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HPE’s global event in Las Vegas has always provided the company with a tremendous platform to introduce the company’s ambitions to the market. This year, the event hasn’t disappointed, as the volume of news and announcements have been significant. Perhaps more dramatic, at least from an attention-getting standpoint, has been the overarching message that came from Antonio Neri during his press conference and subsequently his keynote on Tuesday afternoon…
“HPE will offer everything as a service within 3 years.”
Wow. Ambitious to say the least. The company, which has certainly made waves in the services space via their Pointnext Business Unit, is taking on a significant challenge. But challenges aside, I admire the ambition.
Services and Experiences Are Everything in Digital Transformation
It’s no secret that services and experiences are the future and that digital transformation is less about technology and more about how technology enables customers, employees, and businesses to survive and thrive in the age of disruption. However, for too long the tech industry has been heavily focused on the sales of big iron. This is what ultimately led to hyperscalers like Microsoft and AWS being so disruptive. This same thinking is what led Salesforce to become such a thorn in the side of companies like SAP and Oracle.
The hyperscalers certainly offer a number of high value out-of-the-box solutions, but the idea of 100% migration to public cloud has come and gone as limitations from cost to scale to governance to single tenancy versus multi-tenancy have all contributed to continued demand for on-premises cloud.
This has led to the exponential growth of multi-cloud, where companies are putting their workloads across different clouds to try and maximize the efficiency and usability of their applications. In short, this leads to a heavy lift that requires a lot of maintenance and management. With Greenlake, HPE is betting on companies big and small looking for a solution to manage all of this complexity.
What Does This Mean for Partners and Core Business?
Some of the questions that come to mind here is the demarcation between partners and HPE and how closely the two will work together. Early signs suggest this should be successful, with partner growth being in the triple figure (%) and volumes of new partners signing up to sell these services.
Another question that this service brings is what is the impact to the core business. We all know that in the age of transformation, you can’t protect your core business at the cost of innovation and keeping up with markets. Netflix, Kodak, and Blackberry all come to mind. However, if the fall off is too quick or the update on everything-as-a-service isn’t fast enough, then HPE could see some short term down quarters as a result.
A Bold Move — And One That Will Pay Off, Eventually
Overall, I think the move is a bold one. I believe that Antonio is making a strong play, much reflecting Satya Nadella’s hard pivot from licensing to cloud. With announcements in Storage, Intelligent Edge, and Hybrid Cloud (not all encompassing) all promising to “Greenlake” (short for as-a-service) their solutions, we can be certain that the company is committed to making the leap forward to being service led; and I am confident that this move will pay off, eventually.
For all of the individual announcements from HPE Discover, check out the newsroom here.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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