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Partner Power: HPE Partners VeriStor, BlueAlly, Experis Driving Digital Transformation

Steven Burke

Whether it is a DevOps digital transformation powered by Synergy, providing pay-as-you-go, cloud-subscription-based pricing through HPE's Flexible Capacity model, or delivering dramatic cost savings with private cloud, HPE partners are leveraging the breadth and depth of the company's portfolio to deliver on digital transformation.

VeriStor: Using The Power Of DevOps To Drive Synergy Sales Growth

One of the hallmarks of VeriStor's culture is to stay at the leading edge — driving significant competitive advantage for customers with disruptive technology. So it's no surprise the Atlanta-based solution provider — a perennial CRN award winner for its technology prowess — is leading the DevOps revolution. The 15-year-old company, No. 266 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, in fact, has its own vendor-agnostic DevOps subsidiary — Forty8Fifty Labs — which is bridging the cultural divides between internal IT, software development teams and corporate business units.

That focus on DevOps has put VeriStor on the front lines of digital transformation. It also has made VeriStor one of HPE's top Synergy partners. Synergy, in fact, is the kind of leading-edge technology designed to prosper in a DevOps IT environment. The unified architecture — which HPE CEO Meg Whitman has called one of the biggest breakthroughs from the company in the past decade — is aimed at bridging the gap between traditional and cloud-native applications into fluid resource pools that can be deployed at "cloud speed."

"Synergy plays right into the DevOps conversation where the infrastructure needs to be a lot more agile, meaning more software-defined and API-driven, and more infrastructure-as-code-oriented from a developer perspective," said VeriStor founder and CTO Steve Bishop. "We are really starting to see a groundswell in Synergy conversations. The infrastructure guys are starting to get their head around what developers really need and what software-defined and infrastructure-as-code really means. Customers are starting to wake up to what Synergy can do for them." Synergy is resonating with customers, Bishop said, because it has been designed and purpose-built for DevOps-based operational models.

A Southeastern health-care provider working with VeriStor selected Synergy as the foundation for a DevOps-oriented private cloud for a multivendor IT environment with 300 blades and 5,000 virtual machines. The Synergy Composable Infrastructure allowed the health-care provider to get the benefits of a public cloud including fully automated provisioning and reprovisioning without having to deploy an entirely new toolset.

Key to VeriStor's ability to continually push the technology envelope is big investments in technical training for its system architects and engineers. In fact, more than one vendor has remarked that VeriStor has some of the top technology talent in the business, often providing more access to technical training and in-the-field hands-on experience than even the major technology vendors can provide to their internal resources.

"We have a unique culture here," said VeriStor CEO Ashby Lincoln. "Investing heavily in technology and letting people in the company know we are going to continue to move into the future makes this a very exciting place to work. That helps us attract the talent that we have. It keeps the retention high and it keeps us all motivated and passionate about what we do."

Ultimately, Bishop said VeriStor's success comes down to a simple formula: "It's about being really, really good at what you do, working hard at it and doing the right thing as best you can. Good things are going to come when you do that. We work very hard on behalf of our customers first and foremost, but also our vendor partners and employees. That is the foundation for the culture here.

BlueAlly: Using Flexibile Capacity-Hybrid IT To Increase Customer Satisfaction

HPE's Flexible Capacity program, combined with a disruptive hybrid IT portfolio, is raising customer satisfaction scores and driving big sales gains for BlueAlly Technology Solutions.

The Cary, N.C., HPE partner — No. 198 on the 2016 CRN SP500 — expects its HPE business to triple this year based on the strength of the HPE portfolio combined with the Flexible Capacity program, which lets customers purchase HPE hybrid IT offerings in a pay-as-you-go model based on compute and data consumption.

"We are seeing very high satisfaction scores for customers that have adopted the Flexible Capacity model," said BlueAlly Vice President of Sales Jim Bartis. "This is a next-generation offering where HPE services and financial might converge into a fully deployable Opex consumption model. Not only does it give customers public cloud economics in a private cloud environment, it gives them private cloud security, performance and control. We love Flexible Capacity because it is really a services offering with a financial component wrapped around it that enables the customer to use what they need as they grow."

That proved to be a winning formula for one of BlueAlly's enterprise customers — a fast-growing regional Southeastern health-care provider that has struggled with a seesaw IT environment plagued by either underutilized or overtaxed infrastructure.

"Before Flexible Capacity, the customer was overprovisioning hardware early on and then they would run out of capacity prior to the depreciation cycle for the equipment and then have to add more assets," said Bartis. "This helped them address those challenges. The 30 percent additional Flexible Capacity buffer at the server and storage level is a significant advantage. Now they can flex into this environment without having to acquire any additional hardware. It's a big win."

The deal BlueAlly pulled together — with HPE Converged CS7000 as the foundation — included HPE's DataCenter Care Service, a 24x7 monitoring and management service. "That is dedicated technical talent that does planning with the customer on patches, upgrades and application changes," said Bartis. "They become part of your team. That is a great HPE service."

BlueAlly, which was founded seven years ago, has become one of HPE's top Flexible Capacity hybrid IT partners. Bartis said he sees a bright future for the partnership. "HPE's ability to provide customers with solutions that make their businesses more agile is driving tremendous growth and demand in our enterprise customer base," he said. "Customers are more interested in HPE today than they have been in many years. Our forecast is strong, the growth is strong and HPE is a key part of the value offering we are bringing our customers."

Experis: Beating Public Cloud Providers With HPE Hybrid IT And ’Always Doing What's Best For The Clients'

Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., private cloud powerhouse, is consistently beating public cloud providers with HPE's hybrid cloud portfolio. The company, which has its own 80,000-square-foot cloud services data center, is delivering HPE private cloud solutions that are more secure than public cloud with higher-level support at a 50 percent monthly subscription cost savings, said Experis founder and CEO Raymond Tuchman.

"With public cloud outages, more and more customers are looking at the risk and the economics of private cloud versus public cloud," said Tuchman. "Our HPE private cloud is more secure, more affordable and comes with more support than public cloud. The HPE products are bulletproof. That's why our private cloud business is growing."

One of Experis' big wins: a private cloud for a management operations company supporting more than 1,200 employees nationwide that came in at less than half of the per-month cost of a public cloud when including premium support and backup.

In that scenario, Experis' private cloud with HPE DL380 servers, 3Par, HPE Data Protector, StoreOnce and HPE network switches came in at $17,500 with premium support compared with about $34,000 — with no support charges included — for the lowest-priced public cloud option, said Tuchman. The Experis service also includes complete backup service for the private cloud.

"Financially responsible clients interested in security, uptime and support are choosing private cloud time and time again," he said. "The systems we put in are five-nines reliability."

Experis' private cloud focus has resulted in a 146 percent increase in sales of HPE equipment this year, said Tuchman. At the same time, services sales are up more than 100 percent.

"HPE has been a great bet for us," he said. "We are the one throat to choke for the customer. When we provide the full HPE stack solution to the customer, the risk is almost zero. It's a world-class solution. I feel great selling the best servers in the world, the best storage in the world and the best networking in the world."

The secret to Experis' 17 years of success, said Tuchman, is its focus on creating customers for life. "It's Sales 101," he said. "We create long-lasting relationships by always doing what is best for the clients. I don't think about the money. I think about doing what is best for the client and, in the end, it works out perfectly."

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