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On the community side, Red Hat is expanding its use of social media tools to communicate with partners and gather feedback from those partners as well, in order to build world-class partnerships, Egan said.
Egan told CRN in a separate conversation that Red Had has evolved significantly over the last five years from offering a single product -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- to talking with partners about more cloud-like solutions including information-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.
"Our position in data center infrastructures has changed dramatically," he said. "We need partners. And, they need us."
Egan also said that Red Hat recognizes a need to make its influencer incentives more robust. "Many partners integrate solutions, but they don't sell the technology," he said. "We need to make sure the benefits are better for such partners."
Egan said solution providers will also see Red Hat engage in developing more solutions for the channel in conjunction with its alliance partners.
"Building a solution today often can be done with reference architectures and by pulling together different parts of the solution together into a whole," he said. "And then the solution becomes much more valuable for the marketplace."
Mike Thompson, president of Groupware Technology and Computing, a Campbell, Calif.-based solution provider who attended the Red Hat Partner Conference, said his alliance with Red Hat fits the partner-led culture he is seeing at the vendor.
"Red Hat has become an important piece of the total solutions we talk to customers about," Thompson said. "Red Hat makes it easy for us to leverage our expertise on our solutions."
Dean Bedwell, director of new business development and software solutions at OnX Enterprise Solutions, a Toronto, Ontario-based solution provider and services provider, said Red Hat has been serious in its focus on the channel and on gaining relevancy with partners.
"They have a very compelling set of things they bring to customers and are doing it in a very collaborative fashion," Bedwell said. "And when you add in all the parts including virtualization, middleware and RHEL, it's a very compelling solution."