Photo - (From left) Damien Wong, Vice President and General Manager, Red Hat ASEAN; and Kok Hon-Loong, Country Manager, Red Hat Malaysia & Brunei
Fears of disruption and other economic drivers are forcing companies and organisations in Malaysia to undertake infrastructure modernisation as part of the Digital Transformation paradigm, said open source solutions provider Red Hat Malaysia.
During a recent media briefing to announce the results for Red Hat's fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year (ended 29 February 2016), the company's ASEAN vice president & general manager, Damien Wong outlined Red Hat's global growth story and how it has now become a US$2billion (about RM8 billion) open source company and chalked up 56 consecutive quarters of revenue growth.
Malaysia has followed a similar growth trajectory, Wong said. "Business demands are driving industry trends in Malaysia. Efficiency, agility, and innovation calls for the use of Cloud computing, Big Data, Mobility and the convergence of platforms."
"Organisations here are looking to new ways of developing and delivering and integrating applications - all towards developing a more agile process across both IT and the business," he said.
"For Red Hat, the App development and emerging tech segment is growing at a double digit, which is and faster than our traditional segment," Wong said. "We are serving verticals, which include financial services, government, energy, healthcare, and airlines."
"Red Hat's vision is of an open hybrid cloud infrastructure is in tune with the demands of the rapidly shifting economic landscape," he said, adding that the company's offerings include cost effective storage using a software defined approach.
Wong also formally introduced the newly appointed country manager for Red Hat Malaysia & Brunei, Kok Hon-Loong (HL), who said that highlights in Malaysia included the formation of an official subsidiary and increasing demand for the company's third platform technology offerings.
"This marks an ongoing period of positive growth of open source in Malaysia," said Kok, adding that the company's partner ecosystem recently included two new advanced business partners.
He shared two recent local success stories. A local media solutions provider Comptel Communications "has reduced troubleshooting time by 25 percent following Red Hat training and certification. By using Red Hat Satellite, Comptel has also reduced internal provisioning time from 3 hours to 30 minutes."
"The second example is Xchanging Malaysia [a JV between Malaysia's YTL Communications and UK's Xchanging]," said Kok. "With Red Hat training, Xchanging's improvements include zero downtime for all of its deployments as well as increased scalability across all platforms. With this move, YTL is opening up to more vendors by adopting open source platforms."
Local growth opportunities are positive, he said citing Gartner's expectations that Asia Pacific enterprise IT spending will reach US$62 billion by 2018.
Analyst predictions for Malaysia remain positive. Kok said that like its Singapore and Indonesia counterparts, the Malaysian government's support for open source solutions were strong. "Local government departments are rolling out new public services in tune with the Government Open Source Masterplan."
"Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier, there are growth opportunities in cloud services such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and SaaS (software as a service) will soon become fastest growing cloud sector," he said.
"Moving forward, the key trends among local enterprises are that customers looking for more cost effective platforms especially in public sector, and telco space," Kok said. "There is an increased focus on open source platforms as local enterprises are also finding maintaining legacy platforms too costly."
"In addition, there is a continued emphasis on training to both build local talent and ensure that local organisations realise more value from Red Hat solutions," he said.
Open source is like water
When asked whether Red Hat will maintain a double digit growth trajectory such as that mentioned in a 2014 briefing in KL, Wong said the company's blackout period precluded any specific details. "We remain positive about ongoing growth in Malaysia. Anecdotally speaking, we have more than doubled our local staff strength. The contribution from Asia to Red Hat's global business last year was 20 percent."
Earlier, he unveiled global results with fourth quarter revenue of US$544 million, up 17 percent year-over-year or 21 percent in constant currency; and full fiscal year revenue of US$2.05 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year or 21 percent in constant currency. "More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies," he said.
"Anecdotally, a lot more organisations are taking up infrastructure upgrades (IaaS) locally," Wong added. "Asia has a lot of legacy platforms such as Unix, and companies are actively upgrading to more modern infrastructures. App development and emerging technologies, which includes software storage, Open Stack, as well as the drive to commoditisation in the middleware space will be another source of growth to feed the drive for businesses to become more agile and innovative."
Wong said "a lot of vendors are working with Red Hat to build hyper converged platforms to prevent lock-in and are adopting a more open approach. Lock-in prevents choice and what digital transformation is about."
"As an example, consistent management control across different cloud environments is provided by Red Hat CloudForms, which is being used by some local Malaysian government departments," he said. "Another example, application services provided by Red Hat include Atomic Enterprise Platform, which helps drive edge devices, using container technologies within the IoT [Internet of Things] environment."
"Traditional companies are facing the threat of disruption or becoming 'Uber-ised'," added Wong. "Much of the disruptions are actual coming through open source platforms. Organisations see Red Hat as a key bridge to becoming digitised."
"Red Hat helps IT to respond to the demands of business with open source," he said. "Open source is like water. Red Hat takes this 'raw water' then purifies and packages this for enterprise grade use."
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