Red Hat Bolsters Partners With Comprehensive Customer Intelligence Platform

Red Hat Renewals Intelligence provides the channel with a graphical view of customer retention risks and opportunities to grow their businesses.


Looking to bolster the businesses of partners, Red Hat on Tuesday introduced a platform that puts at the fingertips of distributors, resellers and solution providers the information they need to retain clients and grow those accounts.

Red Hat Renewals Intelligence, part of Red Hat’s Partner Renewals Engagement Program, gives the open source giant’s partners “one place to go to understand everything that’s happening with their business with Red Hat,” Andrew Joiner, senior director for global renewals, told CRN.

The set of tools include daily-updated charts and filters that can be customized in how they present data the channel needs to identify growth opportunities and flag client-retention risks, he said.

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“This has been an ask from partners,” Joiner told CRN. “We want to make it easy for them to manage their business.”

[Related: Red Hat’s Paul Cormier On How Partners Win The Hybrid Cloud]

The IBM subsidiary has put a lot of focus on retention over the past year to help partners maximize their success selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenShift and other elements of its open source portfolio. While those efforts predate the coronavirus pandemic, they have become especially relevant in the current business climate, Joiner said.

“We were thinking about the right things at the right time,” he said.

The first phase of the platform to go live offers “descriptive capability,” Joiner said, sharing the intelligence and insights partners need to manage their clientele.

Coming later this year should be predictive capabilities, which will center around a feature called InfraRed that applies intelligent data analysis to extrapolate where a partner’s book of business is headed.

And the long-term plan for the platform, “the nirvana state,” is prescriptive capabilities—tools that will suggest actions partners can take to avoid churn and grow their businesses.

The Renewals Intelligence information—from pipeline to retention performance to up-sell and cross-sell opportunities—is all dynamically updated daily from Red Hat’s CRM.

The platform also presents anonymized benchmarking to help partners understand how they’re performing against their peers and contains an export feature that can pipe information into their own customer management systems.

Red Hat has already provided almost 500 of its partners access to the tool, and about 250 people are using it internally, Joiner said.

Renewals Intelligence is “one of several steps we’re taking in making investments in helping partners grow their base of customers,” he added.

Eric Updegrove, senior vice president at Fierce Software, a Red Hat partner focused on the public sector, told CRN that Renewals Intelligence “is one of the most powerful data-aggregation tools we’ve been given.”

The platform, with its comprehensive snapshot of the book of business, helps the Herndon, Va.-based solution provider’s sales representatives drive more value into Red Hat accounts, Updegrove said.

Fierce Software agents review customer data on the platform before every call with Red Hat customers, he said. “It has become a part of our standard operating procedures.”

Systems integration giant CDW has also become an avid user of the platform.

“The Red Hat Renewals Intelligence tool has been a tremendous help in enabling our team to navigate and track our customer’s renewals. It is truly a one-stop shop to get all of the information we need to accommodate our clients,” said Kyle Perrone, CDW’s program licensing specialist for DevOps.

“I love the Red Hat Renewals Intelligence tool because I can use it to both look up one piece of information on the fly, and to pull down all data that allows us to track trends and gain insight into the bigger scope of our customer’s needs,” Perrone said.

One benefit is not having to reach out to the company’s Red Hat channel manager for small requests.

“I can just leverage the tool. I am very impressed with each new launch of the tool and excited to see future releases. The cross-sell feature will allow us to go above and beyond standard renewals and we will be able to identify ways we can leverage more Red Hat solutions for our client’s needs,” Perrone told CRN.