SUSE Chief Executive Officer Melissa Di Donato. Credit: NCN online.

China is one of SUSE’s fastest growing markets worldwide and the German open source software firm plans to invest more in the country, Chief Executive Officer Melissa Di Donato told Yicai Global.

SUSE’s market share in China is growing at a double-digit rate, Di Donato said. As part of the digital transformation of doing business, open source products have become a key technological area, she said.

Open source software can be modified and shared by the general public because it is publicly accessible. It’s a big ecosystem and it’s all about collaboration, said Jiang Yongqing, vice president and general manager of SUSE’s Asia Pacific and Japan offices. Some startups can compete with each other, but because SUSE has a more stable and robust infrastructure, it is more likely to go for mergers and acquisitions.

Bringing Chinese partners into the European market and SUSE’s entry into China is of equal importance to the Linux distributor, Di Donato said when she was appointed CEO in July.

The Nuremburg-based company owns three key research and development centers worldwide, one of which is in China.

No matter which country you enter, you need to understand the business environment and respect its culture and customs, Di Donato said. Complying with local laws and regulations is also important, she added.

The firm’s worldwide operating revenue has been on the rise for the last nine years. Deals valued at over USD1 million in application delivery subscriptions tripled in the fiscal year ending Oct. 31 and cloud and customer deals jumped 64% and 13% respectively, according to the firm’s latest earnings results.

London-based Di Donato spent almost three years as SAP’s chief revenue officer, before being promoted to the COO position in July 2018, The Register reported.

Before SAP, she worked at Salesforce, IBM and Oracle. Her CV also includes a stint as managing director of Uccelli, a business consulting firm in London.

On Twitter, Di Donato describes herself as a mother, wife and drone pilot.

In her spare time, she chairs the Technology Group of the 30% Club – an organization with the lofty goal of achieving 30% female representation on S&P 100 boards of directors by 2020.

SUSE is the world’s largest independent open-source software company, primarily known for its distributions of Linux and OpenStack.

After Di Donato took over at SUSE in August, she issued this press release:

There is no greater honour than to lead SUSE into its next chapter of accelerated growth and corporate development. SUSE is at the cusp of a historic shift as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprises core business strategy. We are well positioned to emerge as the clear leader of this shift, with our ability to power digital transformation for our customers at their own pace and with agile, enterprise-grade open source solutions, edge to core to cloud.

What is unmistakable is our unlimited ability to deliver value to our community, customers, partners and shareholders  all of whom have been the bedrock of SUSEs success. As exciting as SUSEs growth and innovation have been over the past several years, we are just getting started.

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