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Vertical Focus: HPE's Pointnext Has Partners Primed For A Big-Time Services Play

HPE said its Pointnext organization will propel partners into the digital transformation services game around hybrid IT and intelligent edge computing.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is gearing up for a big vertical-focused services push through the channel via its Pointnext organization, which was launched in March.

Calling it a "newly redefined" technology services organization, HPE said Pointnext is aimed at accelerating digital transformation around hybrid IT and intelligent edge computing. HPE's services business going forward is focused on four primary industry verticals, according to Olivier Suinat, senior vice president of HPE's global sales across global industries, strategic alliances, and inside sales. Within those four verticals — which include communications, media and entertainment; manufacturing and distribution; financial services and insurance; and health and public service — are nearly 100 different use cases, Suinat told CRN.

Channel partnerships are essential to HPE's services business Suinat said. "When we look particularly around the [network] edge and digital transformation, channel partners — both existing and new partners such as ISVs, systems integrators and OT [operational technology] partners — are critical to build growth into the segment," he said.

[HPE Discover Coverage 2017]

Those verticals represent new addressable markets with great growth opportunities, Suinat said. "Think of the security around what needs to take place in terms of the increased use of body cameras and video surveillance," he said. "This is about how you enable edge compute analytics and connectivity right there at the front with citizens' engagement. Many telecom operators and channel partners are involved in this. We see great growth opportunity around the country and around the world around such opportunities. I could go on and on."

In addition to bringing a vertical services focus to HPE's teams, the company also is doubling down on the engagement with the ecosystem, Suinat said. "[We're] building on existing partnerships, and expanding into alliances including ISVs, systems integrators, as well as OT partnerships," he said. "[These are] industry-speci­fic partnerships."

One way HPE is bringing these opportunities to partners is by working with industry events it passed on in the past, including the National Association of Broadcasters conference where it worked with multiple partners, Suinat said.

"You will see us more and more in industry-specific venues together with our partners, re‑flecting the fact that new dollars have been invested in the front around the intelligent edge and IoT," he said. "And that's where we want to accelerate our growth with our partners. We see great opportunity to partner even more closely."

HPE has been making it easier to get engaged with its services as it has moved from the old HPE enterprise services business to Pointnext, said Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys360, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider and HPE channel partner. "It's been getting easier to partner with HPE on services," he said. "It's been very positive for us."

Suinat said HPE's vertical services push is open not only to the large systems integrators, but also regional solution providers with the right skill sets around the four verticals. Partners looking to engage with HPE first of all need to align with HPE's vision, have passion for HPE's technology, and have a desire to work with HPE to build the necessary skills, according to Suinat.

"[It's about] integration, architecture, on-boarding, proof of concept, support and consulting skills aimed at environments that are not your typical support environment," he said. "This is not going to support an environment in a protected business center. IT is in the street, IT is in the store, in the plant, in the train, in the plane. Building that capability is a big opportunity going forward."

Suinat said the feedback from partners and customers has been quite positive.

"When you look at the new pro­ les of CIOs, many of the new partners have more of a business background [needed] to bridge business and IT into more business outcomes focused on the future," he said. "With this approach and with this focus, we actually enable both the ecosystem as well as our own organization to be more relevant into the future and make more money. At the end, [we're both] participating in the growth that is taking place on the edge and around IoT."

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