HPE Financial Services: We’re Here To Help
At 1,800 employees strong, HPE Financial Services has stepped up to help customers including essential businesses like hospitals respond to the “unprecedented” financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The massive effort includes US$2 billion in financing for a Payment Relief Program and a slew of other services.
In Germany, HPEFS reps worked over a weekend to get five hospitals the equipment they needed to respond to the pandemic, said HPEFS President and CEO Irv Rothman.
“We have a history of being very responsive and doing what’s necessary to keep partners and customers moving,” said Rothman, a 47-year financing veteran who has navigated multiple crises such as the 2008 financial meltdown and the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. “We have stepped it up during this crisis.”
In fact, HPEFS has seen an “uptick” in customer requests for asset management and other services in the wake of the pandemic, said Rothman. “This came from out of the blue,” he said of the global pandemic. “The severity is unprecedented.”
HPE partners said they expect the US$2 billion HPEFS payment relief program and other HPEFS services to save jobs and fuel IT investment.
“This is a very significant relief offering by HPE Financial Services at a time when revenue flow into many organizations is highly constrained or has stopped completely,” said Dan Molina, chief technology officer at Nth Generation, San Diego, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500. “We think we can help many of our customers get through this crisis with this payment relief program. The flexibility to acquire needed technology without a major capital outlay is going to be very welcomed by our customers.”
Rothman, for his part, said the digital transformation sparked by the HPEFS relief effort is going to provide the technology muscle customers need to rebound from the pandemic.
“I don’t know the shape of the recovery or when it is going to come, but there is going to be a recovery,” he said. “Customers need information technology infrastructure. The time to be investing for the recovery is actually now.”
Helping Customers Move To Work-At-Home Model
HPEFS has moved quickly to supply tens of thousands of IT assets—most notably laptop systems—to help businesses move quickly to a work-at-home model as a result of the pandemic.
A bank that was anxious to implement a work-at-home business continuity plan, for example, determined that it needed 40,000 laptops. The HPEFS team in a matter of hours came up with a plan to fulfill a “high percentage” of that demand with end-of-lease devices and refurbished systems. No small matter given the difficulty procuring laptops in the midst of the pandemic.
“The entire world was caught flat-footed by this,” said Rothman. “So companies and government agencies moving to work at home did not have enough product to accommodate employees. That is the uptick we have seen. We responded to this very urgent situation.”
In addition to the financial sector, HPEFS has provided assets to other “essential businesses” including hospitals, schools and government agencies serving the public around the world, said Rothman.
“Every meeting I attend brings a new example of HPE and HPE Financial Services teams obsessing over our customers and partners,” said Rothman in a LinkedIn blog post titled ‘Remarkable People Respond Remarkably’ “’How can we help?’” is the question I have heard the most recently.”
In the same blog, Rothman thanked the HPEFS team for rallying to help customers and partners respond to the crisis. “This is a moment of admiration and a moment of determination,” he said. “We are humans. Humans in business. We live, we learn, we improve. A wholehearted thank you to the HPEFS teams for their relentless engagement and efforts.”
A US$2 Billion Payment Relief Program
HPEFS has allocated US$2 billion in financing largely for a blockbuster coronavirus 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.
Beginning in 2021, each monthly payment would equal approximately 3.3 percent of total contract value.
The Payment Relief Program covers the full portfolio of HPE servers and systems, storage and networking and multivendor hardware.
The US$2 billion initiative from HPEFS—which has grown its channel business at a double-digit compound annual growth rate over the past four years—is aimed squarely at helping customers and partners get through the “unprecedented” financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, said Rothman.
“The economic impact on customers and partners from this program is going to be substantial,” said Rothman. “This is an allocation of funds that we have set aside to specifically help customers with financial challenges coming from the crisis, including cash flow and liquidity. This allocation is intended to show our continued commitment to our customers and partners to help them navigate through this challenging time.”
The HPEFS Payment Relief Program is ultimately providing customers with much-needed technology solutions to rebound from the pandemic, said Rothman. “This is intended to help customers with the information technology they need to put people to work with a more efficient information technology set of tools,” he said.
The HPEFS coronavirus relief efforts comes with increased channel momentum and new tools for partners such as the HPEFS Technomics mobile app.
