Mobile-ready India infuses new life into Open Source: Red Hat

November 07 2017

Open Source technologies like Linux have helped innumerable tech start-ups to flourish and one company that can take credit for providing entrepreneurs with a solid IT foundation is North Carolina-based Red Hat.

Over two decades ago, Red Hat began with the idea of collaborating with IT leaders, open source advocates, developers and partners to create an Open Source ecosystem that spans Cloud, Middleware, Operating Systems, Storage, Virtualisation and Management. It is now ready to exploit today's most promising opportunity -- the mobile space.

India, with ever-increasing mobile and Internet consumption, offers a unique opportunity for Red Hat that has expanded its operations and increased the headcount in the country by nearly 25 per cent in the last year alone.

Mobility has become a top priority for Indian enterprises as it promises to drive innovation and streamline operational efficiency -- besides delivering customised customer experiences -- and here, Red Hat is keen to drive growth for the government, banking and financial services and insurance (BFSI), telecommunications and manufacturing sectors.

"There is faster adoption of technology and creation of new services in the digital space, be it positioning your bank for a better mobile experience or putting together scalable service delivery platform for a telco. The growing mobile and app-delivery space is now a key growth engine for us," Rajesh Rege, Managing Director at Red Hat India, told IANS in an interview.

Red Hat Mobile Application Platform enables users to develop and deploy mobile apps in an agile and flexible manner. Recently, leading life insurance firm DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Company Ltd (DPLI) implemented the platform to strengthen its mobile app presence.

While the Asia-Pacific region is Red Hat's second-largest R&D set-up outside the US (third-largest globally), Pune houses the company's second-largest engineering facility outside of North America (also third-largest globally).

"Red Hat has a strong presence in metros and is investing in people and partners to meet customer interest in Open Source solutions in 20 cities such as Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Ahmadabad and Coimbatore," Rege told IANS.

The company that registered $723 million in revenue (up 21 per cent year-over-year) in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 that ended August 31, has helped the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) rejig their data infrastructure.

"We helped the EPFO consolidate data from some 17-18 data centres into one consolidated environment to host several tens of millions of accounts," Rege noted.

A recent survey by Red Hat with market research firm Forrester Consulting said that Indian IT decision-makers are turning to Open Source to drive digital innovation and support their businesses with new capabilities.

The study surveyed 455 CIOs and senior IT decision-makers from nine countries in the Asia Pacific region. Respondents from India anticipated that use of Open Source will increase in Internet of Things (IoT) by 45 per cent whereas 43 per cent believe that Open Source will help increase their agile hybrid Cloud infrastructure, application development and DevOps environments.

Not just India, Red Hat has a strong presence in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Working with Cloud partners such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, Red Hat is uniquely positioned in the Cloud space through its technology pieces -- be it Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud.

"We have an efficient partner ecosystem that can provide firms the Red Hat environment in their Cloud. When it comes to start-ups, our experience worldwide is that they are eventually starting their journey in Cloud with Open Source solutions," Rege said.

On helping over 51 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country embrace Cloud, Rege said the Red Hat model comes in handy for them.

"We have local Cloud partners who have created several Cloud-enabled apps and services which these SMEs can easily embrace," added the Red Hat India executive.

Red Hat's most popular offering Linux, besides the OpenStack Platform that delivers core Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), is highly secure too.

"Have you heard about any data security lapse regarding Linux? The Open Source community is very strong when it comes to security. There are at any point of time multiple global users eyeballing the solutions, searching for security issues and potentially coming up with reliable answers," Rege said.

Red Hat is constantly working with the community in India as well as a rich portfolio of technology partners to help architect, build and deploy Open Source solutions for customers.

"Our approach is to build robust solutions in the first place with adequate testing and bug fixes to avoid any vulnerability in the product," Rege said.

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at nishant.a@ians.in)



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