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‘Massive’ GreenLake Blitz: HPE Is Tripling Channel Investment

“I have huge expectations for the channel in FY 2021,” said HPE Senior Vice President and GreenLake Cloud Services General Manager Keith White. “But I’m also going to put our money where our mouth is and make sure that they have the resources, tools, enablement, incentives and people to help them be successful. … I think the channel is going to have a huge impact for us in fiscal year 2021.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is poised to launch a massive GreenLake sales blitz, tripling its channel investment to power big on-premises pay-per-use sales growth.

The sales blitz includes a sizable investment in new inside GreenLake sales reps worldwide charged with working hand in hand with partners and an increased account coverage model for partners, both aimed at driving new logo wins.

The massive investment is aimed at scaling the GreenLake channel business in the new HPE fiscal year, which starts Nov.1, said HPE Senior Vice President and GreenLake Cloud Services General Manager Keith White.

“We’re making a significant investment in the channel both with incentives and resources on the GreenLake front,” said White, who confirmed that HPE will continue its 17 percent up-front channel rebate on GreenLake sales in the new fiscal year. “It’s massive. … This is how we scale GreenLake to more and more customers.”

Part of the plan to get to more customers includes an account strategy that gives the channel more accounts to cover. “We are opening up a lot more of the customer base to the channel as we head into the next fiscal year,” said White. “We are realizing they have the tools, resources and capabilities to really serve a much broader set of our customer base. I expect there to be a significant uptake with these customers going forward.”

White said he expects to pay out a marked increase in channel sales commissions as HPE scales up the GreenLake go-to-market model.

“I have huge expectations for the channel in FY 2021,” he said. “But I’m also going to put our money where our mouth is and make sure that they have the resources, tools, enablement, incentives and people to help them be successful. … I think the channel is going to have a huge impact for us in fiscal year 2021.”

HPE partners said they also see fiscal year 2021 as a pivotal year for the expansion of the GreenLake on-premises pay-per-use cloud model.

CPP Associates, a Clinton, N.J., HPE Platinum partner that was recently named HPE Solution Provider of the Year, expects 25 percent to 30 percent of its annual sales to come from GreenLake next year, said Paul O’Dell, a CPP director and one of the driving forces behind the company’s aggressive GreenLake sales plan.

“HPE is all in on GreenLake and we are all in on GreenLake,” said O’Dell. “We are remodeling all our tools and processes to take advantage of it. 2021 is going to be a great year for GreenLake.”

CPP’s Infrastructure Anywhere Assessments, which provide detailed comparisons between public cloud and on-premises GreenLake pay-per-use solutions, are consistently showing GreenLake coming in at 20 percent to 30 percent below the cost of public cloud, said O’Dell.

“GreenLake gives you the flexibility and agility of the public cloud but with more governance, security, performance and cost-effectiveness,” he said. “As long as the workload is predictable, GreenLake is always more cost-effective and delivers better SLAs [service-level agreements].”

The HPE inside sales reps are going to be key to helping drive partner sales growth, said O’Dell. “There is nothing more important for HPE to get right than that inside sales rep coverage,” he said. “Having a strong inside sales team is paramount. That is not only a great pipeline builder, but also a breeding ground of young people who will be consumption-first, consumption-always. They will know GreenLake inside and out, and a rising tide raises all boats. That is going to permeate the whole ecosystem.”

In fiscal year 2021, Nth Generation, San Diego, one of HPE‘s top enterprise partners, expects to do three to five times more GreenLake deals with revenue doubling or tripling, said Dan Molina, chief technology officer for Nth Generation.

“We are going to see increased market expansion and penetration of Everything as a Service in 2021,” he said. “GreenLake has a great advantage over competitors who are just getting started on this. I am familiar with some of the other major offerings, and they are definitely not even close. It is very different to just announce something rather than executing on it. HPE has been driving this for the last several years. We have been very successful with multiple large customers who are raving about the flexibility of the GreenLake Everything-as-a-Service consumption-based model.”

The pandemic is driving increased adoption of GreenLake and Everything as a Service, said Molina. “We have some very happy customers with the tremendous flexibility with Everything as a Service and consumption-based IT,” he said. “It’s all about speed, flexibility and paying only for what you use. In times like these, the flexibility that Everything as a Service provides is more needed than ever.”

Everything as a Service is one of the themes of Nth Generation’s virtual conference for customers, which runs from Oct. 7-9. “We decided to call it ‘The New Now’ because we wanted to communicate the sense of urgency on how things have changed,” said Molina. “The technology trends like Everything as a Service have accelerated because of the pandemic.”

White stressed that the HPE GreenLake model is powering a land-and-expand strategy that is paying off in long-term recurring revenue for partners.

“Once partners have landed GreenLake in an account, then they expand it with the next project and the next solution and the next capability that is required,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing so much excitement from partners.”

Customers are embracing the GreenLake pay-per-use model at an increasing rate in the wake of the cash-flow constraints posed by the global pandemic, said White.

Customers are more focused than ever before on conserving cash, said White. “There is really a key focus on cash flow, ROI and [business] impact,” he said.

The hard-charging HPE GreenLake go-to-market offensive comes with rivals Dell Technologies and Cisco Systems both recently signaling their decision to also embrace an Everything-as-a-Service consumption model.

HPE partners say Dell and Cisco are playing catch-up since HPE has been pursuing Everything as a Service in earnest for the past several years. HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri, in fact, has been aggressively leading the Everything-as-a-Service charge for the past several years with a commitment to move the entire HPE portfolio to as a service by 2022.

“We are years ahead,” said White. “We have worked through a lot of the kinks. It’s easy to just say you are going to be an as-a-service company, but Antonio put the stake in the ground a couple of years ago and we are aggressively moving toward that.”

HPE is determined to provide flat out the best profitability for the channel for Everything as a Service, said White. “I am committed to making sure our partners are the most profitable,” he said. “Our whole mindset is how do we go through and with our partner ecosystem to deliver these to our customers. To do that, we have to not only provide them with the most profitability, we have to provide them with the tools and resources required to be successful.”

Besides profitability of the channel, White is firmly focused on customer feedback on the GreenLake model. He said customer feedback is paramount, noting that HPE has a 99 percent retention rate on GreenLake deals. “We see a significant amount of new business flowing through those customers,” he said. “That tells us we are doing the right things.”

With that in mind, White said he sees fiscal year 2021 as a breakout channel year for GreenLake sales growth. “Because of the foundational components and how we have addressed the value chain with all of the incentives and resources we are now putting into the channel to help them be successful, we think this is a take-off year for us,” he said.

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