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CEO Antonio Neri: Look For ‘Massive Acceleration’ With New GreenLake.HPE.com ‘Front-End Experience’

‘Think about GreenLake [as] synonymous to HPE, no different than the way some of the public clouds use their brands, like Azure to Microsoft or AWS to Amazon,’ said HPE CEO Antonio Neri. ‘Everything we do at this company is now being accelerated to cater to HPE GreenLake.’

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri Thursday promised a “massive acceleration” of the GreenLake business over the next six months as HPE takes its edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service to new heights versus public cloud providers with a breakthrough GreenLake.HPE.com front end.

“Between now and March you are going to see a massive acceleration [of GreenLake],” said Neri in a conference call with analysts after HPE posted a banner GreenLake quarter with a 46 percent increase in as-a-service orders. “That’s why it’s my No. 1 priority.”

Neri told CRN that HPE is poised to standardize the GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service experience with a new “front-end experience” on GreenLake.HPE.com.

“Think about GreenLake [as] synonymous to HPE, no different than the way some of the public clouds use their brands, like Azure to Microsoft or AWS to Amazon,” he said. “Everything we do at this company is now being accelerated to cater to HPE GreenLake.”

GreenLake.HPE.com will provide a “seamless integration” and “true cloud experience” where all HPE cloud services are available for customers to procure, whether it’s Aruba’s connectivity as a service, elastic compute as a service or workload-optimized solutions like SAP as a service, said Neri.

Neri stressed that HPE GreenLake is an “open ecosystem” that will enable partners to add their own services to the GreenLake.HPE.com edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service. “Unlike others that tend to be closed, we are open in those APIs, so the partners can add their own services,” he said.

Partners will be able to connect to the front end of GreenLake.HPE.com with their own cloud services through the APIs, said Neri. “The good news is that they will get access to GreenLake.HPE.com as the e-commerce for them to expose their own services and be able to drive their own value-add,” he said.

HPE’s stepped-up GreenLake march comes after Neri last month put in place a new GreenLake cloud services development model, including a new development team and new cloud services solutions group, to accelerate the transformation to a much more seamless and unified pay-per-use cloud services delivery model and experience.

The new development organization marks a bold new front in HPE’s bid to make HPE GreenLake on-premises cloud services delivery every bit as seamless as swiping a credit card to load up a new instance from AWS or Microsoft Azure.

Neri has said the imperative to transform with increasing speed and agility is so “imperative” that he is making this cloud services transformation his “No. 1 priority.”

The powerful GreenLake.HPE.com cloud service experience is being powered by a next-generation IT backend system that is the result of a business process transformation that began when Neri took the helm in February 2018.

That next-generation IT system—which is set to be completed in March—will fundamentally transform the as-a-service experience for both channel partners and customers, said Neri.

“That is a huge competitive advantage because we will be able to do both subscription models like software and true consumption, which is basically [Infrastructure as a Service] workload-optimized solutions,” said Neri.

The next-generation IT platform will provide for the first time a single system to power all channel transactions, including GreenLake-as-a-service offerings from pricing to order transactions to shipment. “That gives me the backend ability to help the way we do business with our channel from the engagement with the customer, the way we do pricing, the way we put orders in and the way we ship,” said Neri.

With the backend next-generation IT system, once partners sell GreenLake “everything is automated for you, the metering, the billing,” said Neri. “The excitement to me is if that if you are a partner that sells both transactional business and sells an as-a-service engagement, the experience on the backend is the same. It is all done for you.”

HPE’s significant investments in GreenLake—including the planned seamless HPE.GreenLake.com front end—are paying off for the company and its partners, said Paul Cohen, vice president of sales for New York-based PKA Technologies, one of HPE’s original Platinum partners.

“I love the constant innovation that Antonio and HPE are driving with GreenLake,” said Cohen. “HPE and PKA as a Platinum business partner are constantly ahead of competitors with innovations like HPE.GreenLake.com and GreenLake Central. That competitive advantage is why we are a loyal HPE Platinum partner.”

PKA is seeing a dramatic increase in its GreenLake sales pipeline, said Cohen. “We see increased GreenLake momentum,” he said. “HPE is providing a full everything-as-a-service portfolio under GreenLake with the added benefit of partners being able to add on their own unique services capabilities.”

A big HPE differentiator, said Cohen, is the full HPE GreenLake ecosystem, including offerings like Zerto, Cohesity, Qumulo and Veeam. “HPE has done a great job of building a pay-per-use solution that is all-inclusive,” he said. “What’s more, HPE has invested in top quality resources that we can leverage, including GreenLake marketing, services and sales support.”

PKA Technologies CEO Felise Katz said the GreenLake consumption model is resonating with more customers. “We are absolutely seeing a return of customers who initially were driven by public cloud all of a sudden coming back,” she said. “The costs are not in line with their budgets, and there are security issues. We see customers wanting the hybrid model of being on-prem and having some control.”

HPE has made major development and go-to-market strides with HPE GreenLake that is accelerating the momentum of the edge-to-cloud platform as a service, said Pat O’Dell, general manager and managing partner for Clinton, N.J.-based solution provider CPP Associates, one of HPE’s top enterprise partners.

All of the HPE development improvements like GreenLake Lighthouse—which powers instant provisioning of cloud services—and the new Aurora security platform, combined with breakthrough sales tools like Quick Quote, have helped drive a 50 percent increase in CPP’s GreenLake pipeline, said O’Dell.

“We are seeing our GreenLake pipeline grow and are very excited about the customer interest we are seeing,” said O’Dell. “There is no question that all of the improvements HPE has made in GreenLake are making a big difference. It is much more compelling story for our clients and it is easier for our sales reps to sell it.”

O’Dell credited Neri with getting the full force of HPE lined up behind GreenLake with a top notch management and development team. Neri’s edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service vision is making HPE a much tougher competitor to the public cloud providers like AWS, said O’Dell. “Antonio has everyone rowing in the same direction,” he said. “That’s very difficult to do in a large company. When everyone is congruent and rowing in the same direction good things happen.”

Overall, HPE reported non-GAAP earnings of 47 cents per share on sales of $6.89 billion for its third fiscal quarter, ended July 31. Earnings were above the Wall Street consensus of 42 cents per share. HPE shares were down 10 cents per share in after hours trading Thursday to $15.29.

The GreenLake acceleration comes with HPE’s annualized revenue run-rate (ARR)—a critical measure of GreenLake’s success—up 33 percent from the year ago quarter to $705 million. HPE also reiterated its ARR guidance of 30 percent to 40 percent compound annual growth rate from Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2023.

The strong ARR numbers come as HPE announced just this week that it had won a highly coveted $2 billion, 10-year GreenLake contract with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Among the other highlights of the quarter was continued strong momentum in the intelligent edge business with revenue in that segment up 27 percent from the year ago period to $867 million on a record number of new orders. “Strong customer demand for secure connectivity has generated a backlog five times greater than at the close of Q3 last year as customers increasingly look for solutions to collect, connect, analyze and act on data at the edge,” said Neri.

Aruba ESP (Edge Service Platform) continues to gain momentum in a wide variety of verticals, said Neri. Among the customers standardizing on Aruba ESP in the third quarter were discount grocery chain Save A Lot, Monument Health and Circa Resort and Casino. “Aruba is absolutely humming and is on fire,” said Neri.

Overall, HPE is shifting faster to GreenLake with a strong pivot to the as-a-service model, said Neri. “Obviously GreenLake has given us a clear direction into the future by focusing on software and the as-a-service experience,” he said.

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