GitHub ramps up ANZ and ASEAN focus

Launches SaaS version of GitHub Enterprise

GitHub, the global service that provides Git-based online source code repositories accessible by multiple developers, announced its regional presence for ASEAN and ANZ, co-incident with the global launch of a software-as-a-service version of its enterprise product.

Prior to this announcement, GitHub had three offerings: A free service for anybody willing to make their code public; a paid, hosted service for private projects, and GitHub Enterprise. The first two are hosted by GitHub in the US, and accessed via github.com. GitHub Enterprise is standalone software that enterprises can run in their own data centre or with a cloud provider of their choosing.

GitHub’s chief business officer, Julio Avalos, told Computerworld that the new offering, GitHub Business brought many of the features and functions of GitHub Enterprise to the SaaS offering, GitHub.com.

New hosted business service

A GitHub blog post announcing the new service said: “We're introducing a new Business offering that brings SAML [Security Assertion Markup Language] single sign-on, automated provisioning and deprovisioning, 24/5 support, and guaranteed uptime to GitHub.com… These new features build on how development teams already work on GitHub.com: with unlimited private repositories, team and user level permissions, pull requests, code review, and project management tools.”

GitHub was founded in 2008 and says it is now used by 1.3 million organisations and 20 million users. In ANZ, nearly 100,000 people collaborate daily on code using GitHub, according to the company.

Half of the Fortune 10 companies use GitHub Enterprise and 40 per cent of the top 100 use either GitHub enterprise or GitHUb.com. Customers for GitHub Enterprise in the region include REA Group, operator of the realestate.com.au web site; accounting software company Xero; and the ANZ and NAB banks.

Sam Hunt has been ANZ director for GitHub for the past 12 months. He told Computerworld that his is the latest of the GitHub ‘hubs’ outside the US; the others are in Japan and in Europe for the EMEA region. His primary focus is ANZ and ASEAN but at present his responsibilities extend to other parts of Asia, including India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Hunt said GitHub already had around two dozen employees in Australia: “We run APAC support out of Australia, and those people are primarily part of the support and engineering team.”

He said the company had seen 50 per cent growth in both the GitHub.com and GitHub Enterprise business in ANZ over the past year, from a position where it had not been well understood.

“The perception we had in the first few months was that GitHub is a not-for-profit community around code, even though we had a reasonable engagement with paying customers. When we attended the AWS Summit in Sydney last April we were mobbed by people who loved GitHub but did not understand why we were there.”

Educating the user community

Avalos said the company saw a major role for the regional hub is support and educating the user community on issues surrounding their use of a collaborative code-creation platform such as GitHub.

“There is a lot of opportunity for us to come in and say: When you are starting a company and looking for a developer and looking to set up a stack, what are the right questions you should be asking? How do you find that talent? How are you setting up your technology in order to be a nimble, agile organisation that does not require an entire infrastructure team to manage it? How do you become more nimble, and relevant?

“For shops that have not been on a Git-based structure it is a cultural change. How do they set up their organisation culturally to code faster in the way that they have seen work for some of the most successful companies.”

Hunt added: “The most commonly asked question last year from both community and enterprise users was: can you advise us on best practise to get the most out of the technology. They have the tools but they don’t understand how to pull everything together, and that’s not the sort of advice we can give remotely.”

Collaboration beyond coding

Although the underlying Git technology – developed by Linux creator Linus Torvalds in 2005 – was designed for collaborative coding, Avalos said it was increasingly being used for collaboration on other documents.

“The legal team at GitHub uses GitHub. The HR team uses GitHub. We are basically treating all knowledge work as code that can be made visible to the entire organisation… A lot of the non-coding activity is coming from government departments; several are using it for legislation as open source projects.

“The US Department of Commerce has put the entire Census data on GitHub and a number of projects have emerged to slice and dice that data in ways nobody had thought of.”

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