Red Hat, Samsung Get Together To Tackle Enterprise Mobile Computing

Red Hat and Samsung Electronics America will develop a new generation of enterprise mobile applications under a strategic alliance the two companies revealed Tuesday at Red Hat's annual summit conference in Boston.

That news followed the unveiling earlier in the day of Red Hat's new Red Hat Mobile Application Platform, which incorporates technology from Red Hat's October acquisition of FeedHenry along with components of the vendor's JBoss Middleware and OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service software.

Samsung and Red Hat executives at Summit said the alliance leverages Samsung's expansive portfolio of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablet computers and wearables, and Red Hat's open-source middleware, mobile and cloud software technologies.

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"Samsung is obviously the leader in mobile devices and mobile services," said Craig Muzilla, senior vice president of Red Hat's application platforms business, in a keynote at the beginning of the summit conference. "Red Hat brings all the power of our infrastructure software, our application development software, [and] our strength with developers."

"From Samsung's perspective, we want to be the trusted partner to the enterprise," said Robin Bienfait, Samsung executive vice president and chief enterprise innovation officer, who joined Muzilla on stage. She pointed to the launch of Samsung Business Services last year, including technical support, application support, mobile management and security services as evidence of the vendor's direction.

Bienfait said the alliance with Red Hat would extend those efforts in the mobile application realm, citing the company's focus on open-source technology and on its huge ecosystem of software developers.

The alliance has both technical and business aspects. It includes go-to-market activities and integrated support services for both partners and customers, focused on enterprise mobility management and the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform, according to a statement from the companies.

The two vendors will jointly develop a series of industry-specific mobile business applications, such as field and customer service, business intelligence, inventory management, pricing, ordering and invoicing software, that will run on Red Hat infrastructure software, be optimized for Samsung devices and be configurable to integrate with common back-end systems, according to the companies.

Red Hat and Samsung also intend to build an ecosystem of partners and developers to create mobile solutions for Samsung devices.

The alliance initially will focus on the U.S. market, according to the companies.

Red Hat said the new Mobile Application Platform incorporates a "full technology stack" for integrating mobile-centric workloads with existing IT infrastructure. And it reduces the complexity of mobile application development and deployment, according to the company. Red Hat is also offering development tools for the Mobile Application Platform through its OpenShift Online application development and hosting environment.

The company plans to establish an open-source project that will carry the FeedHenry name to develop open-source mobile technologies.

Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO, focused his evening keynote on the topic of the quickening pace of innovation, saying that, "we are in a sea change in how value is created in our economy."

"Companies have to build this systemic capacity to innovate and to be agile, or they are going to fail," Whitehurst said. He went on to say that innovation would become an increasingly decentralized process, include more engagements with partners and customers, and happen in more iterative, "modular" steps.

Whitehurst also warned that more vendors are jumping on the open-source technology bandwagon as open-source projects become more mainstream and an increasingly important source of innovation.

"We believe deeply, passionately, that the power of open source is around the power of participation," he said. "It's about users, it's about the best ideas winning, and that requires broad participation." He warned against projects that are open source in license only. "It's not about the license," he said, "it's about the participation."