Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri (pictured) is set to outline his vision for how HPE is at the center of the “supercharged digital economy” at HPE Virtual Discover 2021 which runs June 22-24.
“As businesses emerge from the pandemic and move beyond the immediate needs of COVID, digital transformation is at the forefront of their strategic initiatives,” Neri told analysts during HPE’s second quarter earnings calls. “At our Discover event on June 22 you will hear more about how HPE is at the center of this supercharged digital economy.”
Neri is expected to detail how HPE will help customers monetize data as the new digital currency, which he said will ultimately be counted as a balance sheet asset.
In May, Neri touted HPE’s adoption of the Gaia-X advance data monetization platform. By tapping into Gaia-X, which has a strong following in Europe, businesses can advance their ability to “create value from data, tap into huge distributed data pools and strengthen their sovereignty over their data-driven business model,” according to HPE.
“The 2020 era is all about data, but data without insights means nothing,” said Neri during an appearance last year at The Channel Company’s Best of Breed virtual conference. “As we discussed before, we see the data curve outpacing the processing curve. But we have to be able to extract insights because ultimately data is the new currency in this new digital economy, and those who can extract it faster will be the winners.”
Neri’s HPE Discover keynote comes with the appetite for digital transformations solutions on the rise with increased vaccinations and return to work. “We expect to continue to see improvement in customer IT spending throughout 2021,” Neri told analysts during the more recent conference call.
HPE is accelerating its as-a-service pivot and driving new “cloud-first innovation” as it establishes itself as the “edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service choice for our customers and partners,” said Neri.
HPE Aruba Cloud Prowess: A scalable public-cloud-like experience
Look for HPE to showcase its ability to deliver a more seamless cloud operating model to both partners and customers with HPE Aruba as the centerpiece of the cloud revolution.
Neri has talked about HPE becoming a full cloud services company with the ability to deliver new cloud services at a blistering pace.
The Aruba cloud has the scale and reach of a public cloud with 13 cloud clusters in seven geographies updated four times every day.
The Aruba platform has emerged as the foundation of HPE’s edge-to-cloud platform as a service. In fact, HPE Aruba is emerging as a critical factor in HPE’s data services strategy, with the company’s storage and compute backbone now running the same “back end” that Aruba originally created, said Neri. “That’s why we have a true edge-to-cloud platform,” he said.
The Aruba Edge Service Platform now supports more than 100,000 customers with 150 new customers added everyday, managing over 1.1 million devices that support, according to HPE. Those devices support 15 million unique clients with each of those clients generating 1,000 messages per hour. Ultimately, the HPE Aruba platform is managing more than one billion messages per hour.
After HPE reported a 17 percent growth in the intelligent edge business for the most recent quarter, Neri told analysts he expects the intelligent edge business momentum to continue “We are very bullish about this business,” he said. “We expect this business to continue to grow double digits for the balance of the year. And as we add more functionality to our cloud platform, particularly with edge computing and 5G, we are going to accelerate that momentum.”
HPE Element: A cloud-native compute platform
Look for HPE to detail the final piece of its three-pronged cloud-native, software-defined puzzle with the release of the HPE Element compute platform, joining HPE storage cloud data services and the HPE Edge Services Platform.
Just as HPE’s Storage business received a breakthrough data services makeover in May with a new cloud provisioning platform, HPE’s Compute business is also getting a radical makeover.
The new compute cloud operational makeover is another major step forward in HPE’s everything-as-a-service transformation. The rollout of the Compute cloud-native platform provides a single edge-to-cloud platform as a service.
The Element makeover is being driven by Chris Eidler, an eight year HPE veteran who took the role of vice president and general manager of Element in July 2020.
On his LinkedIn page, Eidler says he is responsible for taking the “conceptual Element pillar of HPE‘s strategy and making it a reality.” He is also responsible for providing “workload-oriented” solutions for the enterprise.
“Between these two, we‘re right in the middle of our transformation toward edge-to-cloud platforms,” said Eidler on LinkedIn.
HPE partners, for their part, said they see the ability to provision compute as a service as another major step toward fulfilling Neri’s pledge to offer the complete HPE portfolio in an as-a-service model by 2022.
“HPE needs to make it really simple for compute and storage to be provisioned as a subscription,” said an HPE partner, who did not want to be identified. “It just needs to be super easy.”
New GreenLake offerings and advancements
Look for HPE to continue to add to its HPE GreenLake on-premises cloud pay-per-use arsenal.
The GreenLake advancements come with HPE expecting the as-a-servce market to quadruple over the next three years.
HPE’s latest addition to the GreenLake portfolio is a new database-as-a-service GreenLake offering from HPE strategic partner Nutanix.
Nutanix said its Nutanix Era offering is a multi-database operations and management service that will now be bundled with HPE ProLiant servers and be sold as a service via HPE GreenLake.
The new joint cloud service allows customers to deploy applications and databases in minutes and benefit from pay-per-use capabilities while gaining the governance, visibility and compliance of an on-premises environment.
