Red Hat exec: Open Source is mature, disruptive and innovative

Craig Nielsen was one of eight speakers at the WA open source symposium earlier this month. He talks about where the industry stands and where it is rapidly heading.

What is the biggest drive right now for CIO's in adopting open source?

In our discussions with Australian CIOs we hear a common theme from them - a large backlog of value creating projects, too much of their budget being consumed by platform maintenance and not enough budget left over to target at innovating the business process. Customers are moving to Red Hat to remove high cost proprietary components and replace them with proven enterprise platforms from Red Hat, which deliver lower cost of ownership.

Besides costs, CIOs are interested in Linux because of its built in security capabilities, Linux's ability to run on commodity, midrange and mainframe (reduces lock in), and sheer price / performance ratio, particularly for CPU and IO intensive applications. So in short, the more that companies use secure Red Hat platforms, the more they can free valuable IT budget to apply to application and business process innovation - the areas where IT can really make its contribution felt.

Are OEM and ISV ecosystems critical to the successful adoption and development of open source?

Absolutely. We at Red Hat are passionate about making sure that customers can use the applications they want and the hardware they choose on Red Hat platforms. We currently have over 3,000 certified applications which run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and this number continues to grow rapidly as more and more local and global ISV's look to certify their platforms on Red Hat. The large OEM's have been certifying on and shipping Linux for many years. Our close relationship with these two communities gives customers the confidence to implement Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We are equally committed to making sure that application developers have the appropriate tools and developer support to make sure that they can be efficient in building, testing and running Java based applications that run on our Jboss Application Platform.

What are some examples, in your opinion of some successful local OEM and ISV partnerships that have driven open source adoption?

HP, Dell and IBM continue to work closely with us around Red Hat Enterprise Linux globally and locally. Our local OEM partners have for many years now offered sales, marketing and technical support for Red Hat platforms. For example, in August, HP recently announced a pilot program in Australia offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktops in Australia pre-loaded on the HP dx2250. In the last few weeks we concluded a nationwide campaign with IBM Software Group in Australia around Lotus on Linux.

There are a lot of ICT start-ups appearing at the moment. Is this an important market for Red Hat and why/why not?

Yes, Yes and Yes. There is some tremendous innovation happening in Australia at the moment and Red Hat is reaching out to many small ISV's and software appliance providers. We also see Australian SaaS (software as a service) providers as companies who we have a great value proposition for. These companies will be large consumers of technology and we look to partner with them early.

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