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HPE CEO Antonio Neri To Partners: We Built GreenLake To Grow ‘With You And Through You’

Steven Burke

‘It is not just an add-on or afterthought [for us],’ says HPE CEO Antonio Neri of HPE’s commitment to enable partners to build their own services on top of GreenLake. ‘We started with that vision because this company—as far as I know and as long as it can go back—has been built with our partners in mind.’

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri told partners from 97 countries gathered at HPE’s Partner Growth Summit for the first time since the pandemic that HPE’s GreenLake edge-to-cloud service was built from the ground up to grow with and through partners.

The “growing with you and through you” GreenLake pronouncement came as part of a question-and-answer session with HPE Worldwide Channel Chief and Head of Partner Sales George Hope, who referenced partner feedback that HPE competitors have simply “bolted” partners on to their as-a-service strategy as an afterthought.

“It is not just an add-on or afterthought [for us],” said Neri of HPE’s commitment to enable partners to build their own services on top of GreenLake. “We started with that vision because this company—as far as I know and as long as it can go back—has been built with our partners in mind. You have been a core component of our strategy since the beginning.”

[RELATED: HPE’s New Integrated Quoter Is Set To Accelerate HPE GreenLake Partner Price Quotes]

While partnering may be “unnatural” for some companies, it is a critical part of HPE’s legacy, said Neri. “When you do 70-plus percent of the business through this audience here and many watching online and in some geos [geographies], it is actually in excess of 90 percent, you can’t change that,” he told partners. “The fact of the matter is you bring unique value. Customers want to work with their partner of choice. Together we can solve customer problems better than anyone else.”

HPE’s edge-to-cloud GreenLake innovation is providing data insight and is opening the door for HPE customers to grow “further and faster,” said Neri. At the heart of that is a far-reaching HPE effort to enable partners “with the tools and knowledge” to bring HPE’s GreenLake edge-to-cloud innovation to customers in “ways we have not imagined before,” Neri said.

Ultimately, GreenLake is driving more “profitable growth” for HPE and partners, said Neri. “The more we do with this, the more profitable we become and the more sustainable revenue growth we can drive,” he said.

Building Out Services On GreenLake

That drive to recurring revenue and higher margins was front and center at HPE’s Partner Growth Summit, with HPE doubling down on the ability for partners to build their own services on top of GreenLake.

HPE CTO Fidelma Russo told partners that HPE has built out a GreenLake application programming interface (API) strategy that opens the door for partners to provide “value-add” on top of the GreenLake platform.

GreenLake’s single unified edge-to-cloud platform opens the door for partners through APIs to “build higher-level solutions that give you more things to bring to the customer base,” said Russo.

“We truly believe building this platform as partner-first is really important for our success, for your success and for our customers,” said Russo.

HPE is building on its core principle of allowing the partner to do anything the customer can do with GreenLake with a “fully managed MSP mode,” said Russo. “You will start to see us enhancing our MSP mode over the next couple of quarters.”

The GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform enables data control to remain with customers in a manner that “maximizes security, minimizes egress costs and preserves partner opportunities in data management, services and analytics,” said Russo. “So lots and lots of [partner] opportunities.”

The GreenLake platform allows partners to sell HPE cloud services, while at the same time allowing HPE to sell partner cloud services. “It’s a bilateral relationship, which I think is unique in the industry,” Russo said.

Partners Front And Center

HPE Vice President of GreenLake Ecosystem Maurice Martin told partners that the platform is powering “repeatable, recurring revenue streams” for partners. “It is more stable, it is more valuable, it is more profitable,” he said. “This is absolutely the cornerstone of what we are doing.”

HPE has put partners at the center of its Everything-as-a-Service strategy, said Martin. “We have always put you, the partner, at the center of the sale,” he said. “You choose the services. You set the price. You own the paper. You decide what additional services are going to be put on it. You manage the life cycle of that subscription.”

Partners “own the customer relationship” and will not be “disintermediated” with the GreenLake model, said Martin. “That is absolutely vital to this partner-enabled platform,” he said.

HPE’s core principle that “anything the customer can do on the platform, the partner can do for them” is powering big partner opportunities, said Martin. “That really allows all sorts of different levels of managed services to be delivered on the platform in a really consistent, secure and well-managed way,” he said.

Every dollar that is spent on the core GreenLake platform brings an additional $6 to $20 in partner opportunity, said Martin.

“Everything we want to build together is to make it work best for your business,” said Martin. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to get in on the ground floor.”

Martin also urged partners to provide critical feedback on how HPE can improve the platform for them. “Today is the moment to seize the as-a-service opportunity on the platform together,” he said.

Hope, for his part, said that HPE is “doubling down” on its commitment to partners with incentives to participate in the entire customer life cycle through its new Everything-as-a-Service Partner Ready Vantage ecosystem program. “We want you to stay engaged and land, adopt, expand and renew,” he said. “Some of our competitors, they just want to pay you to go away [with a], ‘Thanks for the lead, we’ll take it from here.’”

Partners Bullish On Future GreenLake Sales

Kelly Ireland, founder, CEO and CTO of CBT, a top HPE enterprise partner that has built an ecosystem platform with a refinery of the future Texmark Chemicals solution, said she sees the HPE Partner Ready Vantage program as a channel game-changer that should drive more GreenLake ecosystem sales.“This is all about HPE working with us to sell business outcomes,” said Ireland. “This is going to increase our sales and HPE’s sales. It is a win-win. It’s a huge leap forward.”

Ireland credited Neri for driving the big Everything-as-a-Service opportunity for partners. “Antonio deserves a ton of credit for this,” she said.

Michael Urban, president of the Americas at TD Synnex, which won HPE’s Global Distributor of the Year award, also credited Neri for driving the GreenLake transformation. “Antonio was a big contributor on all of this,” said Urban. “He was there from the beginning listening to us. He understood what was needed to get the partners into it, and now we are seeing the execution.”

GreenLake is filling a void in the market versus public cloud providers, said Urban. He said HPE’s GreenLake is now part of TD Synnex’s cloud marketplace and is a viable alternative to public cloud. “It is absolutely an alternative,” he said.

TD Synnex now has about 250 employees in North America supporting GreenLake. “We have a huge army supporting this,” he said.

Brad Davis, owner and CTO of Green Tea Technology, a born-in-the-cloud partner that is winning HPE GreenLake deals, said HPE is more than a year ahead of competitors with its innovative edge-to-cloud GreenLake platform. “It’s going to take a lot for HPE competitors to catch up,” he said.

HPE has advanced technology on the platform that is doing the billing and metering, which is a big differentiator versus competitors, said Davis.

Davis said he is confident about his company’s ability to grow the GreenLake cloud business versus public cloud providers, which hit customers with big egress fees to move their data out of the cloud. “They make it really easy to get in but when you want to get out you have to pay a ransom on public cloud,” said Davis.

Mark Walker, co-founder and CEO of Direct Digital Holdings, a marketing and advertising technology platform company that purchased a GreenLake cloud services solution from Green Tea Technology, said the “expertise” that Green TeaTechnology brought to the table was key to making the GreenLake decision.

Walker said he was surprised when he learned about the GreenLake on-premises cloud service. “Never in a million years would I have thought that this product exists,” he said. “We have to have the capability to grow as quickly as the market we are in and GreenLake affords us that flexibility.”

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