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Marshal Correia, VP and GM, India, South Asia at Red Hat, tells us more about the future of work. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: How are you dealing with the Covid-19 situation? What plans have you put in place?
Marshal Correia: For us, the well-being and safety of our associates, customers, and partners is our top priority. Red Hat is invested in helping our customers keep business continuity and we’re relying on our people, processes, and technology to navigate the challenges that we all are facing during a pandemic.
We have a comprehensive business continuity plan down to the business functional level to make sure our customers can count on us through this crisis. We believe that responding to COVID-19 requires collaboration and transparency and have launched a global ‘Here to help’ initiative to support communities and our customers. We want to work with them and solve common business problems.
This crisis has also required many organizations to scale up capacity. Many of our customers across industries have deployed automation and management tools like Red Hat Ansible and Red Hat Insights have expressed better preparedness which has allowed their IT teams to focus on other important issues.
We are offering free 60-day trials of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform that can automate up to 100 nodes, and with this initiative, we hope to help even more organizations to automate what they can so that they can keep their focus on the biggest priorities.
Similarly, now every Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription will also include Red Hat Insights (Software-as-a-Service) product. Red hat Insights give organization’s ability to predict threats to security, performance and stability across physical, virtual and cloud environments.
Many of the programmers and developers of our customers are working from home, away from their usual development environment. For them, tools like Red Hat CodeReadyWorkspaces, a collaborative Kubernetes-native development solution, will allow rapid cloud application development that will provide developers with a consistent, secure, and zero-configuration development environment.
Red Hat Training & Certification is delivering live virtual training classes. While we have extended timelines for using Red Hat Training Units and the exam window, we are giving full flexibility to customers and partners to cancel and reschedule any previously scheduled classes or exams.
DQ: How are you facilitating digital work?
Marshal Correia: We have learnt about remote collaboration and leadership through our open source communities over the years. As a result, we already have a strong remote work culture and our IT infrastructure has been built to enable this for both associate mobility and business continuity purposes. To cope with sudden additional load, we integrated additional capacity for VPN and single-sign on (SSO) infrastructure for users signing on from home. This included adapting to our delivery for new hire equipment, so new hires can get started right away.
At Red Hat, all our associates are available for virtual engagements with customers, partners and other ecosystem players. All our events across the globe have been moved to virtual platforms. To cite an example, we recently concluded our annual flagship event, the Red Hat Summit, which was redesigned for a virtual experience. More than 70,000 people registered for the Red Hat Summit Virtual event.
We also realise that a remote workforce requires a different communication style and even more engaged leadership. Team leads at Red Hat have stepped up to create virtual office hours and additional (but remote) face time with their teams–not just to convey the latest information and updates, but to check in with their teams and listen to their concerns or just keep the bonds strong.
DQ: How are the latest technologies going to redefine the workplace?
Marshal Correia: As organizations across the globe are trying to adapt to new ways of working and trying to define the new normal, they are presented with different challenges. While some are focused on adopting a virtual-first footing, there are some who are struggling with improving efficiency and productivity of their developers then there are some who are trying to push the boundaries of scaling to make remote workforce productive.
Organizations who have been embracing agile working like DevOps with infrastructure built on hybrid cloud, mobility for their digital transformation are better prepared to operate effectively during the pandemic.
While these current challenges are unfamiliar and new to all of us, customers are eager to accelerate innovation and digital transformation projects. Organizations are looking to selectively invest in tools and technologies like automation, cloud-native development, integration that gives them resiliency and robustness to adapt faster for such unprecedented times. I believe open source, subscription-based models will become more appealing in the times to come.