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HPE Delivers Return-To-Work Solutions to Accelerate Recovery
by Daniel Newman | July 8, 2020

The News: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently announced five new return-to-work solutions that will help organizations accelerate business recovery and reopening plans in the wake of COVID-19. The new solutions, which will assist in controlling the spread of the virus and enabling business continuity, will be implemented and managed through HPE Pointnext Technology Services for a fast, seamless transition. These solutions will scale for businesses of all sizes using secure, high-performing HPE servers for the edge, Aruba AI-powered network infrastructure, and technologies from HPE’s rich ecosystem of partners. Read the full news release on the new offerings.

Analyst Take: HPE, as I have suggested recently, is taking aggressive strides to build and deliver solutions that differentiate it from its competition. Amidst a time where so many organizations are trying to find their messaging, meaningful support mechanisms and of course manage their own business continuity, it is anything but a straightforward path for big tech–especially legacy tech, which aren’t enjoying the same exponential growth support in the stock market that its born on cloud brethren are.

What is HPE Announcing? 

In its recent announcement, HPE shared that its five new return-to-work solutions will be deployed by HPE Pointnext Technology Services, the company’s important and quickly evolving managed services arm. This group consists of both expertise and technology and its ambition is to brings together HPE’s vast hardware and software capabilities with a wide array of  offerings from its ecosystem of partners.

While the offerings that HPE is focusing on delivering through its services team are “Solution based,” the new solutions will use a wide swath of the company’s owned hardware stack including HPE ProLiant servers, HPE EdgeLine Converged Edge Systems and Aruba network infrastructure. In order to deliver a full solution, HPE also will be wisely partnering with companies with deep experience in technologies such as intelligent surveillance and thermal cameras, and AI software for video analytics (Kognition, SAFR™ from RealNetworks, Venzo Secure). Here is a quick look at the five solutions (Per HPE):

  • Social distance tracing and tracking – Helping employers monitor and implement social distance guidelines. Use cases include alerting employees through Bluetooth-enabled devices if they are too close to one another for an extended period of time, or leveraging video analytics to determine face mask usage in required areas.

  • Touchless entry – Using a hygienic approach for employees to securely and smoothly enter a location without touching door handles and other points of entry. The solution uses facial recognition for contactless access, multi-factor access-control and identity verification.

  • Fever detection – Identifying individuals with elevated body temperatures using thermal cameras, machine learning and video analytics to proactively alert employees and staff to keep workers safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

  • Augmented reality & visual remote guidance – Allows on-site employees to collaborate effectively with remote employees to take on complex maintenance operations remotely. By offering digitized 3D visuals of a system or machine, a remote employee can identify a problem, such as a broken gas or water valve on a factory floor, to request necessary and timely repairs.

  • Workplace alerts & information sharing – Helps employers share workplace information and push location-specific alerts to employees, using apps and dashboards. Employees gain real-time alerts, specific to their exact location in a building, on any changes or updates occurring onsite as companies transition to normal activity.

Overall Impressions on HPE’s Return to Work Portfolio

For me, these announcements definitely felt like a different HPE. But this is also representative of the shifting DNA under Antonio Neri’s leadership, taking the company into an “Everything-as-a-Service” world.

These technologies are logical and experiential. From the most basic tracing technology to more advanced technologies like fever detection and workplace alerts.

I feel that the touchless entry is a nice offering that will see a lot of demand, but will present some challenges for HPE as this will be a crowded sandbox with building control vendors, for instance being sure to want to play in this space. I also like the AR/VR offering, but again, I’m interested in seeing a deeper look into the specific offering and partnerships to see how significant HPE’s contribution is and how it will stack up to solutions like Microsoft’s HoloLens.

Overall, I believe that HPE, and more importantly its ecosystem including its partners stand to benefit from developing and more importantly productizing these technology-led initiatives that will be key in aiding companies to safely return to work. While we have seen some setbacks in the previous few weeks with rising cases–especially domestically–there is some level of certainty that we will have a post-pandemic return to work shift that won’t entirely exclude on-site employment, but will be a balance of on-site and off-site along with better tools and technologies to make sure people. can return to work safely and effectively no matter where work happens for them.

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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Image Credit: MarketWatch
Daniel Newman