The company’s global headquarters in Raleigh, NC (US)

The company’s global headquarters in Raleigh, NC (US)

Red Hat encouraged by Saudi IT fervour

The company is constantly innovating as it goes along and looking to have a stronger footprint in the kingdom’s fast-developing industrial and economic environment

November 2014

Red Hat is seeing strong prospects for growth in Saudi Arabia in the wake of fervour demonstrated by the government and large enterprises for technology adoption.

Faycal Saile, Red Hat’s general manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, commented that these institutions “are trying to outdo even the US and Europe.”

“They understand the transformational role that technology plays and the competitive edge it gives organisations,” he added.

The company recently introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, a product Saile said redefines the Enterprise Operating System and not only lays the foundation for the open hybrid cloud and serves enterprise workloads across converged infrastructures but also pushes the operating system beyond today’s position as a commodity platform.

The company also recently announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, the third enterprise release of Red Hat’s OpenStack offering, designed to serve as the foundation for building OpenStack-powered clouds for advanced cloud users, telecommunications companies, Internet service providers (ISPs), and public cloud hosting providers. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation 3.4 is now available globally as well as in Saudi Arabia. It brings enhancements for traditional virtualisation infrastructure, guest support for the newly released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, as well as advanced OpenStack support across compute, storage and networking.

“We are constantly innovating and although we cannot disclose specific details of new products until they are officially announced, the industry can expect a lot of new and exciting developments from Red Hat in the operating system, middleware, cloud, virtualisation and storage space,” Saile said.

Saile: Saudi, a high-priority market

Saile: Saudi, a high-priority market

Red Hat mainly operates through partners. It has a strong partner ecosystem that includes large regional as well as local system integrators in Saudi to address the key verticals.

The company participates in IT and government conferences and exhibitions in Saudi Arabia in order to be able to enter into discussions with key IT decision-makers and educate them about how its solutions can transform their IT infrastructure.

“We also use these platforms as a way to understand customer pain points and adapt our technology so that they address these issues. We conduct our own roadshows in the country where we invite customers and, through a series of presentations and real-world use cases, Red Hat company executives and industry leaders illustrate how businesses in the region can transform their IT infrastructures and drive strategic impact for their business through deployment of open source technologies,” Saile elaborated.

“As mentioned before we also conduct regular workshops and training for our partners so that they in turn can advise and educate their customers.

“Red Hat will continue to innovate and lead the market in Enterprise Open Source solutions for the operating system, middleware, cloud, virtualisation and storage. In the operating system space, we are working very hard to help organisations understand that migrating from legacy and proprietary infrastructure to an open system like Red Hat Enterprise Linux will not only free them from vendor lock-in, but will result in huge cost savings and operational efficiencies.”

Saile has no doubt Saudi Arabia will lead other regions in the Middle East in adopting new technologies in the cloud, big data, enterprise security and ByOD space. He recalled a Mobily report prepared in association with IDC that shows that private cloud is the currently preferred model (53.1 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2017) while public cloud adoption will pick up in the medium term (70.7 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2017).

“With a number of high-profile security attacks in the country, an increased awareness of IT security risks and the importance of business continuity, major organisations will look for reliable partners who can help mitigate any risks that could affect IT operations. Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing big data and BYOD trends and these are two areas that will see a lot of technology spending in the country,” he said.

“We aim to have a local operation in Saudi Arabia in the near future. The plan is to have a local presence from our sales, marketing and technical teams to support our customers and partners.  We also will continue to invest in educating and enabling partners as well as recruiting new ones that have technical capabilities and can align with our overall business objectives.

“Saudi Arabia being the biggest IT market in the Middle East is obviously a high-priority market for Red Hat. As in the past, we expect to have a double-digit year-on-year growth.”



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