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HPE Launches New Hybrid IT Marketing Campaign: It's Time To Get Rid Of 'Legacy Technology' Handcuffs

HPE Chief Marketing Officer Henry Gomez said the multimillion dollar campaign, which features TV, digital, print and social media, focuses on how HPE with its hybrid IT muscle can help IT decision makers be successful with a digital transformation.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is launching a new ad campaign promoting its ability to help customers get rid of the "legacy technology" IT handcuffs holding back their digital transformation.

HPE said the multimillion dollar campaign, which is based on the insight that the IT department is often seen as the department of "No" in the digital transformation era, focuses on the need for a different "hybrid" IT approach from HPE and its partners to break the legacy IT logjam.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: New HPE Global Channel Chief Denzil Samuels On Synergy Sales Offensive, Dell's Channel 'Imitation' Game And Future Acquisitions]

One of the two new 30-second TV spots, which debuted during the NCAA Championship telecast Monday night, features a life-sized bobble head IT director perpetually shaking his head side to side – a constant "No."

Among the questions business executives ask the ceramic bobble head: "Will the customer app be live on Monday? Can we at least analyze customer traffic? Can we push the offer online?" No, no and no.

The big surprise in the spot comes when the IT director – named Brian – comes to life, shaking his head up and down answering: "Yes with help from HPE we can finally work the way we want to." The final voice over on the spot: "Yes is Here. With the right mix of hybrid IT everything computes."

HPE Executive Vice President Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Henry Gomez said the campaign, which also features digital, print and social media, came directly from conversations with customers and partners about the powerful role HPE and its partners can play helping IT decision makers be successful with digital transformation.

"In this industry, we tend to talk about digital transformation in pretty lofty terms," said Gomez. "We really wanted to talk to the IT decision maker about what digital transformation means to them and how HPE can help."

The campaign builds off a theme that HPE has featured prominently at its annual Discover conference – namely making IT decision makers a superhero for digital transformation.

In fact, HPE CEO Meg Whitman has even featured an IT executive in a superhero cape during some of her presentations to customers.

The new TV ads, which will appear in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan, were created by Publicis Group which took over the HPE account last year. The campaign will also feature digital, print and social media components in 14 countries. "This is our core campaign going into the summer," said Gomez. "A great deal of HPE's revenue goals are tied to it."

Gomez said the switch to Publicis was made as part of a no holds barred HPE drive to be "world class" in digital marketing.

"You have to be world class in digital marketing today to succeed," he said. "You have to drive your demand generation via digital. It is the way that customers are buying and it is the only way you can get scale and reach customers in a cost-effective way.

"At the end of the day, today's IT decision maker – before he or she thinks about a salesperson or has a conversation – they are online researching, thinking and evaluating the solutions they want and the products they want in those solutions. If you are not doing world class digital work with your brand and products you will not survive."

HPE has a wide array of marketing materials and collateral for partners to leverage the HPE campaign. "Partners will be able to use the advertising and print materials, and white papers which we normally create for a campaign," said Gomez.

HPE is also teaming with Publicis to work with HPE partners interested in accelerating their digital marketing efforts, said Gomez.

Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a fast-growing Potomac, Md.-based HPE hybrid cloud powerhouse with its own 80,000 square-foot cloud services data center, said the message is spot on for customers and the channel.

"This is the right message we need to educate customers about the financial and security benefits of hybrid IT," said Tuchman. "It really demonstrates the power of HPE and partners to consult with customers on cloud so customers understand the return on investment on both private and public cloud. It's all about building the best business outcome based solution for a company."

In some cases, Experis is seeing as much as a 50 percent savings with a private cloud solutions as opposed to a public cloud offering, said Tuchman. "Every customer is different," he said. "What AWS and Azure do is say 'This is what we have.' We customize a private cloud for businesses and if customers need to use public cloud for a fluctuating business case they can use that too."

The new campaign comes with HPE building out its digital transformation portfolio with four acquisitions this year: the $1 billion acquisition of all flash superstar Nimble; the $650 million acquisition of hyper-converged powerhouse SimpliVity; the acquisition of security analytics software company Niara; and the acquisition of Cloud Cruiser, the maker of a highly-regarded hybrid cloud IT consumption, metering and analytics platform.

HPE is also moving forward with a newly redefined technology services organization named Pointnext aimed at accelerating digital transformation around hybrid IT and intelligent edge computing.

Pointnext, a 25,000 strong services organization with $7.16 billion in sales is working closely with HPE partners to drive digital transformation.

HPE on Monday finalized the spin in merger of its legacy $19 billion IT services organization – Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services – which merged with systems integrator CSC to form DXC Technology.
Some 50.1 percent of DXC's stock was issued to HPE stockholders (valued at approximately $9.5 billion), while the remaining 49.9 percent was issued to CSC stockholders.

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