Interview: „We depend on partners like it-novum to offer expert branch, horizontal and technical expertise”

Petra Heinrich, Vice-President of Partners and Alliances in EMEA for Red Hat

Petra Heinrich, Vice-President of Partners and Alliances in EMEA for Red Hat

Red Hat und it-novum arbeiten seit kurzem im Bereich Cloud Computing und Storage Management zusammen. Aus Anlass unserer Partnerschaft habe ich mich mit Petra Heinrich von Red Hat über unsere Partnerschaft, neue Open Source-Trends und die Stauproblematik auf der A99 unterhalten.

Who are you and how are you connected to open source?
My name is Petra Heinrich,  and I am Vice-President of Partners and Alliances in EMEA for Red Hat. I have been involved with open source for around 14 years, previously having worked amongst others for SUSE and OpenXchange. Back in 2001/2002 it really felt like we were pioneers in a landscape where expensive, fully integrated hardware and software stacks were the order of the day. In the meantime open source has become much more mainstream, thanks amongst others to companies like Red Hat and it-novum and to customers who wanted more options. Even now I still feel excited and privileged to be able to do what I do and about the opportunities open source continues to offer to customers and partners compared to proprietary software development models.

Which goals does Red Hat have for the partnership with it-novum?
Our overarching goal in the Partner and Alliances team is to enhance our portfolio by identifying, recruiting and supporting partners who can deliver on customer requirements and help solve their business challenges using IT. We are an infrastructure software company, as such we depend on partners like it-novum to offer expert branch, horizontal and technical expertise using local resources in close proximity to the customer, then to help design, integrate, operate and manage those solutions.

Using ITSM, it-novum helps customers decide if, where and how open source in combination with existing investments makes the most sense for their organization. As open source market leader, we are likely to be in that mix to a lesser or greater extent, so the formal partnership ensures we have a relationship which facilitates the process to the benefit of the customer. it-novum have invested in innovative technologies like OpenStack and CEPH, these are areas where we are also investing heavily since we believe that customers need help to turn a cloud vision into operational, cloud-ready applications and infrastructure, ultimately to keep our mutual customers happy and of course attract the interest of their peers.

What are the next big trends in the fields of cloud and open source?
As I mentioned, OpenStack is the number one topic in open source as it gains momentum and goes productive in large scale, mission-critical environments. Enterprise customers recognize that the technology has reached the level of maturity they need. Containerized deployment of applications to achieve very high density, flexibility and portability, alongside initiatives in software defined storage would have to be my number two and three, all three topics being foundational for a cloud-based deployment model.

Can you describe your “normal” working day?
If I am not travelling to one of our regional offices to meet with partners, my typical day would start with a traffic jam on the A99 motorway ring around Munich…I will typically spend the first 30 minutes in the office reviewing my schedule and checking for urgent email. After that I will be making calls to our country and partner team leaders around Europe, reviewing their forecasts and discussing the major projects and challenges to establish how we can expedite using local, European or Global resources or initiatives.

I will typically have a working lunch with someone from the EMEA Management or my own team to catch up on formal and informal news. After following up on priority items, checking again for urgent emails or messages and returning important calls, in the afternoon I will often have scheduled meetings to discuss cross functional projects and major initiatives, or perhaps to meet with partners who are visiting our EMEA HQ near Munich.

Late afternoons I will again follow up on action items and my call lists, I often lead or participate in team calls late afternoons where we share information and check on projects and milestones. I try to keep my evenings free since the working day can be quite long and intensive, but of course dinner with customers and partners or travel to the airport are often in the mix. When I have free time I enjoy riding horses, playing golf and spending time with my partner, which often means watching Bayern Munich play football since he is a keen fan!


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Lenz Grimmer ist Team Lead Product Management & Development für unsere Software-Defined Storage-Plattform openATTIC. Lenz ist seit seinem Informatikstudium Mitte der neunziger Jahre mit dem Linux/Open Source Virus infiziert und seitdem im Linuxbereich unterwegs: als Entwickler für SUSE Linux und MySQL AB, als Community Relations Manager für MySQL und als Product Manager für die Oracle Linux Distribution und die Sync & Share – Lösung TeamDrive. Als openATTIC Product Manager unterstützt Lenz bei der Weiterentwicklung von openATTIC und dem Ausbau des Anwender- und Kundenkreises.
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