On this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast – Interview Series I am joined by Gerry Nolan, Worldwide Senior Director: HPE Pointnext Operational Services. Gerry is responsible for the team that enables customer support experience to drive digital transformation journeys. Our conversation covered some recent developments from HPE that are designed to meet the needs of customers that have emerged from the pandemic. It’s one you don’t want to miss.
Enabling Business Value Through the Five Pillars of Enterprise Care
In our conversation we discussed the following:
- How the pandemic has changed the way organizations invest in technology
- An overview of HPE’s Tech Care offering
- A look at HPE’s new offering Complete Care
- An exploration of the five pillars of enterprise care that will define next-gen IT services
- The enterprise challenges that are driving the need for Complete Care
HPE Pointnext Complete Care offering sets a new benchmark for enterprise-wide services and support with its global coverage, depth and breadth of technical abilities, simplified framework and deployment model, and streamlined procurement and consumption-based pricing. If you’d like to learn more about the new offering be sure to check out our latest white paper Enabling Business Value Through the Five Pillars of Enterprise Care on the topic.
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Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.
Daniel Newman: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the future of tech webcast, I’m your host today. Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst, Founding Partner at Futurum Research. Welcome everybody to the show. Excited today about today’s interview series webcast, which I’m going to be joined by HPE Pointnext Services, Director of Operational Services, Gerry Nolan. Gerry, without further ado, I’d like to welcome you to the show. How are you doing today?
Gerry Nolan: Fantastic, Daniel, thank you very much for the opportunity. It’s great to be here.
Daniel Newman: Yeah. I’m really excited to have you here. So big title, mouthful. Tell everybody out there what that really means. What do you do every day?
Gerry Nolan: Yes, I have a large business card. So in my current role here at HPE, I own what’s called the operational services portfolio, which is part of HPE Pointnext Services. And yeah, we focus on the IT operations space. So helping customers support their IT, however customers define their IT these days. Heavy on prem with a move towards as a service, edge and cloud. So it’s a fine line these days, Daniel, as you know, between support moving towards managed advisory and as a service. So my team focuses heavily on the support segment, but we work alongside our colleagues who take care of the elements of the portfolio. They’re focused on managed advisory. And of course, as a service.
Daniel Newman: Absolutely, welcome to the show. Excited to have you here, have some questions for you. I’ve spent some time over the last several months working alongside you and your team to better understand a few of the new offerings that you’ve come out with. And that’s what I’m going to ask you some questions about. Now quickly before I do that, just the general disclaimer, stuff just want to let everybody know out there that this show is for information entertainment purposes only. And while we do talk to and about publicly traded companies, please do not take anything we’re sharing here as investment advice.
And we of course appreciate our partners at HPE for being part of our show. All right, Gerry, let’s get at it. I like starting with the macro thinking here. Thinking big picture, broad, we’ve been more or less locked up now with increased mobility, but definitely a changed world for the better part of what I don’t know, 18, 20 months. Talk a little bit about what you’re seeing in your role. The broad changes, the pandemic, how it’s shaping organizations and kind of the changing needs for the delivery of services and technology and companies that are making big investments in digital transformation and tech.
Gerry Nolan: Indeed, a great question. And obviously the global pandemic we’re working through has had a massive impact on IT organizations and organizations like ours in terms of how we deliver. So IT ops suffering all sorts of challenges, many of have sort of resolved or moved to a more mature state today. But many of the challenges around enabling very quickly, large numbers of remote workers, sort of all the way through to keeping their lights on. I mean, COVID introduced all sorts of constraints, simple things like allowing staff to access their physical IT would be an example. So you can imagine a break fix scenario where traditionally somebody would go and replace a part or take some action locally with a piece of hardware. And of course now they can’t do that right. Because nobody is allowed to be on site. So, that’s a major constraint that customers have had to work through.
Other examples would include just the deployment of new technologies. I mean, you want to deploy some new servers or storage or whatever, getting access to the IT and doing all the necessary work in setting up and onboarding and migrating has been a real challenge. Then you look at areas like skill shortages and supply chain issues. Also a big factor for many of our customers. And those that have already invested in a digital platform, we tended to see them having a lot fewer challenges and it’s a lot easier for them to manage remote workers and do work remotely. But those that have not invested and were rapidly moving to deploy digital solutions. That was obviously challenging to do that in a very short amount of time. So, and then of course you have this rapid move to, as a service model, which is a trend we’re seeing in our personal lives as well as here in enterprise IT.
