Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is inarguably the leading open source company, with revenues far outpacing those of open source-centric competitors, such as Canonical, which only recently began taking monetization seriously. Red Hat’s solutions are pervasive in the market, with the company counting over 90% of the Fortune 500 as customers. Red Hat executives have been assured the pending acquisition by IBM (NYSE: IBM), if approved, would not disrupt Red Hat’s ways of working and stressed to the analysts gathered that the additional large enterprise relationships IBM would bring to the table would expand Red Hat’s addressable market. Maintaining Red Hat’s open, innovative culture would be imperative for IBM, as a passive imposition of IBM’s culture on Red Hat would severely diminish the value of the acquisition.
While Red Hat Analyst Day focused on the company’s total addressable market, communication service providers (CSPs) is a key customer segment for Red Hat, particularly with respect to virtualization via the Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Red Hat can capture greater wallet share from CSP customers with its open source-centric business model and highly capable, expanding Red Hat Global Services organization as these customers embark on their digital transformation journeys.
Red Hat hosted a few dozen industry analysts at its facility in Boston, which opened in June 2017. The space houses an Open Innovation Lab and Executive Briefing Center equipped with interactive touch-screen walls, providing the company an ideal area to bring prospects to demonstrate how Red Hat harnesses the power of open source. A slate of Red Hat executives expounded on Red Hat’s position as the leading open source company globally, divulging customer wins, new products and product road maps, and growth strategies. Little new information was given on Red Hat’s looming acquisition by IBM, though that was expected. Several customer presentations rounded out the day, with each articulating how Red Hat was the ideal partner to shepherd an open source, cloud-first future.