In the most recent quarter, HPE reported 30 percent year-over-year growth in its annualized revenue run rate, a critical measure of HPE GreenLake sales, to US$678 million. HPE’s total GreenLake as-a-service order growth was up 41 percent, with more than 900 partners now actively selling HPE GreenLake.
HPE GreenLake captured 90 new customers during the quarter, including a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal with Carestream Health, a pioneer of AI-based X-ray imaging systems
HPE is averaging a 95 percent renewal rate on the GreenLake business with a 124 percent usage of the original on-premises cloud services commitment, said Neri. “We will continue to invest aggressively in HPE GreenLake cloud services to provide a true cloud experience and operating model, whether at the edge, on-premises or across multiple clouds,” said Neri.
A focus on partner commitment
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Channel Chief George Hope (pictured) is expected to detail expanded as-a-service opportunities for HPE partners.
As part of the stepped-up GreenLake sales offensive, HPE tripled its GreenLake channel investment for the current fiscal year, adding GreenLake sales specialists to help partners close deals and for the first time adding a GreenLake sales quota for HPE sales reps
HPE–which invests a whopping US$1 billion annually in its Partner Ready program–has remained teadfastly committed to providing that 17 percent up-front margin on the GreenLake deals to help partners make that transformation to a recurring revenue business model.
GreenLake remains at the top of the HPE 5X compensation multiplier category, alongside HPE Ezmeral container and AI operations software and HPE OneView management software.
Neri, for his part, has stressed time and time again that HPE is enabling partners to add their own managed services capabilities on top of the GreenLake pay-per-use platform. “Partners can add their own services on top of that platform because obviously we make APIs [application programming interfaces] available for them to write their own catalog of services,” said Neri.
HPE also continues to make progress in quoting and sales tools for GreenLake. The company is in the process of adding quote-to-cash capabilities for consumption and subscription in its online ordering system.
HPE’s stepped-up partner commitment comes as the company is continuing to show solid partner sales growth. Hope recently revealed that the partner business in the most recent quarter was up 16 percent.
The storage business in the channel was up 12 percent with a marked shift to Primera, Nimble and hyperconverged offerings. Primera channel sales were up 215 percent in the most recent quarter.
HPE GreenLake’s sales were up 20 percent year over year in the most recent quarter, with the number of partners actively selling GreenLake on the rise.
HPE Financial Services: HPE’s as-a-service engine
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Financial Services (HPEFS)–the engine behind the GreenLake pay-per-use model–continues to drive new liquidity into the enterprise, midmarket and SMB.
Among the new offers to help customers unlock budget are an ability to convert current IT assets to a modern GreenLake pay-per-use paradigm; asset buybacks to fund digital transformation; and a program for existing HPEFS customers to divert funds to new investments.
The HPEFS blitz comes just six months after a massive “business model transformation” that for the first time focuses the organization on the SMB channel market opportunity. It also follows a massive US$2 billion in financing assistance to help customers reeling from the global pandemic.
Under the restructuring–which was put in place for the start of the HPE fiscal year–the SMB channel is now one of three customer-focused segments, along with enterprise accounts and global accounts. Before the restructuring, the organization had a regional-focused structure.
“The reason we did this is because it gives us an ability to focus specifically on the SMB channel business because we believe that is the growth area that we can really add some value to,” said HPEFS President and CEO Irv Rothman (pictured) in an interview with CRN. “Five years ago, we didn’t have an SMB channel business. Now it’s pretty much one-third of what we do.”
HPEFS sales were up 11 percent in the SMB segment in the most recent quarter, enterprise business up 22 percent and global business up 138 percent.
HPE Ezmeral update
HPE Ezmeral Software General Manager Anant Chintamaneni is slated to give an update on HPE’s breakthrough cloud-native container, data fabric and machine learning software platform.
Chintamaneni recently touted Ezmeral’s Honorable Mention in the March 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms (DSML). HPE is positioning Ezmeral as the flat out leader in the machine learning data ops market versus VMware and Red Hat.
“We believe this recent recognition shows the impact the HPE Ezmeral portfolio is having on the marketplace,” said Chintamaneni in a blog post. “Although the HPE Ezmeral Software brand was officially announced less than a year ago, the press, analysts, and customers are taking notice. The HPE Ezmeral ML Ops solution provides a complete, composable machine learning lifecycle solution—to build, train, deploy and monitor machine learning and deep learning models at scale. It is quickly gaining market share because it overcomes the barriers large enterprises face in deploying and operationalizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across their organizations.”
Chintamaneni noted in the blog post that with the HPE Ezmeral Marketpace, which was launched earlier this year, clients and partners can build what he called a “robust data science practice using a one-stop shop for HPE Ezmeral-validated Independent Software Vendor (ISV) applications and running them on HPE Ezmeral ML Ops.”
The HPE Ezmeral portfolio is also offered as a service through HPE GreenLake in a pay-per-use model. “HPE engineers perform installation and configuration, and HPE provides complete management of the solution, a single point of contact for support and an expert technical team,” said Chintamaneni. “With a standardized hardware and software build, an organization can avoid a costly manual deployment with a solution delivered to their data center in as few as 14 days.”
