On September 10, 2019, we attended the 8th edition of Red Hat Forum in Zurich, Switzerland, under the slogan “Expand your Possibilities”. More than 900 key decision makers, executives, engineers, developers and suppliers also took part in over 30 sessions where clients and partners shared their vision about the future of development, operations and automation. The atmosphere felt relaxed and as usual, Red Hat created a unique experience for all participants.

As expected, overarching hot topics we heard about were the OpenShift 4 release (the first major release of Red Hat’s Container management platform for four years) and the merger with IBM. Red Hat’s Country Manager Léonard Bodmer assured the us that “Red Hat will stay red” and looked forward to the partnership with IBM. Ashesh Badani (SVP Cloud Platforms Red Hat) shared his vision on how hybrid cloud will unlock the potential of innovation in Financial Services by leveraging OpenShift 4.

He was followed on stage by the CTO of Helvetia Insurance, Achim Baumstark, who provided a client’s perspective on innovation by introducing Helvetia’s own in-house container platform.

Our Swiss Senior Country Managing Director Thomas Meyer discussed with Ruedi Vontobel  (Member of Management IBM Switzerland), Monica Gille (Director HPE Switzerland), Marc Holitscher and René Fitterer (CTO SAP Switzerland) about the power of a strong ecosystem.

I also used the opportunity to sit into some of the sessions of the partners and clients: Microsoft’s Marc Holitscher (National Technology Officer, Microsoft) spoke about the launch of Microsoft Azure services Switzerland that are now available to early adopters such as UBS and Swiss Re from the cloud datacenters in Zurich (Switzerland North) and Geneva (Switzerland West).

Our Cloud Advisory Lead Financial Services Switzerland Guido Greber led a roundtable discussion where both Red Hat clients and technology partners talked about their experiences and challenges in overcoming traditional banking.

Given the wealth of perspectives and advancements presented at the Red Hat Forum Zurich I saw it is indeed true that, in the words of Red Hat, “the possibilities have never been greater”.

Melanie Imfeld

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