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Last Updated : Oct 16, 2017 09:54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Red Hat bets big on India, plans to expand to tier-2 and 3 towns

The open source software company is also betting on neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as public and private sectors increasingly adopt open source software.

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa

The open source software company Red Hat is betting big on the Indian market and plans to take its offerings to tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well as neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as public and private sectors increasingly adopt open source software.

Open source software is one that uses a code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance, according to opensource.com.

In India, Red Hat has helped the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) revamp their data infrastructure to help with the rising number of users. The Aadhaar infrastructure is also an open source, as well as that of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Network.

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“People have recognised that it (open source) is viable, easily deployable and the merits of open source accrue to them. We are also looking at geo expansion in tier-2 and tier-3 cities," Rajesh Rege, managing director, India and SAARC at Red Hat said.

"Top 20 cities are focus for us – Baroda, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow, Indore and so on. With partners we are looking to cover these cities. We are also focused in developing Bangladesh and Sri Lanka," he added.

More and more businesses and governments across the world, including India, are using open source software. The reason, according to Benjamin Henshall, director, AppDev Solutions for Asia Pacific at Red Hat, is “innovation and cost saving”.

While there aren’t too many statistics available, this 2015 study found that the use of free and open source software could help India save more than Rs 8,300 crore in government expenses on education and police only.

The Indian government too has an open source policy that encourages the use of free and open source software in all government projects.

“We continue to participate in these large, game changing transformational projects. The reason why we are successful is twofold – we have products and technologies that are next generation whether it is in helping build cloud, accelerating application deployment, all the products and technologies are secure, massively scalable and so on,” Rege said.

Over time, the large corporations like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and so on, who have built their businesses on licensing their proprietary or copyrighted software, have also become large contributors to the open source community.

The newer age technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have for long been using and supporting open source projects.

“What is also happening is the realisations that Open Source is now mainstream with secure scalable, enterprise grade offerings from Red Hat. People are also getting tired of the vendor lock ins,” Rege added, alluring to the high license costs that have been the mainstay of large software companies.

Last year, according to data provided by GitHub, which is often called the largest open source projects community, Microsoft was the largest contributor of open source projects worldwide.

“We welcome Microsoft with open arms. It’s fantastic that Satya (Nadella) and his team are making a flip and have come to see the light (laughs),” said Henshall, adding that Oracle, IBM, Intel, AMD, HP and SAP have also been increasingly involved in open source projects.

The way Red Hat makes money is by selling subscriptions for support in different versions of open source Linux operating system.

“What will be interesting to watch over the coming three to five years is how these proprietary vendors make their transition to provide safe, reliable, authentic, sustainable open source distributions that the market says that you know what... this gives me the same flexibility, quality of service, security, reliability and ecosystem that I get from Red Hat,” said Henshall.

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First Published on Oct 16, 2017 09:53 pm
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