Open source firm Red Hat opens PH office amid increased IT spending

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

The open source-based cloud solutions of tech firm Red Hat are now more accessible to local enterprises as the industry titan opened its first office in the Philippines where IT spending for 2017 was pegged at $7 billion and growth rate is at around 8.5 percent.

Officials of Red hat make a thumbs up sign during the formal launch of the local office of Red Hat

The launching of its Philippine office, the company’s fifth in the ASEAN region, was held at Fairmont Hotel in Makati City on November 15.

“Those are figures that bode very well for an enterprise software company like ours,” said Red Hat vice president and general manager for Asian growth and emerging markets Damien Wong. “From that perspective, we hope that we can help Filipino enterprises leverage these open source innovation and partake of that increase in IT spending and consumption.”

Red Hat executives cited the country’s robust commercial infrastructure, talented and highly educated human resources in technology, and strong ecosystem of customers and partners as factors that make the Philippines a strategic location.

“The Philippine economy is continuing to grow well,” Wong added. “The fact that many Filipino organizations have come to the realization that access to open source innovation is essential for them in their digital transformation initiatives, I think those are great tailwinds for us as we kick off our office in the Philippines.”

Based in North Carolina with more than 95 offices worldwide, Red Hat is a provider of enterprise-level mission-critical software and services for major IT components. These include operating systems, virtualization, middleware, storage, and cloud computing. With its cloud solutions, enterprises navigating the digital transformation path are able to fuel their digitization efforts, become more agile and competitive in cost-efficient ways.

The company has had off-shore dealings with local enterprises through their partners in the country. However, opening an office in the Philippines actually reflects Red Hat’s confidence in the market and desire to establish a stronger presence.

Red Hat was recently bought by IBM in a blockbuster deal, but Big Blue intends to keep the company as an autonomous unit — very much like the setup between VMware and its mother unit Dell EMC.

“I think it’s more important to understand that setting up our entity here is a re-affirmation that we have a commitment to the Philippines,” he explained. “We believe that there’s a huge potential. We want to nurture and grow our presence here.“

The launching of Red Hat’s Philippine office, which is located in Makati City, was highlighted by a day-long event dubbed Innovation Fest also held at Fairmont Hotel. Red Hat executive vice president of global sales and services Arun Oberoi officiated the launch. Aside from Wong, also in attendance were Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, senior vice president and general manager-APAC; Wee Luen Chia, senior director and general manager for Asean; and Gary Romualdez, Philippines country manager.

“Being the largest open source software provider in an environment where realization that digital innovation and open source are driving digital transformation, I think that is really a huge differentiator because who knows how to take innovation from the open source community to the enterprise like Red Hat? We’ve been doing it for 25 years and we will continue to do this for many more years to come,” said Wong.

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