IBM and Red Hat – Stronger partnerships. More satisfied clients.

When I heard about the IBM acquisition of Red Hat, I was excited. No – I was ecstatic.

You see, our company, Prolifics, is a business partner for both IBM and Red Hat. And knowing that they’ll be working more closely together means we’ll be able to do some amazing things for our customers in the next few years.

I can sum up what we do at Prolifics in four words – vision to value, faster. We’re all about helping our customers transform their businesses, modernize their applications and make the most out of their data. Ultimately, we want to serve as a guide for their journey to cloud.

And this recent acquisition just made that journey a lot easier.

Siloed by fear

Until recently, nearly every conversation we were having with potential customers was unnecessarily focused. We would address a single application, a single department, a single segment of data. But what we wanted to do was open up that discussion to the enterprise level. After all, if you’re going to leverage the power of data – the AI and machine learning technology that IBM is so great at – it has to be done across the entire business.

But customers were often afraid to have these broad discussions.

For example, one business we had worked with had built out this massive platform for its core operations over a number of decades. This system was a Frankenstein’s monster, assembled from countless applications, some of which were so old they weren’t even supported any more. But despite how ugly it was, it was, without a doubt, the most important application in the business – processing transactions related to half of the company’s total revenue.

Our customer was petrified to make any changes to this monster because it would cause a cascade of compatibility problems. But eventually, some of the underlying tools became so old that they were no longer in compliance. They were forced to make a change.

Luckily, we were able to help them by shifting to a microservices strategy. And a big reason that we were able to do that was because of our existing partnerships with both IBM and Red Hat.

Partnership has its privileges

We’d been an IBM Business Partner for decades, but we didn’t become a Red Hat partner until last year. Back in May 2018, IBM announced that several of its products would be able to run on Red Hat OpenShift, and that was all of the motivation we needed.

Over the preceding years, we had been approached by customers and prospects who had standardized on OpenShift for their primary container platform, but because of the proprietary nature of the technology, we couldn’t easily take advantage of everything that we and IBM had to offer.

After that May announcement though, we could go into discussions with our customers, offering the capabilities of IBM and Red Hat. We could show them a path to consolidate, to modernize, to innovate.

And as exciting as those conversations were, I’m even more excited about the conversations that we’re going to be able to have with customers now that Red Hat is being brought into IBM. In fact, I’m so excited, that this isn’t even the first blog I’ve written on the subject.

The real power that I see from the joining of these two companies is that we’ll be able to bring our customers the open-source modernization of Red Hat teamed with the power of data and machine learning models of IBM. And when we bring that into the conversation, we’ll be showing our customers something that they’ve never seen before.

Complex clouds. Simple conversations.

At Prolifics, we’re dealing with large, multinational organizations. They’re going to cloud, but it’s multiple clouds. Thousands of applications. Tens of thousands of containers.

And the way the market is going, even small businesses are going to have multiple clouds – different clouds are just better suited for different workloads. No matter their size, big or small, these customers are going to want a single tool to manage their containers. And they’re going to want a single view to see where those containers are deployed and how they’re being managed.

Before, there was simply no easy way for us to do that. Instead, we’d end up running different tools for each cloud. Now, OpenShift is that single container platform. And the newly-released IBM Cloud Paks are that single integrated tool that lets you manage your workloads from one pane of glass. And that’s just using the innovations that are available the first few weeks after the acquisition.

The joining of Red Hat and IBM changes everything. We can now have a true, end-to-end conversation with our customers. We don’t have to worry about those monolithic development projects ever again.

It’s kind of ridiculous.


The preceding was drafted from a Q&A session with Matthew Gerst that covered his thoughts reflecting the recent Red Hat acquisition.

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