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CDN Top Newsmaker: Red Hat Canada’s Luc Villeneuve

Channel Strategy
Luc Villeneuve took the Canadian operation of Red Hat to another level in 2016. Buoyed by the Microsoft partnership that made the once fierce rivals pivot to the benefit of customers and channel partners; the strategic relationship was furthered in 2016 by Villeneuve. Microsoft is now offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the first choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Azure along with Red Hat middleware and cloud management solutions. As a bonus, OpenShift, Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables developers and channel partners to create and host scalable applications in the cloud, is also on Azure.

While the Red Hat/Microsoft partnership was high profile, Villeneuve did not stop there. He put the Canadian operation on a new trajectory in 2016. Red Hat now boasts partnerships with Cisco, Tata Consulting Services, Wipro, Dell EMC, SAP, Lenovo, Samsung, and QCT.

Villeneuve is doing his part to help the parent company reach its $5 billion stated goal.

“I see a lot of the pieces of the puzzle coming together like funding for doing joint events. For example, we had a four-city tour with Microsoft Canada. So we have about a half-dozen or so events like this. Same thing with Lenovo. We’re going to see more and more of that coming. I think the strategic nature of companies like Microsoft will play on how our portfolios will complement them. They are just starting to realize how much of a good fit we are. We’re just starting,” he said in a previous interview.

Another major alliance for Red Hat was HP. Villeneuve added, Red Hat Canada is looking at HP’s large outsourcing contracts to see where the two organizations can work together in helping refresh legacy technology. “There’s a lot of legacy technology in Canada; I think Canada is a little bit behind in refreshing the platforms that exist out there like Solaris and potentially IBM and HP and so forth, so I think HP has a lot of desire to bring this together and work with Red Hat,” he said.

The channel landscape for Red Hat in Canada also changed. Villeneuve worked to dramatically increase the coverage area for the Open Source leader through solution providers in 2016.

“What I was impressed with was all the partners were talking about seeing the benefits of getting specialized into middleware or cloud or areas where they never thought of before. That’s a departure from before,” he said.