A new open-source foundation for zero trust
Look for a security update by HPE Senior Director Security Engineering Sunil James, who leads a global organization aimed at building “trust” throughout HPE’s hardware, software and networking business
James—who says he is helping lead HPE’s “next act”—came to HPE last year with the acquisition of Scytale, which bills itself as a provider of service identity management for the cloud-native enterprise. At that time, HPE said the new platform will play a “fundamental role” in its plans to deliver a dynamic, open, and secure edge-to-cloud platform.
The Scytale team of cloud native security experts includes founding contributors of the open-source SPIFFE (the Secure Production Identity Framework for Everyone) and SPIRE (the SPIFFE Runtime Environment) projects to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
James recently posted on LinkedIn that he was looking for a sales specialist for cloud native security, along with other positions.
In a blog post at the end of last year, James predicted that in 2021, the SPIFFE and SPIRE open-source projects will become “productized and lay a foundation for a zero trust” security model. “Specifically, SPIFFE and SPIRE will provide all enterprises confidence and control over their workload services as they migrate across edge, on-premises, and public cloud environments, by allowing them to recognize and authorize all interactions.”
A look into the HPE 5G future: A coming out party for Phil Mottram
HPE Intelligent Edge President Phil Mottram (pictured) will make his HPE Discover debut as the company steps up its 5G march.
Mottram, a seasoned 30-year telecommunications veteran who has worked at Vodafone, AT&T, Sprint, British Telecom and Telstra, stepped into the new job with the departure of Aruba founder Keerti Melkote, effective June 1. Also departing with Melkote were Aruba Chief Technology Officer Partha Narasimhan and Chief Architect Pradeep Iyer.
Neri called Mottram a “results-driven leader with extensive experience implementing growth strategies and leading transformation initiatives.”
Mottram, who was heading up the HPE communications group with 5,000 employees and US$3.5 billion in sales, has called 2021 the year telcos will start deploying 5G services for business.
“5G is about far more than faster downloads and the real revenue opportunity for telcos will come in deploying innovative new enterprise services,” said Mottram in a blog post.
Telecoms operators and cloud providers see the “opportunity and are moving quickly to offer cloud services at the edge via the 5G network,” said Mottram.
Neri, for his part, has said HPE’s decision to integrate 5G into the Aruba control plane opens the door for partners to create private LTE networks.
“Today, we have billions of apps and data,” Neri told BoB conference virtual attendees last Fall. “Tomorrow we’re going to have trillions of things. And let’s not forget, every day we add 14 million new devices to the network. So we live in a hyperconnected world. But 5G will create a new set of experiences and new use cases.”
HPE supercomputing prowess
Look for an update on HPE’s supercomputing gains from new HPE General Manager High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions Justin Hotard (pictured).
HPE continues to lead the supercomputing revolution, providing the compute muscle to analyze data at massive scale with robust AI and machine learning muscle.
HPE has over US$2 billion in awarded HPE contracts and is pursing a pipeline of US$5 billion in market opportunity over the next three years, said Neri. HPE is targeting 8 percent to 12 percent annual growth in the business for this year.
Among the deals in the most recent quarter were a contract for the United States Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Supercomputing Center in Singapore and the Swiss National Computer Center.
With artificial intelligence reshaping the competitive landscape, HPE is eyeing a GreenLake high performance compute (HPC) as-a-service offering for channel partners.
Hotard—who also oversees HPE’s research and development arm, HPE Labs—joined HPE in 2015 and has played a key role in a number of critical areas, including most recently helping to accelerate HPE’s pivot to an everything-as-a-service model.
Hotard played a key role in driving the acquisiton of high performance compute powerhouse SGI in 2016. He is also credited with helping to transform the HPE Compute business, driving big improvements in growth and profitability of the x86 compute portfolio.
In fact, HPE’s HPC and mission critical systems business was up 11 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
HPE’s HPC business combined with Aruba AI powered cloud platforms comprised 22 percent of HPE’s business in themost recent quarter.
Look for an update from HPE Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Storage Business Tom Black (pictured) on HPE’s new breakthrough cloud data storage services portfolio.
The new storage-as-a-service subscription model provides partners with a complete cloud-software-based provisioning platform with a new Data Services Cloud Console, a new suite of subscription storage data services and new storage systems—All-NVMe Alletra 6000 and 9000 systems—that raise the ante in the intensely competive business critical flash and mission critical storage market.
Black, who took the helm of the US$4.68 billion storage business unit 15 months ago, said the groundbreaking new data service platform with AI-based workload provisioning sets the stage for a new era of cloud storage opportunity for partners.
“We have a whole Rolling Thunder of cloud-native and cloud-centric storage and data services coming over the next year-plus,” promised Black. “This is the opening round. This is a very different company moving forward. This is a tremendous opportunity for partners.”
The new cloud based data services—which are all available with the HPE GreenLake pay-per-use, on-premises cloud services platform—gives HPE a leg up against rivals who are racing to catch up with the edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service powerhouse’s aggressive pivot to an as-a-service model, said Black. “No one has made a pivot this hard,” he said.