July 22nd, 2019


HPE has made some significant changes over recent years, not least with the appointment of Antonio Neri as its new CEO almost 18 months ago. But those changes have made the right impact, and the feedback from HPE Discover 2019 has been nothing but positive, which points to a rosy future, writes Wesley Lawrance.

HPE Discover in Las Vegas was a positive experience for us in the Technology Solutions division, and not just because we were named HPE’s UK and Ireland Distributor of the Year.

Of course, that is a fantastic accolade to add to our growing collection and one we are extremely proud of, but what was really noticeable at the event is the positive vibes emanating from all the attendees.

This year’s Discover event also coincided with HPE’s Global Partner Conference, and from day one it was evident that everyone believes in what HP is doing and are really buying into it.

HPE is getting things right from a channel compensation point of view, and the way it is looking after its partners has really improved.

It seems that HPE is taking all our feedback on board and is reflecting that in its own performance and partner engagement. I have never attended an HPE event where everyone has been so overwhelmingly positive. And that makes our job slightly easier too.

One of the key messages of intent that came from Discover was the statement that by 2022 HPE will be offering everything they do as a service under Greenlake. CEO Antonio Neri stood on stage and announced that they were 10 years ahead of the competition.

This was not just an empty statement. HPE really is that far ahead. Nobody else has a truly competitive model yet, and that is fantastic news for us.

Not only that, but the expansion of Infosight with Primera is actually a gamechanger with its promise of 100 per cent availability.  There are so many products out in the market that we can go out and beat with this. Customers are just going to go mad for it with such a statement of confidence behind it.

This will bring together the best part of the HPE portfolio, and that is seriously good news for us. The good things about HPE is that it didn’t just focus on one or two elements of its portfolio at Discover, it announced enhancements across the board, and that is what makes it such an exciting company to work with.

The way HPE talks about its hybrid technology offering is also attractive to end user customers because they can see a hybrid model is not such a risk, and they have the choice and flexibility to stay in control.

Partners will also have access to HPE’s Tech Pro community – giving them the chance to talk directly to the subject matter experts. Coupled with the experts we have at Westcoast, this gives resellers a valuable resource to use to their advantage.

Finally, HPE’s commitment to circular IT and sustainability is a key point for the channel. While it may not be a new initiative for HP, which has been committed to the circular economy for decades, it is a point worth making to customers.  They are safe in the knowledge that their old kit is being disposed of securely but with the environment in mind. This in turn will help accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

Technology aside, another positive point from Discover was the noticeable improvement Antonio Neri has made to the culture of the company.

Employees are more engaged and seem like different people, even though many have worked there for years. They are focused on winning and have the utmost confidence in the portfolio they are selling. They believe in the company, just like Neri does. It makes a huge difference.

Also, the changes to the partner programme that Paul Hunter and Phil Davis have implemented means that people understand what the commitment is from both sides and the balance is better. HPE really is willing to commit to partners but it expects the same in return.

Their message, and the one we endorse, is ‘The more you are in with us, the more we are in with you’, and they are actually following through with this rather than paying lip service to the statement. The growth of those partners that are fully engaged is outstripping those that have not fully engaged.

HPE’s products are simply brilliant. And our position is to help the end user, via the partner, have the right workloads in the right place with the right products, for maximum efficiency.

It is also our job to advise our customers which areas they should be focusing on to get the best experience from being an HPE partner. The breadth of HPE’s portfolio is so vast that partners need some guidance on where to focus first, and we will be there every step of the way.

Because we believe in HPE, it is making our conversations a lot easier with our customers, and the level of engagement from senior figures in the channel is fantastic to see. These people, who had perhaps stopped showing their faces at HPE events, are back, and actually want to engage.

After attending HPE Discover I have no doubt that the future is very bright, and we look forward to taking our customers with us on this exciting journey.

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