So a large percentage of customers that we work with they’re keen to move to a cloud type model, but many of them want to keep the IT on their site or within their environment. And of course that delivers all sorts of benefits in terms of flexibility. They can help work on choosing the IT architecture, helps with latency speeds, security compliance and a host of other benefits that they get. So we see that hybrid approach, really has picked up steam both during COVID and right up to the present day. And of course we’re helping to enable that here at HPE through our services.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. You covered a lot of ground. And there are a whole lot of secular trends and changes in the market. We definitely saw the divide between the digital haves and have nots and how that impacted the market. Of course, HPE, you guys deal with and work very closely with a number of very large enterprise customers, a lot tended to be on that more have than have not side, but all were in various stages of migration, dealing with other challenges. Whether that is, large shadow IT issues in their organization, whether that’s having processes that hadn’t been fully fleshed out, or migration from prem to cloud or somewhere in between. All of which has led to the conundrum and the need for a better way to support customers, which is really where your world is mostly focused, Gerry.
Gerry Nolan: Exactly.
Daniel Newman: I want to talk about that. So you guys in this pod, I want to make sure we talk a little bit about your recent launch of Complete Care, but I also want to kind of look at the progression. You’ve been very throughout the pandemic. We worked alongside you around your previous launch called Tech Care, and Tech Care grew and expanded its wings and now is augmented by Complete Care. Two different programs, two different things, but just give us the quick rundown of the Tech Care launch, it’s genesis. And then of course now moving to Complete Care. How are these different, how are these related? How do you want enterprises to think about these two different offerings?
Gerry Nolan: Yeah. Excellent question, Daniel, I guess I’ll start off by saying almost like any part of our lives these days, whether it’s buying a car to booking a vacation to watching a movie. Customers and people just want simple, fast efficient experiences. So what we did was, we had a look at our customers and, and what they’re looking for and we decided we’re going to transform our legacy portfolio and come up with two very simple experiences. The first, as you mentioned is called HPE Pointnext Tech Care. That is a product focused experience. And so when you buy an HPE product moving forward, it’s going to come with this built in support experience called Tech Care. We launched this, as you mentioned in March, it’s got multiple layers of value for customers and we’ve made major investments in a number of different areas around providing a rich digital platform, providing many, many new features.
Things like personalized dynamic dashboards, alerts. It extends access to the vast array of knowledge and expertise that we have in dealing with customers all over the world. But we also provide through that same digital platform, extended access to our experts and our expertise. To really allow customers to do more self solve and self-serve, which is a trend that we see in the industry. And many customers are asking for the ability to do that. So you still have access to our live experts. You also can watch them in tech tip video libraries. You can interact with them through forum discussions, you can read their technical papers. So there’s many, many different sort of omni-channel ways of accessing both our experts and our expertise. And that’s really what Tech Care is. And it comes, as I say, as part of any HPE product that you buy.
The second experience is one where a customer wants a sort of an all IT, I call it the warm blanket of support that we wrap around the whole customer’s IT environment. Here, we assign a named set of people to work with that customer. This can be technologies that are HPE and non HPE. So it covers both the hardware and the software. It’s a very flexible framework and allows us to sort of personalize that experience for each individual customer, leveraging all the capabilities that we have. We’ve been doing this type of support for over 40 years. So as you might imagine, we have an extensive set of capabilities, globally. Things like our deep expertise at centers of excellence around topics like SAP HANA, performance, security, et cetera. And we built up a lot of unique infrastructure over the years, and we’re really enhancing that and doubling down with the launch of Complete Care here in September.
And that’s going to extend our scope into new areas, more focused on software, on workloads, on delivering specific value in industry segments. And a good example here would be customers managing their vast software estate. During COVID, many customers were given free access to software, and many of them took advantage of that, but now we’re coming out of COVID, some of those software companies are looking to do audits and they’re coming in to check how many licenses are you using? How much do you owe? And a lot of customers don’t have good control of that. So with Complete Care, one of the new options is helping customers manage their software licenses estate, understand what they have, how much are they paying, is there a better way of doing it? And we’ll take that all the way through to actually managing their software licenses for them. And that’s just one new component of Complete Care. Many other new areas around open source support and other workload areas that we’re focused on too. So we’re very excited about Complete Care. Like I say, it launches here in September.
Daniel Newman: Yeah. There’s a lot to that. You call it the warm blanket. I think white glove, the turnkey. Want to think about it, but don’t want to think about it, level of support. When we were assessing the situation, we certainly can see with the sprawl of applications and technologies, hardware, infrastructure, there is so much complexity. And I certainly see the value in what the company is thinking about with this rollout. And it also fits Antonio Neary and the company’s whole, everything as a service, sort of strategy that’s growing quickly. And that’s being able to layer on that level of support and management on top of any number of either consumption or prem based deployments, that a company is going to undergo as we continue to transform our businesses.
