and help in digital disruption by leveraging the open source technology to give a country like the Philippines an opportunity to grow very fast, according to Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, Red Hat’s senior vice president and general manager for Asia-Pacific.

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat

Regarding Red Hat’s acquisition by IBM, Arun Oberoi, executive vice president, Global Sales and Services at Red Hat, said they will continue to operate as an independent and distinct unit and preserve by unique culture. “We will continue to be red, they will continue to be blue even after the acquisition.”

Oberoi also said it is business as usual for them and for the next quarter of the year, they are still here to serve customers and continue to be focused on customers now, and even when the acquisition goes through, same pattern continues.

Oberoi explained that there is a normal process that you go through in the US as well as in other parts of the world with regards acquisition. “Typically, it takes anywhere as six months to as much as 15 months depending on the complexity of the acquisition.”

Asian GEMs

Meanwhile, Wong disclosed that Red Hat has formulated the Asian GEMs (Growth and Emerging Markets) which it sees is driven by growth and sharing of best practices across federation of countries. The Asian GEMs, which comprised of Southeast Asian countries, ASEAN together with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea, has FSI, telecommunications and public sector as its growth areas where the company has specialization scheme.

Wong also showcased the importance of open source in driving technology innovations such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, among others.

“All these disruptive technologies have its origins in open source community. Open source leadership is extremely important as an advantage Red Hat brings,” said Wong, noting that open source is not just a software code. “It’s also about culture, a culture of innovation.”

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