Antonio Neri: The ‘Biggest Innovation’ At HPE Discover Will Be A Pivot To As-A-Service

HPE CEO Antonio Neri says HPE will be conducting a full court press on everything-as-a-service at the company's Discover conference this week.


See the latest entry: HPE Discover 2022: CEO Antonio Neri’s 10 Most Provocative Statements

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri says the “biggest innovation” partners will see at this week’s HPE Global Partner Summit/Discover 2019 conference in Las Vegas this week will be a full court press on everything-as-a-service.

“You will be amazed at the innovation we are going to bring to Discover,” said Neri in a conference call with partners last month after HPE posted its “largest quarter ever” for its GreenLake pay per use platform. “More innovation in storage in terms of intelligent management platforms, more innovation in terms of edge with edge computing. But the biggest innovation you are going to hear from us for sure is the pivot to as-a-service on everything we do.”

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Neri, in fact, said he sees the as-a-service sales offensive as a “massive opportunity” for partners. “GreenLake is an unbelievable innovation that we must capitalize on,” he said. “My goal is over the next three years to turn everything we do in this company and deliver it as-a-service.”

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That “massive opportunity” will be front and center at HPE Discover where partners are going to see big investments in as-a-service software and business model innovation to make GreenLake pay per use simpler to sell. “For me that is a massive pivot,” said Neri. “I think HPE is uniquely positioned to drive that pivot. That is where the world is going.”

In a blog post titled “HPE Discover 2019; Positive Change through Innovation,” Neri said HPE is about to formally unveil one of our “biggest transformative” pivots ever. That pivot, Neri said, will offer “customers and partners more choice, flexibility and scalability than ever across all industries and geographies. I strongly believe this will be game changing and it will define the next chapter for the IT industry.”

When HPE laid out its vision for a hybrid IT, composability and hyperconvergence no other company was even considering that approach. “We see a world where everything is hyper-connected, intelligence and security is built into everything around us, generating data that creates insights and value,” he said. “Data is the key – I believe it is the new currency. To harness the power of all your data, we have been driving a bold vision that the enterprise of the future will be edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven.”

With 40 percent of the $110 billion IT market already embracing the consumption service model through public cloud, the time is right for partners to drive on premise consumption with GreenLake, said Neri. “With our workload optimized solutions, cloud enabled and consumption driven approach we have a unique opportunity to really provide a true end to end experience for our customers,” he said.

The call to action for partners at Global Partner Summit/Discover is to accelerate the GreenLake Flex Capacity pay-per-use sales offensive, said Neri, who envisions 20 to 30 percent of sales coming from consumption based as-a-services offerings.

Bob Panos, vice president of sales and services at American Digital, Elk Grove Village, Ill., which closed one of the first GreenLake 3.0 channel deals last year, said he sees GreenLake as the future for the channel.

“More and more of our customers are asking for the consumption model,” he says. “They want out of the data center business and they want us to manage it for them. At the end of the day they don’t want to worry about it. With GreenLake HPE is enabling my business to transform into more of a service provider model. This is visionary. You have to be able to think years ahead to come up with a model like this. HPE saw the world was changing and made the move.”

Panos says GreenLake has the potential to fundamentally change the financial character of the channel with a more predictable services revenue stream. “Over time we could see 30-40 percent of our number made each quarter through these contracts,” he said, noting that he expects his GreenLake business to double this year. “(HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) is right. More and more IT revenues are going to be consumption based. There is a consumption wave that is happening made up of public cloud, private cloud, a mix of everything. What GreenLake does for a traditional VAR like us that is used to selling hardware is it allows us to make the transition to consumption. It’s a big shift in terms of how you sell, what you sell and how you make money. GreenLake is a bridge to that cloud model.””

The GreenLake channel transition is well underway. In the most recent quarter, HPE GreenLake had its largest quarter ever with GreenLake channel sales accounting for more channel business in a single quarter than for all of fiscal year 2018.HPE partners have closed more than 120 GreenLake deals and more than 500 partners have a GreenLake sales pipeline.

Nth Generation, San Diego, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the CRN SP500, is one of the partners with an increasing GreenLake sales pipeline.

Nth Generation recently closed a blockbuster GreenLake Flex capacity pay per use deal and is looking to double that businesss this year, said Dan Molina, chief technology officer for Nth.

Molina says new HPE partnerships like a deal with hyperconverged software powerhouse Nutanix is driving customer interest in GreenLake. “GreenLake is gaining momentum,” he said. “We are headed into a consumption based IT world. That is what GreenLake provides. It’s all about pay for what you use. The consumption based model is resonating with customers. The Nutanix move was brilliant. The level of excitement is enormous. A lot more customers are now asking us about consumption based IT on premise. There is a lot of questions and new interest based on the Nutanix announcement.”

GreenLake is “well ahead” of competitors who are now scrambling to catch up, said Molina. “HPE started this many years ago,” he said. “HPE has had time to refine the offering in order to provide a much better customer experience as the industry adopts new technologies for IoT, DevOps and agility. They know what resonates and what is useful to customers and partners. Other OEMs are just getting started. “

Molina said the increased GreenLake interest comes with more customers doing detailed analysis that shows not all workloads are more economical or efficient in the public cloud. “Customers are seeing it that it is definitely less expensive and more economical to stay on premise for some workloads,” he said. “There are also the customer concerns about losing control, security and privacy. Many, many customers still want some of their workloads on premise but they like the cloud like agility where if they need resources they can turn them on at a moment’s notice.”