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Mohamad Ali, who joined Hewlett-Packard as chief strategy officer just five months ago, spoke with CRN Editor News Steven Burke about the company's technology innovation offensive and HP CEO Meg's Whitman's five-year personal commitment to turnaround the company. Here is an excerpt from the discussion with the 20-year industry veteran who has helped lead the charge on turnarounds at IBM and Avaya.
You joined the company five months ago. Talk about the decision to come to HP.
When I saw the HP opportunity, I just couldn't resist. I mean there is no other company like HP on the planet. It has one of the most compelling portfolio of products and people. The [Research and Development] Labs are just riddled with great stuff. Meg [Whitman] and the leadership team want to bring all of that to market.
What is the strategy message for partners and customers?
If I had to boil it down to one word: Innovation. We are going to innovate. We are going innovate with our products, our services and internally within the company in terms of our processes to make the company a much more efficient place. Meg [Whitman] has talked about this extensively. It is driven by a number of inflections in the industry: cloud, security, information optimization/big data and mobility.
Mobility is one we haven't talked about much, and we are going to start talking about it more.
Those four inflection points are really transforming the kinds of solutions our customers want. And we are sitting on this massive amount of technology to deliver that.
Just take one example of that: cloud. Today we are offering three types of clouds. We are offering a private cloud. We have this very large enterprise services business that delivers [it as a] managed service so it is an easy transition to a private cloud.
[We are also] offering cloud in a box as cloud technologies enabled with the server, the storage, the networking, the software.
And then, finally, we are building a public cloud, which we have announced. We have customers. It is the only enterprise-grade public cloud out there. We will offer enterprise level SLAs [Service Level Agreements].
Talk about the difference between the HP Public Cloud and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, which was down on Christmas Eve.
Others will not offer the types of SLA we are going to offer. The reason we can do that is because we are running huge parts of the U.K. government [and] the U.S. government on our enterprise services cloud today. And, we have the experience to offer these types of SLAs.
What is your message to customers that have been dissatisfied with Amazon?
We are starting to ramp up that message now. The offering just came online very recently.