CEO Antonio Neri: Partners Will Be Included In HPE’s ‘Bold’ AI Journey

‘You will see some very bold moves we are making but also including you in that journey because I realize not everybody will be capable or in a position to be part of that AI journey,’ said HPE CEO Antonio Neri at the HPE Discover Partner Growth Summit.


HPE CEO Antonio Neri (left) and HPE Senior Vice President of Worldwide Partner Ecosystem Gilles Thiebaut

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri Monday kicked off the HPE Discover conference by pledging that partners will be included in the edge-to-cloud platform powerhouse’s “bold” AI future.

“You will see some very bold moves we are making but also including you in that journey because I realize not everybody will be capable or in a position to be part of that AI journey,” said Neri in a Discover Partner Summit keynote interview on stage with HPE Senior Vice President of Worldwide Partner Ecosystem Gilles Thiebaut.

[Related: CEO Antonio Neri: HPE Is Seeing A ‘Simply Amazing’ Uptick In AI Orders]

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Neri told partners that the start of the HPE Discover show Tuesday will be focused on AI. “My name is Antonio Neri, it starts with A and ends with I,” he said. “That’s inspiring!”

HPE’s AI moves will demonstrate that the company has thought about how problems can be solved with AI in an “ethical and sustainable way” that can benefit society, he said.

“I believe we can use data in a different way, at a pace we haven’t seen before,” he told partners in the audience. “But also [we will] bring the partners along that journey. Because obviously supercomputers have not been something many people in the room have solved. The question is how do we make it more consumable for everyone.”

Neri’s AI partner pledge came after he was asked by Thiebaut for a preview of the “exciting” announcements coming this week at Discover.

Neri, who has made AI-based supercomputing a mainstay of HPE’s edge-to-cloud platform strategy, said that HPE is set to announce an extension of hybrid cloud, both on-premises and in the public cloud, with some “very interesting” strategic partners.

The move is a realization on HPE’s part that “we have to work with the public cloud,” said Neri. “So there is a win-win opportunity here, not by doing some sort of marketing things but really by doing the actual hard work, which is a co-engineering of the value proposition. That creates, ultimately, a long-term, sustainable type of stickiness. There is a lot more to unpack there. I think you will be incredibly pleased by how we continue to fuel the hybrid cloud momentum.”

Neri also called HPE’s acquisiton in May of OpsRamp, which makes an AI-based IT operations management platform, one of the most “disruptive” acquisitions HPE has ever made. “The potential of the technology in terms of [being] multivendor, cloud-neutral and AI-driven gives us a significant competitive advantage,” he said, adding that it is opening new avenues for customers to manage complex IT estates in a way that reduces operating expenditures for companies.

OpsRamp will also drive sustainability advantages for customers, said Neri. “Watch that, because I think there is a massive opportunity for partners in ways that we haven’t imagined before,” he said.

Neri’s call to action for partners was to get an account on and experience the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform. “PowerPoint is not great,” he said. “To me PowerPoint is for people who have no power and no point. Just get to the platform and experience it.”

To that point, he urged partners to get their presales and solution engineering teams to experience the unified HPE edge-to-cloud GreenLake platform.

Neri also pointed out that the company has an on-premises cloud service lead that has competitors “scrambling” to catch up. “Thank you for believing in HPE GreenLake,” he said. “I know many of you have been growing with us over the last few years. The reality is that our competitors are now following. They all validated our strategy, but now they are scrambling to catch up.”

At the end of the most recent quarter, HPE had more than $10 billion in GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform total contract value. “Two years ago, that was $5 billion,” Neri said.

Neri vowed that the company will continue to drive hybrid cloud innovation. “We know we have more work to do to continue to drive that innovation and enabe your innovation on the platform,” he said. “But ultimately the north star as we go forward is HPE GreenLake with compute, storage, private cloud, hybrid cloud and, soon, more about AI, all delivered—including the edge—through our HPE GreenLake platform. How you pay for it is a choice based on the business models of each of the customers. I want to say thank you for sticking with us. My job and the job of the team is to enable you to profitably grow with us and be relevant to our customers.”

Rob Schaeffer, president of CBT, a top HPE enterprise partner that has received wide acclaim for AI-based solutions like refinery of the future, said he was heartened by Neri’s AI pledge.

“AI has been the hottest thing in IT for the last six months, and we are already there,” he said. “To be able to participate with a company like HPE and the solutions and the technology and the people that they have is industry-changing. We are going to grow faster and deliver better because we are doing this together, particularly with AI because you have got to have the data, high-performance compute and multiple other elements. Nobody can do it alone.”

CBT is actively working on AI solutions with customers, said Schaeffer. “While this is new to a lot of customers, it is not new to us. We have been doing this for quite some time,” he said. “It is about the outcome. It is not about AI. It’s about what AI delivers. You have to get to the customer’s definition of the outcome and let the technology empower that.”

HPE has an AI advantage as a result of Neri’s technology leadership and vision, said Schaeffer. “HPE is hitting this market at the right time,” he said. “There are a lot of elements coming together. I can hardly wait to see what HPE announces tomorrow. It’s going to be fantastic.”