HPE InfoSight Is Being Prototyped As Powerful Sales Tool For Partners
“We are using the unique InfoSight AI asset to try to transform all aspects of how a partner or customer experiences doing business with us,” said HPE Senior Vice President/Storage General Manager Tom Black. “It is focused on increasing productivity and for a partner to increase profitability—all with this obsession around customer intimacy and relevancy.”
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is poised to leverage InfoSight’s artificial intelligence prowess to help partners drive sales upgrades and auto-generate storage solution recommendations for the rapidly growing InfoSight installed base, said HPE Senior Vice President/Storage General Manager Tom Black.
The new AI functionality—which is currently in the prototype stage—is part of an all-out AI operations offensive being marshaled by Black and his development team.
“I just showed it to a bunch of people in the company,” said Black, who took the storage helm nine months ago, in an exclusive interview with CRN. “We are using the intelligence in partner campaigns so they know not only when a customer is ready for an upgrade or a refresh, but actually helping auto-generate advice and information for them to basically reduce the amount of time it would take them to go in and assess an environment, figure out the right recommendation and move forward.”
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The new InfoSight sales prototype is a major “step forward” to leverage the AI capabilities in the product not just for a “support experience or to avoid a performance issue but also to assist someone in that sales cycle by increasing their customer intimacy,” said Black.
Many salespeople walk into complex IT environments without in-depth data or knowledge on the customer IT environment. All that changes with InfoSight’s proactive AI and machine-learning capabilities.
“It’s very different walking into an environment saying, ‘I know exactly what you have, I know where you are at and I think I understand where you should go next and here are the financials around it,’” said Black. “What we are doing is using software to completely change the overall experience—not just the post-installation experience, but the up-front experience. That is a unique capability we have because of InfoSight.”
The breakthrough use of the InfoSight AI capabilities comes with HPE moving quickly to capitalize on the 8-Petabyte InfoSight data lake with over 1.25 trillion data points. That data lake—which has been part of the Nimble storage platform for a decade—is widely heralded for anticipating and resolving 86 percent of storage issues.
HPE is using InfoSight’s robust machine-learning capabilities to take customer storage productivity and partner profitability to a new level, said Black.
“We are using the unique InfoSight AI asset to try to transform all aspects of how a partner or customer experiences doing business with us,” said Black. “It is focused on increasing productivity and for a partner to increase profitability—all with this obsession around customer intimacy and relevancy.”
The longer a customer runs InfoSight the more data it acquires and uses to drive productivity gains, said Black. “The amount of information and the amount of intimacy we have with [InfoSight] in the field is simply astounding,” he said.
With InfoSight acting as the central nervous system of sorts for a new age intelligent data insight, HPE has a marked competitive advantage versus competitors, said Black.
“The intelligent data platform particularly built around the intelligence in InfoSight is absolutely a unique asset to the company,” he said.
Paul Cohen, vice president of sales for New York-based PKA Technologies, one of HPE‘s top Platinum partners, said he is looking forward to leveraging the power of InfoSight as a sales tool for his team.
“It’s exciting to hear that we could soon be able to leverage the power of InfoSight as a proactive sales tool,” he said. “I’m looking forward to putting this into our sales kit. No competitor can match what HPE has with InfoSight. We lead with InfoSight. It’s a game-changer when it comes to customer support because companies don’t need to use their expensive IT staff to constantly chase down nonpriority issues. It prevents 86 percent of Level 1 and Level 2 issues.”
When PKA brings InfoSight to the storage deal table, it ends up winning the deal nine out of 10 times, said Cohen. “Ninety-nine percent of the time when we lead with InfoSight it is a new concept to the customer in terms of what InfoSight is capable of doing,” he said. “Customers love it. The proof is in the pudding—the feedback we get from customers is that it is a big competitive differentiator.”
The InfoSight full-court press comes with Black, a 24-year IT engineering R&D veteran who holds four patents, picking up the pace of InfoSight development and integration with HPE’s next-generation infrastructure stack.
“I am really dropping the hammer on deeper and deeper integration with our [InfoSight] AI platform to solve more and more meaningful problems,” said Black, who held top engineering posts at Cisco Systems and Arista Networks before joining HPE seven years ago to lead the networking team.
Black said the move from the networking to the storage side of the house has him fired up to drive a new era of storage innovation.
“Part of what was so exciting for me to join storage at this time is I inherited a really stable business, a really good team, some really advanced software capabilities with InfoSight, all of it heading right into a two- to five-year window of a major technology transition,” he said. “For an engineer and a geek like me, you just couldn’t ask for more. This is a target-rich environment for innovation with easy ways to motivate engineers and easy ways to do beautiful things for your customers and partners.”