Photo - : (From left) David Yap, Country Manager, Malaysia, Red Hat; and Damien Wong, Senior Director & General Manager, ASEAN, Red Hat
Despite the current challenging scenario in Malaysia, open source solutions (OSS) provider Red Hat has restated the importance of the local market with the official incorporation of its Malaysian subsidiary together with a new Kuala Lumpur office.
Red Hat's Singapore-based Asean senior director & general manager Damien Wong said the company has a history in Malaysia of continuing to build new opportunities especially in challenging times.
"The potential for open source technology adoption is already strong and only increases when there are additional pressures," Wong said to Computerworld Malaysia before the media briefing announcing the official incorporation in Malaysia.
"Malaysia is already an important market for Red Hat as there is a lot of potential for the adoption of open source technology especially in industries such as financial services, telecommunications and in the public sector," he said, adding that the public sector has also remained a stalwart OSS adopter.
During a visit to Malaysia in 2009 by Red Hat's global president and chief executive officer Jim Whitehurst, it was confirmed that 72 percent of Malaysia's public sector used OSS and had by that time realised cost savings of RM52 million (US$14.8 million at 2009 exchange rate). "Companies are drawn to open-source solutions to avoid technology lock-in, reduced monopoly influence, and general freedom of choice."
Wong said that today 97 percent of public sector agencies in Malaysia were using OSS in their infrastructure. In a video announcement shown during the official media briefing, Whitehurst congratulated the local teams and noted that Malaysian IT spend in 2015 was expected to be proportionately higher (7.5 percent) than the world average (negative 1.5 percent), according to Gartner.
Long road to incorporation
During the same media briefing, Wong said, "Red Hat has been actively present in Malaysia since 2006 and has only recently incorporated a Malaysian subsidiary, Red Hat Malaysia Sdn Bhd."
When asked about the delay, he said, "Red Hat takes the incorporation of branches very seriously and it is a strategic decision based on various factors. Red Hat does not take expansion lightly."
Wong said Malaysia's national ICT agency MDeC (Multimedia Development Corporation) will be continuing to support talent development programmes to upgrade essential OSS skills.
"The theme for Red Hat is increasing 'strategic importance' and is also reflected in our focus on innovation as a leading contributor to the OpenStack project, which is now being regarded as a de facto standard," he said.
Wong added that Red Hat's journey to incorporation in Malaysia has included landmark projects along the way where some clients had agreed to be customer references such as YTL Communications and the Melaka State Government as well as other strategic partnerships.
In Malaysia, Red Hat will be organising road shows and forums to continue to feed OSS awareness, he said. "Meanwhile, IT challenges are continuing to drive an industry transformation. Companies are looking for enhanced efficiencies, productivity and agility. This is reflected in growing increase in cloud computing, IaaS [infrastructure as a service], PaaS [platform as a service], Mobile computing and Big Data analytics (BDA)."