Tackling Work-From-Home Head On With HPE VDI Solutions
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has moved quickly to help customers adopt HPE virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions for work-at-home amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Saadat Malik, vice president of Internet of Things and Intelligent Edge Services.
In fact, HPE has seen an uptick in HPE VDI solutions around the globe in the wake of the pandemic, said Malik.
In North America, there has been considerable demand for VDI solutions based on Citrix and VMware along with collaboration offerings like Microsoft Teams and Skype, he said.
HPE also has seen stepped-up demand from retailers anxious to implement the HPE Virtual Remote Guidance (VRG) solution that allows an expert to remotely guide less experienced employees on retail operations including stocking and inventory, said Malik.
The pandemic has hit customers hard, essentially putting the “day-to-day running of their businesses in jeopardy,” said Malik.
HPE has responded with a GreenLake consumption-based pay-per-use offering, preconfigured Citrix or VMware VDI solutions for 80 to 2,000 workers, and special HPE Financial Services options that include a 90-day payment deferral or short-term rentals.
The ready-to-go bundles and financing are helping customers quickly move employees to a work-at-home scenario, said Malik.
“The key message here is we are partnering very closely with our customers to understand what their business requirements are and then addressing them very quickly,” he said.
GreenLake VDI Pay Per Use: ‘Better’ Pricing In Most Cases Than Public Cloud
The HPE GreenLake VDI pay-per-use offering provides “better” pricing in most cases than public cloud VDI offerings, said Malik.
“Even though it is an on-premises solution, it provides a cloud-like experience at price points which are better than what the public cloud is able to provide,” said Malik. “So you get all the benefits of an on-premises solution in terms of latency, security, control and you get pricing that is even better than what you get with public cloud.”
GreenLake VDI, which has been available for the past 18 months, already was seeing strong demand before the coronavirus pandemic but now is “exploding because of the consumption model it provides to customers,” said Malik.
The GreenLake pay-per-use offering is being embraced by customers who are anxious to move to a work-at-home model as “quickly” as possible, said Malik.
“We are seeing significant demand for GreenLake VDI,” he said. “There are customers who are coming to us and asking us for more and more GreenLake solutions. The reason is it is a consumption model where you can increase or decrease your utilization over time as the demand ebbs and flows.”
HPE partners are experiencing a surge in demand for a wide variety of GreenLake services offerings. They say the 17 percent up-front rebate combined with the ability to add in their own managed services represents a big opportunity to increase their margin in a market that is demanding consumption-based IT services.
Preconfigured VDI Bundles For Rapid Deployment
The Citrix and VMware preconfigured solutions have all been tested and approved for rapid implementation, said Malik.
The preconfigured bundles eliminate latency and the need for performance tuning that can sometimes hobble VDI rollouts, said Malik. “These are preconfigured, so it is very quick to go out and set them up for the customer,” he said.
Prebuilt ProLiant configurations are designed to support a variety of workloads and use cases—from basic database entry to collaboration applications and graphics-intensive workloads such as computer-aided design, said HPE Vice President of Product Marketing Fred Kohout in a blog post.
HPE Synergy VDI solutions are offered in three starter kits that easily scale to support remote work staff of 600, 1,200 and 2,000 employees, said Kohout.
Under the HPE Partner Ready Services Program, partners that work with Pointnext and sell HPE services are eligible for front-end and back-end incentives. In addition, certified services partners can deliver the services themselves.
Malik pledged strong support from Pointnext to work side by side with partners to meet customer VDI business needs.
“We are offering workshops where customers can come and have discussions with us, figure out what the business requirements are, and then address those requirements,” he said. ‘The partners can take advantage of that as well. They can partner with the HPE Pointnext organization in having those conversations with customers, making sure that we are meeting the long-term needs of customers not just the short-term requirement.”
A Long-Term Strategic Focus On Regulatory Compliance
Even as customers move quickly to adopt work-at-home VDI solutions, HPE’s Pointnext team has doubled down on its methodology to ensure customers consider compliance, regulatory and security issues.
“The reason for that is very simple. We don’t want to be in a situation where customers are caught up in regulatory/compliance solutions,” said Malik. “We don’t want a hospital to set up a VDI solution where compliance or security has not been met.”
HPE Pointnext is also ensuring the go-forward VDI solutions are in line with the long-term strategic focus of the customer, said Malik. “We don’t want them to set up a solution that meets only part of their requirement and then tomorrow they have to completely rip this out and put something else in because they realize that half of their business requirements have not been met,” he said.
A Moonshot For HPE VDI Services
As part of its stepped-up VDI charge, HPE recently released a new HPE Moonshot solution for VDI that delivers a 70 percent performance advantage and consumes 25 percent less power than the previous-generation solution.
The new Moonshot solution ships with the HPE ProLiant m750 Server Blade, which supports nearly 33 percent more remote workers on 25 percent less power, according to HPE.
Among the applications for the new HPE VDI offerings are essential coronavirus services like support for remote workers in temporary medical facilities, telemedicine and work-at-home education/digital classroom solutions.
HPE also offers VDI solutions for ProLiant and Synergy servers with entry-level solutions starting at 80 users and scaling to over 2,000 remote workers for Citrix and VMware environments.
One of the key benefits of working with HPE Pointnext services is a razor-sharp focus on business outcomes, said Malik.
“That is something we bring as a value to our customer as a business partner,” he said. “We are not there to just sell them our hardware. We want to partner with them on the business outcomes. And when the business outcomes are challenged like they are right now in this environment, we are there for them. We work with them to get through it.”
HPE Financial Services Assistance
HPE Financial Services is providing a range of options including 90-day payment deferral and short-term rentals for HPE VDI solutions.
The pandemic has taken a severe financial toll on customers, said Malik. “There are customers who are cash-strapped who need to be able to take advantage of the deferral as well as the rental option,” said Malik. “HPE Financial Services helps with that.”
HPEFS also recently initiated a massive coronavirus relief effort with US$2 billion in financing largely for a blockbuster Payment Relief Program.
The Payment Relief Program allows customers to defer over 90 percent of the total contract value of products and services until 2021. The terms allow customers to pay just 1 percent of total contract value each month for the first eight months.
Malik’s call to action for partners: Team with HPE Pointnext to quickly address customer VDI needs.
“Let’s figure out what their business requirements, are and let’s do it quickly,” he said, rallying partners to carry the HPE VDI consulting services torch. “Let’s do it. We cannot afford not to do it. Let’s implement a solution that makes sense for the customer in the short run and also keeps them intact for the long term. That is my call to action. Let’s get the customers through it, but let’s get them through it intelligently and in a way that makes sense for everybody in the long term.”