HPE Restructuring Will Lead To GreenLake SaaS Growth: Partners

‘I think what we are going to see is more standardized (HPE GreenLake) SaaS offerings that are going to make it a lot easier for our clients to adopt HPE GreenLake,’ Nth Generation Co-President and Chief Technology Officer Dan Molina tells CRN.


A Hewlett Packard Enterprise restructuring that includes a new Hybrid Cloud Business unit under the leadership of CTO Fidelma Russo is poised to propel robust growth of standardized HPE GreenLake pay-per-use SaaS (software as a service) offerings, partners told CRN.

In fact, partners told CRN they expect the new hybrid cloud organization, which for the first time combines HPE’s storage business unit, private cloud products and services, HPE software and Compute as-a-service under one umbrella, to open the door to more point-and-click cloud services rather than multi-year custom GreenLake deals.

Dan Molina, co-president and chief technology officer of Nth Generation, San Diego, No. 278 on the 2023 CRN SP500, expects his company’s GreenLake engagements to go up by three to four times as a result of the restructuring.

Sponsored post

“I think what we are going to see is more standardized (HPE GreenLake) SaaS offerings that are going to make it a lot easier for our clients to adopt HPE GreenLake,” said Molina. “The traditional GreenLake solutions take a good amount of time to plan, design and deploy. Our clients run at the speed of light. We are going to see a more streamlined process that significantly improves the time to market for both partners and customers. It is going to be dramatically faster than prior offerings.”

Even though the benefits of HPE GreenLake are greater than public cloud, said Molina, it takes a lot of planning that results in sales cycles that can take from six months to a year or more to go from first conversation to proposal to implementation.

“I believe the new standardized SaaS offerings we are going to see will shrink the time it takes to bring a GreenLake solution to market down from six months to as long as 24 months to perhaps weeks or a few months,” he said. “This is going to help us increase the volume of engagements and transactions with a product that is standardized, while still providing a great deal of flexibility.”

Molina said he sees all the ingredients for future GreenLake SaaS growth coming together under Russo. “Now you have one proven leader in Fidelma who knows the technology and is running the entire business unit,” he said. “It makes total sense. It provides a unified vision around private public cloud and hybrid cloud. This move is another proof point in how committed (HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) is to delivering that true hybrid IT experience.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri said in a blog post that the changes to HPE’s organizational structure and executive leadership team will “further unify the (HPE edge to cloud) portfolio and enhance the delivery of a true cloud experience for our customers and partners.”

As chief technology officer, Russo, who was No. 6 on CRN’s 2023 Top 25 innovator’s list, has the understanding of all the technology elements to deliver more standardized cloud services, said Molina. “Fidelma delivered one of the best keynotes I have ever seen in my 20-plus years of going to HPE conferences at Discover 2023,” he said. “In her keynote, she demonstrated the actual technology. Customers need to see the technology. It’s like driving a car before you buy it. Customers walked away with a much better understanding of the technology. That comes from a CTO’s mentality.”

The HPE restructuring, which goes into effect at the start of HPE’s new fiscal year on Nov. 1, also includes the reassignment of HPE Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Storage Business Unit Tom Black to oversee the private cloud team in the Hybrid Cloud Business unit, reporting to Russo.

Molina said Black, who has transformed the HPE storage business into an as-a-service model, will be key to driving growth of the new SaaS version of GreenLake for Private Cloud Business Edition.

“That product has a lot of potential,” said Molina. “That product uses a lot of software from block storage as a service and it now includes AWS provisioning. Private Cloud Business Edition to me is the great real world offering that ties together private cloud, public cloud, multicloud and hybrid cloud all together. Having Fidelma and Tom Black working together has a very high potential of delivering results for customers and partners!”

Erik Krucker, chief technology officer for Comport Consulting Corp, Ramsey, New Jersey, No. 312 on the 2023 CRN SP500, said he sees the restructuring making it easier for customers to click and buy HPE GreenLake.

“The restructuring is going to make GreenLake more of an on-demand ordering process,” he said. “It is going to reduce the friction and make it easier and faster to add a new service rather than having to do everything as a custom (GreenLake) solution. If someone wants to add more capacity for storage as a service, for example, they could just add that capacity on their own. It is going to make it easier for the customers to do business how they want to do business.”

As for Russo’s appointment to head up the hybrid cloud organization, Krucker said that will sharpen the focus on the GreenLake customer experience. “Putting Fidelma in that position and getting the customer point of view rolled into GreenLake is going to be key to HPE growth in the next several years,” he said

Krucker said he sees the restructuring having a positive impact on storage sales growth. “Now you have a CTO who is really focused in on storage and GreenLake,” he said. “Storage is a key component. It usually is the biggest growth and the most sticky piece of the business. Putting the focus on storage as well as all the other GreenLake services is a good thing. It is also a net positive having Tom Black roll up to Fidelma. Tom Black is one of the key players that helped HPE to focus on GreenLake as a service rather than just a financial model. Tom has been focused on the services side of GreenLake which has really helped transform the business.”

Ultimately, the restructuring will make it easier to sell and deliver GreenLake cloud services, said Krucker. “Customers and partners want those (GreenLake) agreements to be simpler and easier to execute,” he said. “This makes it easier for there to be more standardized offerings where partners can onboard customers into the GreenLake portal. Customers want standardized offerings where they can easily understand what they are and order them so they don’t have to go through a three month sales cycle for everything they need.”

New HPE Worldwide Vice President of GreenLake Partner and Service Provider Sales Ulrich Seibold, for his part, has told CRN he is charting a course to drive more standardized subscription-based cloud services as HPE has recently done with its storage portfolio through the HPE Alletra platform with offerings like backup as a service.

“More and more will come to the platform as a standardized service,” Seibold said. “By the way, even today you can get from us Red Hat as a service standardized, VMware standardized, bare metal standardized or containers standardized. This is something we need to do from an enablement and education perspective.”

Comport, for its part, has had great success by embedding GreenLake into its ComportSecure managed service - a full suite of cloud solutions including security and storage as a service and disaster recovery as a service. That ComportSecure business - powered by HPE GreenLake - is on track to double sales this year, said Krucker.

“Customers trust Comport to provide them a rock solid service,” he said. “What we are doing on the backend is using HPE GreenLake to provide that rock solid service and experience. Customers love it because we are giving them a great pay per use experience where they can consume without making a big up-front investment. It also gives us financial flexibility and allows us to manage multiple customers from a single pane of glass rather than having 10 different portals managing 10 different pieces of infrastructure.”