Online training is the way to go with today’s partners: Red Hat

Open source vendor turns to online support tools to skill up its time strapped partners

Training of partners remains important but the delivery method has changed, according to Red Hat global services vice-president, Iain Gray.

Gray said the open source software vendor has a long standing focus on training its partners on Red Hat products.

“We want our partners to have an 'army of trained consultants' that can supplement our consulting capabilities,” he said.

“So it is particularly important for our team to replicate the consulting capabilities built in-house with channel partners and integrators.”

However, Gray said the old methods of training partners are not as relevant in today’s business environment.

“We’ve taken the approach that the most effective and scalable way to train partners is to do it in online in a self-paced way,” he said.

Gray explains that it is no longer possible to ask a partner to send consultants away for a week to be trained with the relevant skills for a product.

“No partner can afford to have their consultants out of the field for a week, or even two or three days,” he said.

In response to that, the software vendor put together Red Hat Open, a portal that delivers online training that the partners can take in their own time.

Gray said the portal has been translated into the main languages that Red Hat supports globally, so it also scales worldwide.

“Because it is readily accessible on any device at any time, we find that works well with the way our partners work,” he said.

Official recognition

In addition to the training element, Gray said the vendor supports its partners with both accreditation and general support.

“With accreditation, it is both in our and partners’ interest that we provide them with the Red Hat ‘seal of approval,’” he said.

“If they have invested time and they go through the training, then we will certify them and accredit them as Red Hat representative.”

Depending on the situation, Gray said Red Hat also offers field support or join engagement with partners when they are helping to deploy products.

“We’ve trained and certified you, so we also want to support your go-to-market activities,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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