How open source is benefitting SUSE, its channel partners and customers


Open source technology is being talked about even more rampantly today. Phillip Cockrell, Vice President of Global Channels, SUSE articulates, “More than anything, open source is the core of innovation. It is by all and for all and propelling all aspects of technology development today.”

SUSE, a native open source software company, which provides reliable, software-defined infrastructure and application delivery solutions that give organisations greater control and flexibility, is a seasoned 25-year-old player in the domain.

India is one of the primary business grounds for SUSE. “We are investing at a rapid pace in India and also we are looking at a fantastic push from the government under the Digital India and Make in India programmes, which is fostering Linux and other aspects of open source,” says Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India.

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India

“Also, open source is no more restricted to Linux. The government policy, the overall political situation, the industry situation, all these factors are resulting in a massive progress in the way we look at India as a country. We are the second largest entity in this domain in the APJ region,” he adds.

Driven by channel

Phillip attributes the growth of SUSE in India to its partner ecosystem. The company is completely channel partner led. There are three levels in its partner programme and has more than 400 registered partners. The top tier constitutes the solution partners, the second tier is accredited partners and third tier is the registered partner. “There is over 50 percent growth in the number of partners over a span of a year,” informs Cockrell.

SUSE looks more at the skillsets that the partner builds up rather than the turnover that they bring. “The inter-partner program is built on the skillsets that the partner acquires over his journey from a registered to an accredited to a solution partner. The more you get accustomed to a technology, the more you master a technology and business automatically follows,” Cockrell adds.

Product potential

SUSE puts in efforts to develop solutions that make sense for their customers, so that they can grow their existing business with their customers and go after new customers in the area they are specialised in.

“Our solutions are varied. For some of our strategic partners, we have solutions that are based around SAP. The other areas where we have seen traction are around our software defined storage. SUSE Enterprise Storage is a product which has been around for years. An area of our business is application delivery, wherein we have got two important products that come together to form a solution – SUSE Container as a Service Platform. It’s a Kubernetes based product that does container orchestration. We allow our customers to containerise their applications and do rapid delivery and then we have build a Cloud Foundry product – SUSE Cloud Application Platform,” informs Cockrell.

“We have developed an interesting product with the help of Amazon Web Services, whereby we are partnering with Wipro to build cloud application platform on top of Amazon’s Enterprise Kubernetes deployment and that will quickly enable customers to launch our cloud application platform,” adds Bhattacharyya.

“From an Indian perspective, there is a humongous storage requirement that drives a lot of traction for portable storage. Also, since according to government policy, certain data has to stay in India, private cloud initiatives are a big area. In OpenStack, there is a huge demand for Data Lake projects coming from BFSI, e-commerce, etc. We are well poised to take on that market and today, right from application delivery solution to orchestration areas, there is hardly anything better than Open Source. Thus, it is the default choice for the customer to go ahead with large projects,” says Cockrell.


Recently, the company hosted the SUSE GSI Summit. Commenting on the initiative, Cockrell says, “The reason we are committed to this is because SI partners are important for us globally as an organisation and they are doing a fantastic job in India. We have made substantial investment to focus on building new solutions with new GSI partners, helping GSI partners close deals. One of the most important things to me is building skillsets among those GSI partners. We have trainers who are specifically focussed on enabling the employees of our GSI partners on SUSE technologies,” says Cockrell.

“India is a well connected market, so it is important for us to build skillsets within the partners because those people are then going to work for another partner at some point and it’s important that we build transferable skillsets, so that we can leverage that to help grow the awareness of SUSE across India and globally. One of the significant things that we have done in India was to set up a local support centre. This was important because we needed to support not only our customer but also partner ecosystem,” Cockrell adds.


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