Experientia carried out ethnographic research in Australia, India and the USA, doing on-site contextual observations and interviews with Red Hat partner companies, to explore the ways in which they use the Red Hat Partner Center web tool. A partner centre is a fundamental tool for companies that have a business model based on subscriptions, such as Red Hat. Improving a partner centre results in improved relationships with the partner companies and better support for their everyday activities.
Experientia analysed the results, and provided Red Hat with opportunity areas for further research and improvement, with the aim of fully leveraging the potential of the Partner Center. The research and analysis also considered the different cultural backgrounds and different organisational cultures that impacted upon the way in which companies made use of the Partner Center.
Experientia conducted a series of field interviews and observational studies with three Red Hat partners in two regions (Asia-Pacific, North America) in an effort to better understand current Red Hat Partner Center (RHPC) experiences.
Experientia employed typical ethnographic methodologies, aiming at exploring people’s real behaviour by means of observation and inquiries in their own work environment.
Contextual interviews: involved people answering questions while sitting at their own desk or in front of their own computer. This inquiry session aimed at exploring not only individual roles and motivations in using the RHPC, but also the specific tasks performed on it, and the resulting experience.
Card sorting exercises: participants in each contextual interview were asked to discuss the content of the RHPC that was relevant to them. Subsequently, content organisation and labels were discussed.
Group sessions: a group discussion around specific topics contributed to understanding more general dynamics that could be leveraged to improve Red Hat’s relationship with their partners.
Based on the data gathered in these exercises, Experientia analysed and described each partner’s current RHPC experience from the point of view of one or more employees currently using the RHPC. For each company, Experientia considered factors such as company size, location, and age of the company.
Experientia provided specific comments and suggestions for improving the RHPC from the point of view of each profile described in the research. In addition, Experientia provided more detailed user requirements, considering factors such as the typical jargon and language of the users, the training they had received, their media literacy, and finally, organisational and country cultural differences.
Experientia also devised a “Road Map”, outlining directions for future research, by describing the critical areas of the RHPC experience that need review in order to lead to further and more advanced implementation.