Italo Intriago can’t remember a time in his career when he didn’t use Red Hat. In the late nineties, as an electrical engineering student and aspiring IT security pro, he loaded Red Hat technologies onto desktop computers via CD-ROMs. As Red Hat grew, Intriago kept pace, developing his professional skills alongside the enterprise open-source solutions company. In 2011, Red Hat’s HR team posted a job opening that caught Intriago’s attention. He landed an interview, got the job, and went to work for the company he admired most.
More than ten years later, Intriago is thriving as a team lead in Red Hat’s IT Enterprise Hardware Services Team. For the hardworking professional, who came to the United States from Ecuador at just three years of age, it’s a dream come true. “It wasn’t so long ago that I was just starting out in IT by supporting small businesses and perfecting my skills at workshops and other events, and I’ve always been taught to keep improving and to seize every opportunity,” he says. “Coming to Red Hat opened new possibilities in my career.”
And for Intriago, the move came at just the right time. In 2008, a couple of years after moving from Miami to Raleigh, he took his first leadership position as a principal network engineer with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. The career experiences at Blue Cross Blue Shield were essential for Intriago’s career growth, but after a few years, a job opportunity as principal network engineer at Red Hat presented itself. Intriago was ready to move on to this dream job at Red Hat.
Intriago immediately found himself doing innovative work in a global environment. Compared to previous employers, whose risk-averse nature and layers of corporate bureaucracy seemed to stifle creativity, Red Hat felt dynamic and freeing. “Anyone here can approach a VP and express their ideas,” Intriago says. “Being open and transparent and encouraging collaboration is part of the Red Hat way.”
Unlike most of his colleagues, Intriago hadn’t previously worked at a tech company. But he had used Red Hat and other tech products to support a healthcare and insurance company. Leaders valued Intriago’s outside experience and encouraged him to offer a fresh perspective.
In his early years with Red Hat, Intriago was both learning and contributing. By 2012, Red Hat was ready to move from their office on the Centennial campus of North Carolina State University into a thirteen-floor high-rise. As part of the IT Network team, Intriago helped provide wired and wireless systems, digital signage, and other critical elements toward the new Red Hat Tower’s network infrastructure.
The successful initiative became a template for future projects, and Intriago became more interested in pursuing leadership roles. He started asking his manager for more leadership opportunities and enrolled in Red Hat’s internal leadership training program.
In 2019, Intriago got his shot—he collaborated with his managers to create a new team within Red Hat’s IT department. The team, known as enterprise hardware services, supports internal IT infrastructure teams by providing hardware life cycle and asset management, computer hardware services, storage services, and data center services. To get the new team off the ground, Intriago and his manager collaborated to make a business case and presented it to leadership.
“I demonstrated how an enterprise hardware services team would take responsibility for our hardware and asset management, thus allowing our IT infrastructure teamsto dedicate their time to the mission-critical tasks that really matter for the company,” he says. Intriago got the green light, and has been leading this new team—which has grown from six to twelve people—for a year and half as of August 2021. To date, this is Intriago’s proudest achievement at Red Hat.
Today, Intriago continues to progress as both a leader and an IT professional. “Stepping into leadership and evolving in a career requires a mix of patience and ambition,” he reflects. Relationships are key too. Intriago takes time to cultivate a good rapport with internal and external stakeholders alike. “Business partnerships shouldn’t be purely transactional,” he emphasizes. “We can take the time to understand the value each side can offer.”
That philosophy is demonstrated through Red Hat’s collaboration with Juniper Networks. Although Red Hat once used a different, more well-known vendor for networking products in corporate facilities, Red Hat IT decided to give the scrappier Juniper a chance.
“Red Hat and Juniper are both innovative. Going with them was a bit of a risk,” he says, “but they offered a strong relationship and a chance to collaborate more closely.” The risk paid off. Red Hat works with Juniper to provide connectivity for their data centers and global office infrastructures. As part of Red Hat IT’s next-gen wireless project, Red Hat’s global office wireless network will be moving to Juniper enterprise class wireless solution Mist AI.
“Italo Intriago was instrumental in helping to grow and expand our relationship by embracing Juniper’s wireless and AI technology, together improving their overall user experience,” says Bill Hicks, senior account manager at Juniper Networks.
As Intriago continues to advance in his career, he’s making sure to find ways he can help others along the way. “People have mentored me, and I am looking to provide the same opportunities others helped me find,” he says. “We have to be the best we can and let talented people be talented people.” At the same time, Intriago is eager and excited to continue to grow his own career at Red Hat.