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HPE is leading digital transformation for sustainable success: Sue Preston, VP & GM of WW Advisory & Professional Services, HPE

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Express Computer had an exclusive interaction with Sue Preston, Vice President and General Manager of WW Advisory & Professional Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on the sidelines of HPE Discover More Mumbai. During the interaction, Preston spoke about  the pivotal role of HPE Advisory and Professional Services (A&PS) in modernising IT landscapes for enhanced agility and cost optimisation, addressing customer needs across industries. She highlighted the significance of digital next advisory and its role in engaging customers at different stages of their digital transformation journey.

The interview covered HPE’s impact in the financial services sector with HPE GreenLake, innovation trends in AI, and HPE’s innovation strategy to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. Preston reiterated HPE’s unwavering commitment to sustainable digital transformation, underscoring the imperatives of curiosity and adaptability in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

She shared her vision for 2024, spotlighting GenAI and the transformative impact of this technology. Her closing remarks highlighted HPE A&PS as an inspiring India-to-world story, showcasing innovations emanating from HPE’s largest global campus in Bengaluru with world-class talent and labs. Preston underscored the contributions of the Bengaluru centre, emphasising its impact on sustainability, heightened security awareness, and the empowerment of the next generation with essential digital skills.

Digital transformation is a key driver for businesses today. How have HPE Advisory and Professional Services been instrumental in helping organisations modernise their IT landscapes to drive both agility and cost optimisation?

HPE Advisory and Professional Services play a crucial role in driving digital transformation for businesses, focusing on areas like hybrid cloud, data analytics, AI, and the intelligent edge. We engage with customers at various stages of their modernization journey, whether dealing with legacy applications, evaluating different workloads, or addressing specific challenges in the customer experience. We then evaluate their specific needs and provide expert advice on how to transform their operating models. 

Through our digital next advisory approach, we actively engage with customers in a structured process, exploring edge experiences, ideation, and delivering tangible outcomes. This allows us to align and integrate solutions across our entire technology stack, helping organisations leverage modern technologies to drive agility and cost optimisation in their IT landscapes.

Can you share some success stories or notable examples?

In the financial services sector, where compliance and regulations are crucial, HPE A&PS takes a strategic approach to address the unique challenges of this industry. Their security, trust, and compliance require an agile environment for their workloads and applications. We offer the HPE GreenLake as a service platform that provides them with a private cloud experience, ensuring security, trust, and compliance while also allowing scalability to meet their evolving needs.

We also tailor our services to size and scale other standard business applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SAP, covering domains such as human resources and financial applications, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency for our customers.

Another critical focus area is disaster recovery, backup, and resilience. We understand the importance of these aspects in ensuring business continuity, especially in the financial services industry. Our services encompass transforming these critical functions, making them secure, recoverable, and resilient. In the financial services sector, where uptime is crucial 24/7, 365 days a year, our approach ensures that systems remain available, even in the face of unforeseen challenges.

In the rapidly evolving technology services sector, what innovative trends and best practices have you observed that are helping organisations stay competitive and foster growth?

I think there is a significant focus on artificial intelligence (AI), with particular attention to GenAI.

Organisations are actively ideating, exploring, and evaluating new use cases where AI has the potential to enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. Customer service centres and multilingual natural language programming, perhaps, are two great examples where I believe AI can drive efficiencies.

Additionally, conversations in the Financial Service Industry (FSI) around risk mitigation are on the rise. This involves analysing extensive datasets to detect patterns, anomalies, and risks, thereby improving decision-making and predicting market fluctuations. There is also a focus on fraud detection, which entails recognising unusual transaction patterns and adapting to evolving fraud tactics by learning from new data.   

Managed services and IT operations are leveraging AI, particularly in the domain of observability. Predicting incidents before they occur allows for proactive measures, reducing service incidents and facilitating root-cause analysis. This is especially important in all sectors to prevent business impacts and proactively fix issues. 

However, the effectiveness of AI applications is heavily dependent on the quality and maturity of the data. The maturity of data governance directly impacts the success of AI use cases, providing organisations with the competitive advantage needed in today’s technology-driven landscape.

How is HPE A&PS adapting to these trends to deliver value to its customers?

In today’s fast-changing technology marketplace, organic innovation is not enough. At HPE, we are on a journey to rapidly transform the company to better align with changing technology trends and evolving customer needs. Ever since our inception in 2015, HPE has made several acquisitions that have helped us accelerate strategy, fill critical portfolio gaps, and enhance competitive positioning. For example, we acquired OpsRamp in March last year to deliver observability, advance our hybrid cloud leadership, and expand HPE GreenLake into IT operations management. With the acquisition of Pachyderm, we enhanced our capabilities in large language models and AI. 

The HPE Ezmeral software allows us to help organisations speed innovation, modernise applications, unlock the value of data, and automate operations—from edge to cloud.

At HPE, we truly believe that it is our privilege to bring new ground-breaking innovation to our customers and partners, so we can come together to advance the way people live and work.

Designing sustainable digital transformation is crucial for long-term success. How does HPE approach this challenge, and what strategies does the Advisory and Professional Services team employ to ensure that digital transformation initiatives are not only effective but also sustainable in the ever-changing business landscape?

HPE’s approach to sustainable digital transformation ensures that organisations not only achieve their digital transformation objectives but do so in a manner that is environmentally responsible and aligned with global sustainability goals. 

We focus on IT sustainability through services like Rightmix Advisor, which assesses the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of workloads globally. By identifying the top high-emitting applications and workloads, Rightmix Advisor enables customers to prioritise migration, modernisation, and transformation efforts, ensuring a targeted and efficient approach.

Our sustainable data centre modernisation is another integral part of HPE’s strategy that considers efficiency, heat reuse, and certifications. We execute our clients’ IT transformation journey by creating sustainable, modular, resilient data centres capable of running modern applications in edge-to-cloud environments. 

The HPE A&PS team collaborates closely with customers, providing support for their sustainability initiatives. This involves working with technology partners to drive efficiency, exploring innovations like liquid cooling, and embracing sustainability dashboards.

Our recently launched sustainability dashboard plays an important role in this process. The dashboard not only measures the environmental impact of HPE infrastructure but also incorporates data from other infrastructures, offering customers the ability to reduce their carbon footprint and move closer to achieving net-zero goals.

Can you share some glimpses of the work you do for customers in India?

In India, we collaborate extensively with our government sector customers and financial institutions, reflecting our commitment to making a real and positive impact on these important sectors.

To become a real trusted partner and offer valuable advisory services at a business level (not just as a technology partner), I truly believe that we must help our customers accelerate their outcomes and work with them towards making a difference. 

My mantra to drive a wider impact is ‘people, process, and technology’. This includes driving skills, training, upskilling, and reskilling initiatives. 

I’m proud to share that, from a service point of view, with an increasing uptake of HPE GreenLake in India, our customers are staying with us and growing with us.

What is your vision for 2024, or is there any key technology you look forward to that will revolutionise the industry?

In my opinion, GenAI is the game-changer, offering new experiences and possibilities. With HPE’s position in supercomputing, we aim to drive forward with GenAI, enabling customers to explore the art of the possible.

In a brief additional note, Preston highlighted innovative initiatives, including the use of artificial intelligence for sustainable cooling in data centres, capturing heat for reuse, and ongoing efforts in cybersecurity awareness training.

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