In a joint interaction, Arwa Kaddoura, Vice President, Worldwide Go-To-Market, and Flynn Maloy, Vice President, Marketing, HPE GreenLake Cloud Services, HPE, upped HPE GreenLake’s game with new technology, a razor-sharp vertical market focus and big partner investments
How is HPE helping customers in their digital transformation initiatives, especially during this pandemic?
Arwa Kaddoura: HPE GreenLake helps take away the complexity, so customers can focus on their core businesses and run their apps and data. We effectively create the on-premise cloud environment for them and manage it. Through self-provisioning, they only pay for what they use, they always have buffer capacity and proactive capacity management. And as you can imagine, during the pandemic customers had to race to build up their digital muscle to deliver their own core technology, whether it was to their employees, vendors, or core customers. As they had to deliver in digital ways, the demand on their IT departments to expand the key workloads that supported their business became incredibly important. And we were there to help all of those customers meet those demands.
And we always talk about VDI as being a perfect use case as a response to the Covid pandemic where many organisations had to create the ability for their employees, all of a sudden to work securely from wherever they may have been, whether at home or if they were in certain key cities. This became a very key workload that we quickly enabled on behalf of our customers. Now, we have started layering in many end-to-end industry solutions. Again, what that allows our customers to do is think more about the outcome that they’re trying to drive and allow us to do all of the heavy lifting, which is pre-configured optimised infrastructure, all of the core capabilities, services, platforms then run on that infrastructure, fully integrated with the workloads that the customer needs to run in order to power their business.
Can you share the go- to- market strategy for HPE GreenLake Cloud Services?
Arwa Kaddoura: I think first, what you do is you build a robust set of capabilities. Generally, you start horizontal. So, the first key shift has been, let’s add industry, and let’s start building products that are highly tuned for our customers use cases.
The second use case is the ecosystem. We already have a fairly extensive partner ecosystem, which is effectively supported by the channel. Many of our customers have channel relationships that they like to do business with. So, we want to empower the channel to bring the product and services that match our customers’ needs.
Then we have the system integrators. They deliver fantastic capabilities to many customers around the world, they drive a lot of centres of excellence. So, enabling the system integrators, and then having a model that allows them to deliver HPE GreenLake with a certain level of confidence to their customers, especially as they help customers define what’s optimal for public cloud, what’s optimal for an on-premise cloud experience. They tend to be key advisors, but they also provide more operational expertise, helping customers run their IT infrastructure, and many of their workloads, and obviously have a lot of development expertise.
And the third key to market transformation is introduction of customer success. We made a pretty major investment in this past year in customer success. And that’s our investment back in our customers to ensure that they’re not just buying technology, what they are buying is expertise, core solutions that drive their business outcomes.
How has the industry’s understanding of HPE GreenLake changed and how HPE talks to its customers about it?
Flynn Maloy: The value proposition behind HPE GreenLake cloud services is that we bring the cloud experience to the applications and data that are not ready or don’t want to move to the public cloud. If you go back five years, I think everyone sees the transformation. It’s the same thing as moving to a public cloud, I must transform. So I will move to the public cloud. Well, I think the broad industry today understands that it’s not an all or nothing proposition that there needs to be a hybrid environment. We will have some workloads in some applications here on premises, on edge and we will have some in the public cloud. Today, that is the most common environment.
For HPE GreenLake, we are focusing on those customers that recognise that hybrid is their need, it’s not all going to go to the public cloud or stay on-premise. And we can bring the cloud experience to those apps and data that is not moving to the cloud. And that has been a big change. I think everybody in the industry recognises hybrid is the way and more and more, there is another alternative, it’s not just public cloud or on premise, but you can have that pay as you go managed for you experience that you like so much for the apps and data that you don’t want to move to the cloud.
What are some of the key services that have been announced at the recently held ‘HPE Discover 2021’?
Arwa Kaddoura: We announced several industry solutions, 5G core, Electronic Medical Records with Epic, payment solutions with Lusis. We’ve invested significantly in our Kubernetes based container platform, as well as our overall private cloud offering, which allows our customers to configure VMs, container clusters, or MLOps clusters, for their various workloads. We recently announced HPC as a service, which really helps to democratise big HPC workloads that our customers are looking to bring in to power some of their specialised workloads.I think we will continue to integrate with additional third-party ISVs, to offer our customers best of breed as well as choice, if they have strong preferences for key workloads, whether that’s data archiving, backup as a service. We will continue to introduce more and more choices in the portfolio, in order to power our customers’ data and applications. The goal for us, is to take away as much of the complexity away from our customer, from their IT departments, from their infrastructure planning.
What is the roadmap from the sales and marketing function on the recent announcements?
Flynn Maloy: The HPE GreenLake business, today, is over US$ 4.8 billion business in total contract value, 1000 plus enterprise customers, we have over 900 partners around the world selling HPE GreenLake. It’s a very successful business growing over 40 per cent each quarter. But it’s been built using traditional Hewlett Packard Enterprise technology, which is optimised for on premise environments such as our brands like HPE ProLiant and HPE Primera. This is how this business has evolved as a baseline. What the engineers have done in the HPE GreenLake team is take the best of this technology, our knowledge of on-premises technology, and put that together with the best concepts of cloud technology. We take some of these concepts and we’ve built something new. Hybrid technology that’s optimised for the way we do cloud services at the edge and at the data centre. And that will allow us to deliver solutions that will be faster for customers, it will be easier for our partners to sell, and it’ll be easier for us to push new services down on the same set of technologies. So, we think this is a game changer. The HPE GreenLake Lighthouse, we think it’s significantly ahead of everyone else in the market. And it’s the platform that federates together between these, that we layer all of the services on top, whether it’s infrastructure platforms, or workload services, and we think this is really going to help us accelerate. We think our customers are going to love it, it’s going to allow us to deploy new services faster, and really accelerate our whole business.
Can you talk about the adoption of HPE GreenLake picking up in the enterprise segment?
Arwa Kaddoura: HPE GreenLake is certainly gaining a lot of traction with many of our customers who are looking to enable the cloud experience on premise. So, a lot of our customers have obviously dabbled, in a hybrid fashion, they’ve experienced public cloud as well have experienced having their own data centre technologies, powering their own infrastructure. And they’re now ready for phase two of cloud. What I’m seeing is validated in a lot of the RFPs that are getting written now, even for what you would consider on-premise environments are being written for on-premise cloud or as a service solutions.
How is HPE’s edge to cloud platform strategy helping customers quickly optimise and extract the data value?
Arwa Kaddoura: I think from an edge to cloud perspective, the key is really the multiple technologies that we have. So, between the Aruba SD-WAN capabilities with the Silver Peak acquisition, we of course, have our Edgeline capabilities that help process at the edge. And then we have our services capabilities, we have our HPE GreenLake Central platform. Our technology spans from the data fabric, to the hardware to the networking capabilities, in a seamless way that allows our customers to have these edge locations, whether you’re a retailer and you’re powering your several 100 or 1000 stores, or even just a few small stores, or whether it’s a defense contractor, and you’re trying to have access to satellite locations, and give your troops the ability to record information and send that back and forth for processing. Even telco, which is a perfect sort of edge use case, with the 5G sort of satellites being able to run the applications of the telco providers and the users that then access them. We feel really strongly that the breadth of our portfolio is what’s really enabling our customers to be able to do this, and do it in a way that’s completely not possible with any other technology provider.
We know that the public cloud, all it can do is have devices on the ground, but then everything has to go back to the public cloud to be processed before it can then be extracted for insights. And that could get both very costly as well as suffer from significant performance issues.