All of HPE's SimpliVity hyper-convergence and Nimble storage sales are now going through partners, according to HPE Vice President of U.S. Channel Sales Terry Richardson, underscoring his company's ironclad commitment to the channel.
Although HPE has undergone sweeping changes in recent years, "One thing that hasn't changed is our commitment to the channel," Richardson (pictured) said at The Channel Company's XChange 2017 conference in Orlando, Fla. on Monday.
Hand-in-hand with the complete channel commitment around SimpliVity and Nimble, Richardson encouraged partners to dive into hybrid cloud. "Embrace the shift to hybrid cloud," Richardson said. "Don't be threatened, take advantage. We're helping MSPs accelerate and helping traditional resellers transition to become MSPs."
As Richardson sees it, HPE's changes, including splitting away from HP Inc. and the spinouts of its services and software businesses, have helped it remain ahead of a rapidly transforming IT industry. "The change we're seeing now is really unprecedented in the rate at which it's occurring, and as a company we've had to reset our strategy."
That strategy has also included a rapid pace of acquisition. So far in 2017 HPE has acquired metering and consumption modeling firm Cloud Cruiser; security analytics firm Niara; SimpliVity, a sweetheart of the red-hot hyper-convergence market and Nimble Storage.
And those businesses are the ones Richardson says are his "channel favorites," or products partners should be focusing on, along with HPE servers, 3Par storage, and HPE PointNext services.
"We never want to compete [with the channel]," Richardson said. "We only want to augment your capabilities."
Richardson also stressed the importance of distributors. The company works with Arrow, D&H, Ingram, Synnex and Tech Data. "They play an important role in three ways: Onboarding new partners, enabling current partners and looking for ways to accelerate growth and continue to look for new and innovative ways to bring solutions to market," Richardson said.
Norman Landerman, director of sales at Systems Design and Support, a W. Palm Beach, Fla., solution provider, said Richardson's message is encouraging, but "the proof will be in the pudding."
"It's kind of a 'show me' kind of thing," Landerman said. "We do a fair amount with HPE, and they're committed to the channel for sales and distribution, but they know exactly what to say to us. They know what we want to hear. I think the channel is a necessary vehicle for the company."