That Apple and Android smartphone Technomic mobile app allows partners to complete an HPEFS application in the field in just minutes with auto-credit decisions, document generation and e-signature.
Generating Cash From Existing Assets: The Circular Economy
With the pandemic taking a financial toll on businesses of all sizes, HPEFS is stepping up its “circular economy” offensive aimed at helping customers fund revenue-generating digital transformation initiatives.
Under the circular economy strategy, HPEFS converts existing older IT assets or even newer technology that is no longer needed into capital for new digital transformation initiatives.
“We’re providing customers with cash to take out assets in the data center that are not as useful going forward because they are either fully depreciated or they are surplus,” said Rothman.
Over the past two years, HPEFS has put more than US$642 million back into customers’ budgets through the circular economy.
“We have a unique ability to integrate financing and asset management solutions,” said Rothman. “I think we have the best platform in the world. This is to the advantage of our customers and partners. Today, customers and the partners taking care of them need operating flexibility. You can’t have operating flexibility unless you can manage asset risk, and nobody is better at it than we are.”
HPEFS has technology renewal centers in Massachusetts and Scotland.
“We’re considered an essential service,” said Rothman of the HPEFS asset management efforts. “We have approval from the regulatory authorities to continue to operate. … We continue to receive equipment, reprocess it and send it out where it’s most needed.”
Three-Month Delayed Payment Terms
HPEFS is providing 90-day delayed payment on new HPE technology purchases as low as US$5,000 as part of its coronavirus relief initiatives.
This three-month payment deferral option applies to a range of HPE hardware and select software, software appliances, services and installation packages.
HPE partners should reach out to their HPEFS field sales reps to take advantage of the payment deferral or other options, said Rothman.
HPEFS recently held an all-hands-on-deck call for its sales force on the new programs.
“Our entire sales force has been thoroughly trained and will be responsive answering questions for any channel partner or customer,” said Rothman.
Forbearance Programs For Existing HPEFS Customers
HPE is proactively working with customers hit hard by the crisiis with “forbearance” programs. Those programs—which allow customers to temporarily stop making payments—will be implemented over the next 90 days, said Rothman.
“If we have customers who can’t pay the bill, we are going to give them some extended forbearance because we don’t want them to go out of business,” he said. “We need to take care of our customers and work with them so that when the recovery does begin, they have the opportunity to get healthy again.”
The forbearance effort—along with new financing offerings like the Payment Relief Program—is the kind of financial assistance that saves jobs in a financial downturn, said Rothman.
“The idea of providing forbearance and extended payment terms for customers will hopefully preserve jobs much like the federal government is doing with the stimulus program,” said Rothman. “This gives customers room to breathe and room to operate. It gives them an opportunity to get through these next few months and prepare for when things improve.”
HPE GreenLake Everything As A Service
HPEFS’ battle-tested expertise providing the financial foundation for HPE’s GreenLake Everything-as-a-Service pay-per-use model is a huge competitive advantage for customers and partners in the current cash-strapped economic climate, said Rothman. “We’re the financial engineers that backstop GreenLake,” he said.
GreenLake is powering innovative HPE next-generation software offerings like GreenLake Central and Aruba Central along with the underlying pay-per-use on-premises hardware to drive a next-generation edge to cloud services platform, said Rothman.
“Hardware risk has to be assessed and managed, and that is where we really bring value to the HPE future as the company pivots to Everything as a Service by 2022,” said Rothman. “We are providing customers and partners as well with accelerated migration to what the new hybrid IT infrastructure looks like with buyouts of assets in the data center and consumption-based financing programs that allow customers to have maximum operating flexibility.”
Partners say HPE GreenLake’s consumption-based pay-per-use platform is poised to be embraced by more customers than ever before in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. They say GreenLake’s flexible capacity consumption model was designed to allow customers to spike usage down or up quickly as in the case of work-at-home.
“Customers are realizing they need that HPE flexible capacity to handle these types of demands for business continuity,” said Felise Katz, co-founder and CEO of PKA Technologies, New York, one of HPE’s original Platinum partners. “The size of the workloads changes when people have to work remotely during a crisis. Security, capacity and the ability to handle network traffic is top of mind. GreenLake is an ideal solution for our customers who are anxious to help their clients in the midst of a crisis like coronavirus.”