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GitLab partner program gets ready for a refresh

With an initial public offering on the horizon, DevOps lifecycle software vendor GitLab is aiming to expand its partner strategy under a new vice president of global channels.

GitLab Inc., a DevOps lifecycle tool vendor, has big plans this year: a November initial public offering expected to raise $2.75 billion in capital. To prepare its channel strategy and GitLab partner program for the change, the vendor has appointed Michelle Hodges as vice president of global channels.

Michelle HodgesMichelle Hodges

GitLab sells an open source DevOps platform aimed at supporting software developers. The product has a community of more than 2,200 contributors and is used by more than 100,000 organizations, according to the company.

Hodges joined GitLab from networking vendor Gigamon, where she helped the company adopt a channel-focused business model as vice president of worldwide channels and alliances.

A business model that is working

GitLab has taken a novel twist on the open source model. It has two versions of its offering: GitLab Community Edition, an open source offering, and GitLab Enterprise Edition, a proprietary, closed-source code but with a publicly viewable issue tracker and a license that allows modifications.

That approach has gained traction. In 2015, the company had 10 employees, but has now grown to 1,200 in 65 countries, GitLab said. Revenue has been rising at an annual run rate of 143%, with GitLab expecting to reach $1 billion in sales in four years. In September, the company raised $268 million in venture capital, for a total of $425 million since its inception.

All of our tools run on one platform, so developers do not have to access different solutions when they switch from one stage of the process to the next.
Michelle HodgesVice president of global channels, GitLab

Cohesion is one attribute of the GitLab platform. Writing code involves planning, testing, verifying, packaging, deploying and managing. "All of our tools run on one platform, so developers do not have to access different solutions when they switch from one stage of the process to the next," Hodges said. 

Changes ahead for the GitLab partner program

GitLab currently has 200 partners, including resellers, service providers and technology alliance partners, in a program that grew in an ad hoc manner, the company said.

GitLab has been working on formalizing its partner resources and plans to unveil a revamped support program in March, Hodges said. The changes will be designed to give partners more licensing opportunities, help identify new leads and provide more training programs. GitLab will also look to assist partners in creating differentiated services.

"Most of our partners are international organizations," Hodges explained. "Moving forward, we see a lot of potential growth for our domestic partners."

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