Red Hat Partner Program Set for Revamp

Red Hat is overhauling its partner program to better reflect its ecosystem of partners, says a channel exec.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

September 22, 2023

3 Min Read
Red Hat partner program getting a revamp

Partners can expect a revamped Red Hat partner program in 2024.

Red Hat’s SVP of partner ecosystem success, Stefanie Chiras, said the vendor is making the changes to better reflect its ecosystem of partners.

Red Hat in particular is focusing on enabling partners to move outside their existing tier or categorization in the program.

“Many partners are not a single contract type,” she told Channel Futures. “They want to explore services; they want to become a cloud provider, which means making some changes.

“We’re making sure that the partner program is modular, so it’s easy for partners to engage in [different] modules,” Chiras added. “Perhaps a reseller today wants to begin to do services tomorrow. How does that engagement with Red Hat become additive for them as they explore different ways of engaging?”

Chiras also noted the the open-source software company’s change in go-to-market will be reflected in the new version of the Red Hat partner program.


Red Hat’s Stefanie Chiras

“As a company, we’re transitioning into an ARR model for bookings. So that’s a shift for us,” she said. “It opens up an opportunity to engage differently with the nurturing of customers after procurement, the whole life cycle piece. Partners play an essential role in that because customers trust them. So how we engage there, it’s key. The partner program will pivot to that, which is what we’re working on now.”

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

More Focus On Simplicity

There is also a focus on greater simplicity with the revamped Red Hat partner program, said Chiras.

“Simplicity is our underpinning piece for that. How do we make it simple for the partners to engage with clarity? How do we balance front end discounting? What can we do on the back end, getting the right balance there? There are a number of things that we’re exploring. Business models are changing; the market is more challenging, so there’s a lot of focus on that aspect today.”

With the revamped Red Hat partner program, partners will also see a shift from a strategy broken down into geographies to a more global approach.

“We want to provide some global consistency, so that provides simplicity for those for those partners who cross geos,” said Chiras. “How do we help provide some simplicity to engage with us?”

Red Hat Partner Program: Collaboration with Other Vendors

Additionally, the exec said that customers want to be able to consume in multiple ways. This calls for greater collaboration between vendor partners.

“We want to make sure that we are engaging with those partners who have programs so that those programs are additive for their resellers. How do we make sure that our offerings in marketplace provide drawdown for customers who have large committed spends with that hyperscaler, as an example? We have a hybrid committed spend program as well. A customer can have committed spend with Red Hat, a committed spend with AWS. They could have it with Microsoft, because of our hybrid cloud strategy.

“We’re trying to make sure that we understand the key partner programs that are in place with other vendors that we work closely with and make sure that those are additive,” she continued. “In this multipartner space, we as vendors have an obligation to be working together closely so that the technology is easy to consume. Our joint partner programs provide additive and comprehensive value, and programs that we have for customers also are incremental.”

Partners can expect to start seeing changes to Red Hat’s partner program in January, with more scheduled for the second half of 2024.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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