“RedHat’s local presence will foster greater participation in the open-source community as well as encourage open -source adoption among local enterprises,” said Damien Wong, vice president and general manager, Asian GEMs, at Red Hat.
Red Hat is an open-source solutions company based in the United States founded in 1993. It also reached the status of the first $2-billion dollar open-source company in 2016.
At the media launch held on the side of Red Hat’s Innovation fest in the Philippines, Wong highlighted the strengths the company sees in the local developers’ community that prompted the decision to finally make its presence official in this part of the globe.
“We see a continuous innovation within the Philippines, which is absolutely critical for the growth and survival of Filipino enterprises,” said Wong.
Citing robust commercial infrastructure, a highly educated technology talent pool, and a committed ecosystem of customers and partners, Red Hat said it considers the country as a strategic location to promote open-source solutions.
As organizations in the Philippines explore new technologies, open source can enable a highly scalable, agile and modern foundation to help power digital transformation initiatives. The new location is aimed at helping these enterprises to catalyze a collaborative environment, which will drive open-source awareness and innovation between customers and partners in the country and across the region.
In October 2017, Red hat created the SEATH (Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong” region to leverage synergies across federations of smaller economies. Seeing the promise of the newly formed group, Red Hat incorporated South Korea in June this year, which then created the Asian Growth & Emerging Markets or GEM region.
“This is something driven by growth and allows us to share best practices across the federation of countries,” Wong said. “Our GEM’s growth comes from vertical industries of financial services (FSI), telecommunications, and public sector.”
He also cited the robust mobile adoption in the country that will pave the way for developers to create applications that would benefit not only the consumers but also the enterprises.
“Everyone is relying on their mobile or smart devices to engage with (industries like) the banks,” Wong said. “Mobile adoption is fast becoming the way at which innovative services are delivered.”
Red Hat has been doing business in the Philippines through its partner-companies. Establishing an office, according to Wong, will allow the company to deliver the specializations that help address the needs of customers in the specific industries of FSI, telecoms, and public sector.
The Red Hat Philippine office the fifth in SEA and brings the total number of offices to 101 in 45 countries around the world.
Among the local partners and customers of Red Hat in the Philippines include banks such as RCBC and UCPB as well as the Philippine Airlines and the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“There is potential in the transformation of the cash-remittance market, as millions of Filipinos overseas send money back to support their families,” Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, senior vice president and general manager Asia-Pacific and Japan at Red Hat, during his speech in front of partners and customers at Red Hat’s Innovation Fest held at Fairmont Makati. “There are also opportunities in upgrading the many BPO companies in the country. ”
Wong also emphasized the role of open-source solutions in driving innovation in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the blockchain, Internet of Things, machine learning, as well as in cloud computing.
“All these disruptive technologies have its own origins in the open-source community,” he said. “Open-source leadership is extremely important as an advantage that RedHat brings.”
Wong also revealed its proposed partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) about creating a sandbox-ISV (independent software vendor) developer program, where developers and independent software vendors in the Philippines can learn to build applications, and have a conducive environment to develop and test these apps.
As for the news of its acquisition by IBM, Arun Oberoi, Red Hat’s executive vice president of global sales and services, reiterates that Red Hat will retain its culture and will work independently of the IT giant.
IBM announced in late October that it would acquire the open-source cloud software company for $34 billion and Red Hat will operate as a distinct unit of its Hybrid Cloud team. IBM also said it will maintain Red Hat’s open-source innovation legacy, scaling its vast technology portfolio and empowering its widespread developer community.