It’s fitting that the first blockbuster Hewlett Packard Enterprise GreenLake Flex Capacity 3.0 channel pay-per-use deal was delivered by a solution provider called Champions of Change.
The four-year-old Australian strategic service provider, which aims to disrupt the norms so readily accepted when it comes to IT, was started by Xara Tran, a tech entrepreneur whose goal has always been to deliver a better IT experience with better business outcomes.
Tran beat out consulting industry behemoths by staying the course in a sales cycle that lasted more than a year. “A lot of the competitors gave up after a month of dialogue with the client,” she said. A lot of resellers don’t have the patience for a long sales cycle.”
Tran is very much a solution provider of the future focused on delivering long-term strategic services rather than transactional product sales. It’s a big leap to move from products to services, but that’s just what Tran has done with Champions of Change.
GreenLake has provided the fuel for that strategic services focus. It is, in fact, the kind of recurring revenue, multiyear pay-per-use model that is changing the channel landscape. HPE, to its credit, has been at it longer than others and has backed up the multiyear model with a robust, 17 percent up-front rebate to help the channel move from a Capex project-based IT business to an Opex services model.
Tran said the GreenLake model has changed how she and her customers think about IT. “The consumption model has allowed me to be more consultative and change the dialogue from talking about new procurement, infrastructure and minor changes to something big,” she said. “It has moved the conversation from what servers do you have to how is your business growing? ”
That has had a dramatic effect on customers stepping up their focus on how to drive revenue gains with game-changing use of technology. “With GreenLake, my clients are enjoying having a different conversation,” she said. “The consumption-based discussion is much more layered.”
Tran expects to drive about US$5 million in GreenLake sales over the next three years. “It’s exciting to see HPE building a pay per use model like this that supports the channel,” she said. “Competitors have tried to emulate GreenLake but they are not providing the same consumption model as HPE.”
The blockbuster five-year GreenLake deal that Champions of Change closed last year with one of the largest retail chains in Australia and the UK has paid off in off-the-charts return on investment for the customer, said Tran.
In one case, a financial workload that took 12 hours to complete has been reduced to just 90 minutes. It has also allowed the customer to put US$800,000 more into digital transformation initiatives. “It is automating mundane tasks and systemising day-to-day operations,” said Tran. “What the customer is doing is shifting IT staff from day-to-day to change and growth.”
The customer reaction to the Champions of Change blockbuster GreenLake deal, which included a Synergy DevOps model, 3Par and HPE OneView, sums up the power of the business outcome pay-per-use model.“When they saw the results from testing their workloads, there were smiles and laughter,” said Tran. “I’ll never forget the client’s ear-to-ear smile and laughter. That made all our effort worth it.”
Smiles and laughter. That’s the kind of reaction every solution provider dreams about. Given the customer embrace of pay-per-use in every nook and cranny of the technology market, it’s a change that all solution providers should be championing. Those that embrace the multiyear, recurring revenue strategic services provider model are sure to see more smiles and laughter from clients. Those that don’t will surely see frowns and cries of disgust.