Drawing inspiration from an emotional video of Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees in China returning to work, HPE CEO Antonio Neri says he is optimistic that there is “light at the end” of the coronavirus tunnel.
“We are living through challenging times, but I am optimistic that we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Neri in a blog post. “In Europe, for example, governments have begun planning to lift ‘stay at home’ measures. We are developing recovery plans so we can return people to work on a country-by-country basis in a thoughtful manner when the time comes.”
Neri said he was “moved” by a video created by the HPE team in Dalian, China, sharing words of hope -- rallying colleagues that “we can make it through” the pandemic.
“China is recovering, and while we are still encouraging our global team members to work from home, in China some team members are beginning to return to work,” said Neri. “It’s a good reminder that we are one HPE family, and we will get through this together.”
In fact, Neri said “stories like this inspire us and give us optimism, while we continue to assess developments and adapt to the current situation.”
Neri said one area that HPE is “adapting” as a result of the pandemic is HPE Discover 2020, which is being converted from an in-person Las Vegas event the week of June 20 to a virtual event starting June 22.
“I’m excited by our team’s vision,” said Neri. “We’re designing a unique, engaging virtual experience that allows us to reach a global audience unlike ever before and will empower our customers and partners with knowledge and insights to look ahead, evolve and emerge from this period even stronger.”
Neri said that while he will miss the opportunity to spend time in person with customers and partners, he knows the virtual experience will be “best in class and our audiences will find it tremendously valuable.”
Neri also singled out HPE Financial Services’ US$2 billion payment relief program aimed at helping customers overcome the financial challenges posed by the coronavirus.
“Many businesses today have an immediate need to preserve cash, defer or reduce expenses, and relieve capacity strains and delivery delays,” he said. “Our new Payment Relief Program lets customers acquire new technology and defer over 90 percent of the cost of their acquisition until 2021. HPE is here to help.”
Another area where HPE is helping is through its HPE Gives program, with team members volunteering to assist New York State’s “Covid-19 Tech SWAT Team” and also mentoring students who no longer have a formal school structure. “It is so gratifying to see our team members living HPE’s mission to advance the way we live and work,” said Neri.
A top executive for an HPE partner, who did not want to be identified, said the words of hope and encouragement are important given the rising death toll in the U.S.
“We appreciate Antonio’s comments of optimism, sharing with us that in other parts of the world they see the beginning of getting back to normal,” said the executive. “It’s important to remain positive and hopeful. We have our jobs to do to maintain business continuity. There are people and families relying on us. They need a paycheck for food and the basic needs of life.”
Although the pandemic will not end overnight, it is important to remain “steadfast in our resolve,” said Neri.
“The video from our Chinese colleagues is proof that eventually our lives will evolve from the current state,” he said. “While ‘normal’ will be different, and we’ll be changed by this experience, let’s remember the lesson they shared: ‘As long as hope remains, we will be unbeatable.’”