So I want to talk a little bit about the assets we developed together. We’ve worked and you’ve given us and briefed us, and then we’ve gone and read some more, learn some more, talked to the markets, provided a proper assessment of where we see the challenge in the enterprise. And being able to deliver kind of the best of breed care.
And we boiled it down to, effectively, you call it five key pillars that will define the next generations of services. So this is our take, not the HPE take, but I’m interested in your take on our take. And we came up with reduced friction and smart support experiences, knowledge and collaboration, value focused guidance and direction, and then scalability and agility. As basically the five pillars as to why that level of warm blanket service is really going to be required for companies to truly transform their enterprises with all the available technologies and complexities of data and scale.
Any of these particular five. I’d love to hear your take, any of them come to mind as a priority over another. How would you weight these, any different things and items that you think companies should be thinking about?
Gerry Nolan: Yeah, it’s a great point. And for our listeners, I’d really recommend you read Daniel’s paper. It’s an awesome paper and you get a lot of value from that. And for me, based on the experience we have working with customers around the world, especially these days, I think customers expect vendors and partners to have some of these elements. They’re sort of like table stakes to be in the IT space. So things like, reduce friction and smart support. For me, if I get on a plane, I sort of expect the airline to have a safe, secure environment to get me from A to B. It’s all the other elements where they go above and beyond to personalize the experience and differentiate themselves, that sort of makes them stand out. So in the IT world, what we see with customers is really that focus on the volume, the overwhelming amount of data and information that they’re being pummeled with from all different avenues.
So understanding what that means for them. And ideally looking to a partner who can provide insights and guidance, what does that actually mean to me, for my environment based on my desired state and what actions should I take? So for me, that whole area around value focused guidance and direction, and the way you articulate that in your paper, for me, that sort of stood out as the primary space where customers are getting value. And there’s an example of that, many customers I speak to, they’re looking to maybe optimize some aspect of their IT, or maybe give them guidance. A recent large bank that I was talking to is looking to move from legacy Unix, to open source, running on x86 with an agile app development type, totally different environments. So they require new skills, new technologies, but they can’t lose the legacy environment. They have to take time. It’s going to take them three to five years to go through that transition.
So they’re dealing with a plethora of challenges, keep my old environment running, transform to the new architecture. Re-skill my people, share best practices. Don’t screw up along the way. So this is a classic example of where a customer is looking for that value focused guidance, and direction. Are we making the right decisions? Are we choosing best in class? Do you have best models or best practices that we can leverage to make sure we can increase the likelihood of succeeding? So for me, that one stands out. And I guess for us, it’s one of the key reasons. And one of the key sets of feedback we get, both from Tech Care.
And also as we prepare to launch Complete Care, we’re really doubling down on that provision of expert insight and allowing customers to have conversations with our experts. So they can speak to somebody who has proven, trusted knowledge. And they can learn from that. And obviously we’re going to continue investing to ensure we deliver on all of these pillars, but certainly that’s one area where we’re really double downing in terms of access to our expertise and our experts, all the best practice and knowledge that I mentioned. Does that make sense, Daniel?
Daniel Newman: Absolutely. You covered a lot of ground and I want to keep moving because you only have about five, six minutes. I’ve got a couple more questions I want to hammer out with you here. I want to talk about enterprise challenges. You’ve sort of alluded to these throughout this entire interview, but there are some… Anytime you launch a new product, and we work very closely with many companies across the industry, and we’re often asked to test messages and to provide our assessment as to whether this product will or will not be successful. It’s a fun and also very challenging journey. When you roll out a product like this, you have to figure there’s going to be a couple of hooks. And then of course, over time, you massage it and the product gets better. The story gets better. You get more customers, more use cases, momentum gains. What are going to be the things that make Complete Care catch on early and often and become a winner in the market? What do you see driving that?
Gerry Nolan: Well, I guess I’ll touch on something you mentioned. I mean, today IT is complex. The world is complex. So just because you’re IT is complex, doesn’t mean your IT experience needs to be. So our goal and our aim with Complete Care is to really make your IT experience a lot simpler and make your life a lot less stressful by bringing all of that work, putting all of that on us. And having our experts help you, guide you, and actually to perform a lot of those tasks for you. So whether it’s customers that are challenged with simplifying or transforming their IT, or trying to dynamically speed up deploying new solutions so they can rapidly deliver value to their business. Our assigned team that we will assign to each Complete Care customer. They can really help provide that expertise and guidance.
