HP's Whitman: Helion Is 'Proof' Of Our Investments In The Cloud

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Hewlett-Packard upped the ante in the cloud market Wednesday with its Helion line of OpenStack offerings, and top HP executives said partners are the key to its success.

HP's Helion line of OpenStack offerings includes OpenStack distribution, development, Cloud Foundry-based Platform-as-a-Service, an OpenStack no-cap indemnification program and an OpenStack professional services practice. HP, Palo Alto, Calif., is backing up Helion with a $1 billion investment over the next two years.

However, HP said that Helion cannot be successful without partners because the company cannot "cover the gamut" of solutions that end users are looking for, Steve Dietch, vice president of HP Worldwide Cloud for the Enterprise Group, said in a company webcast following the announcement.

[Related: HP Takes Aim At Red Hat-Cisco With $1B OpenStack Helion Cloud Offensive]

"We fundamentally believe that our partners will play not a critical role, but a fundamental, mandatory role in our Helion business," Dietch said.

"Organizations are looking for those solutions and trusted advisers so, with the Helion portfolio coupled with the capabilities of our partners, they're getting the best of everything," Dietch continued.

The powerful trends of social, mobile, cloud and big data are drastically changing the way IT works, requiring agility, openness and security, HP CEO Meg Whitman said in her webcast remarks. While it is a challenge, the "new style of IT" also is an opportunity for enterprises and the channel to transform the way they are doing business, including embracing new hybrid cloud solutions using Helion.

"Delivering the new style of IT requires the power of an industry working together and now, more than ever, there's the demand for solutions that are open," Whitman said in the webcast. "The result is something that is more flexible, secure and more affordable than any one company could deliver alone," she continued.

Whitman said that customers and channel partners can rest easy knowing HP is "uniquely positioned" with its experience as a leader in public cloud, Open Stack and Cloud Foundry technologies.

"We're investing strongly in our cloud strategy, products and services and our launch of HP Helion is further proof of this focus," Whitman said. "We are in this market to win."

Kelly Ireland, CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HP partner who tuned into the webcast, said Helion is just another example of Whitman and HP coming through for the channel in recent years.

"This is what I would call the leapfrog over the competition," Ireland said. "[Whitman] always includes the channel. Somehow she always includes the channel in this, makes sure there's a platform for us."

Ireland said she appreciates the patience with which HP took the OpenStack solution to market, waiting for the market to mature. The Helion investment is one more example of HP offering best-in-class technologies to its partners, after Moonshot and converged systems, which are "wooing" the channel and boosting enthusiasm among partners, she said.

"[Whitman] gets the channel, she understands that that’s just an extension of HP. That’s how they work with us. We're an extension and they work very closely with us to make sure they are being able to deliver for their clients," Ireland said.

When asked what she would like HP to do next to support CB Technologies, Ireland said the vendor already is working hard to provide programs to boost business and provide the necessary education.

"Just continuing what they’ve been doing," Ireland said.


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