And many customers, as you already mentioned, they’re rushing to deploy digital solutions. They’re trying to move to as a service models, while also retaining their legacy environments. They really are looking for a partner who can help them across all these areas. Like the bank, I mentioned, make sure their strategy is solid, make sure their architecture is best in class. Make sure they have the skills and help to deploy and integrate that solution, migrate over to it. And then of course in my space, support that on a 24/7 basis with an increased focus on the software and the workloads as we go forward. So those are just some high-level thoughts.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. And you cover a lot of ground. I mean, I look at a lot of what’s in this offer and I see the value clearly. Every enterprise is going to have to go through the paces, understand the biggest complexities in their businesses, which partners can be the most instrumental in streamlining their businesses. And it really has to be looked at from both ends. You have to look at the scalability of your technology, right? Which partners are going to help you scale and grow, which we talked about in our fifth pillar, the scalability and agility. But you also have to look at cost control, speed to market and that our first pillar, I think, is really important too. Which was reducing friction and complexity. I think a lot of companies, they get into a certain support relationship like this because of that.
And then when they start to see what gets stripped away, all the mundane and monotonous things that can get stripped out of the process, that investment can go towards things that help you scale. It can help exponentialism as I like to call it. In terms of your entire approach to adopting and deploying technology across your enterprise.
I got time for one last question, Gerry, it’s been a lot of fun, but I always like people that have crystal balls. Do you have a crystal ball?
Gerry Nolan: Right in front of me, go for it. Lottery numbers for this weekend.
Daniel Newman: What are the Powerball numbers… No, I’m kidding. Listen, what do you see in terms of the future for Complete Care? How does this evolve? So you saw it, you kind of gave the Tech Care to Complete Care story. And now what do you think are going to be some of those ingredients that are going to not only help you win early, like we just talked about, but that are going to help you win often and into the future.
Gerry Nolan: Yeah. Great question. And I wish I did have a crystal ball, but some of the trends we’re seeing and hearing from customers is definitely continuing our focus. We already have a vast array of use cases and workloads that we’re covering, but we’re going to be extending that. We’re working closely with our GreenLake colleagues who are delivering the HPE as a service experience. Every GreenLake experience gets delivered with Complete Care under the hood, as it were to support that environment. So we’re going to be working and continue to work closely with them on building out new use cases and workload focused solutions.
Right now, for example, I am working on a solution for the container and cruise line industry. So you can imagine, industry segment like that, where they have limited access to parts, expertise is also a challenge, and they want the flexibility to move their ships around the world, but still have access to a central set of experts, as well as parts where, and when they need it. So that’s just one example of an evolution that we’re making to focus in on industry segments and see what value we can bring. But enabling that move to as a service, integrating more and more of the advisory and professional service type choices, to be able to help customers through a single Complete Care framework, to work across any area of the value chain. From strategy to deployment, all the way through to support and managed services.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. You hit a lot of things right on the head. I think I’ve watched the GreenLake business, which you guys work closely with. And a lot of the focus has been on building the tools and capabilities and streamlining that entire customer journey, which I think is of course going to be another part that will continue to be innovated upon and improved upon. And it’ll make it even easier for companies to consume these services. But that seems to be becoming more and more a part of the HPE DNA.
And I’ll continue to watch Complete Care and Tech Care and basically the whole HPE story of how it is transforming its business. I was there the day Antonio announced everything as a service. Largely, I’ve been very optimistic about it. I think it was a good strategy. We’re seeing a lot of execution now and we’re quickly running into 2022, where everything is in fact supposed to be a service. So Gerry, HPE, I will be watching.
But at this point, Gerry, I have no more questions. I just want to say, thank you so much for spending some time and talking to me, hope to have you back again on the show sometime.
Gerry Nolan: Absolutely. It’s been a lot of fun. Thank you for having me. And if anyone would like more information, they can talk to their HPE rep or their channel partner, or of course they can access our website, hpe.com/services/CompleteCare. Go check it out. Thank you again, Daniel.
Daniel Newman: Absolutely. I love that when someone’s ready to give their call to action, and I didn’t even need to prompt you for it.
Gerry Nolan: Well there you go.
Daniel Newman: So you may not have sales in your title, but you have sales in your blood. Everybody out there though, I do want to say thank you for tuning in. We always appreciate and value our community here on the Futurum Tech Webcasts. We love when you listen to our interviews with the companies that we work closely with. We try to synthesize all this information, everything that’s going on in the market and make sure that you can benefit and understand what’s hot and what might not be. For this episode though, it’s time to say goodbye, check out the show notes. You can definitely download this paper that we did all about kind of the enabling business value through these various support offerings. Talks a lot about Tech Care, talks about Complete Care, talks about the evolution of services, the challenges of businesses. I think you would find it very interesting and entertaining, but that’s it for today. We’ll see you all later. Bye bye now.