Partners Cheer Appointment Of HPE Channel Veteran Ulrich Seibold As Worldwide GreenLake VP
‘The best thing about Uli is when he says something, it happens,’ says Bechtle AG COO Michael Guschlbauer, who has known Seibold for nearly two decades. ‘He does not just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He makes things happen.’
Hewlett Packard Enterprise partners are applauding the appointment of Ulrich Seibold, a staunch partner advocate with experience heading up the GreenLake business in central Europe, as the new worldwide vice president of HPE’s GreenLake partner and service provider sales.
Seibold, a 39-year HPE and HP veteran, is flat out one of the “best channel leaders” that partners have ever had in central Europe, said Michael Guschlbauer, COO and a member of the executive board for Bechtle AG, Germany’s largest independent IT systems integrator.
“The best thing about Uli is when he says something, it happens,” said Guschlbauer, who has known Seibold for nearly two decades. “He does not just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He makes things happen. For us it is very important that he is taking the lead of the GreenLake business because GreenLake from my perspective is not fully understood in the channel.”
Guschlbauer described Seibold as a “visionary” who is also a “pragmatist” who understands the channel’s needs and business model. “Uli has arranged a lot for HPE that has made us very successful,” he said.
Seibold will oversee not only worldwide commercial GreenLake partners but also service providers, hyperscalers and colocation providers.
“In this role, Uli will continue to increase the breadth and depth of HPE GreenLake within our channel partners, double down on our service provider strategy, and support the geos [geographies] through a defined and clear global strategy,” said Interim Leader of Worldwide Channel and Partner Ecosystem and Vice President of Worldwide Distribution Simon Ewington in an email announcing the appointment.
Ewington praised Seibold for his “outstanding grasp on both the opportunity we have with HPE GreenLake, but also how our current channel and service provider community can grow and expand their business.”
Seibold, a lifelong HP and HPE employee, started at HP as an industry merchant in 1983 while still in school and joined the partner organization in 1986. He has had many channel roles during his career, including different roles heading up the partner business in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region and the GreenLake cloud services business in that region.
Seibold’s deep partner experience will be critical in helping partners develop the GreenLake business, said Guschlbauer. “Uli is absolutely the right person to develop the channel,” he said. “I totally believe he will make it successful.”
Guschlbauer said he sees the big opportunity moving beyond the “outsourcing” consumption-based GreenLake model that is popular now to a full-fledged multi-cloud architecture that can manage on-premises and hyperscaler environments.
“Everybody knows about the consumption model of GreenLake but I think the real opportunity is the GreenLake platform,” he said. “It’s more a management platform and enterprise architecture. That’s the real opportunity because as partners we can add our services to it and manage the whole infrastructure for our customers. Customers don’t want to do it themselves. That is the real opportunity from my perspective in this new multi-cloud architecture world.”
Guschlbauer said his advice to Seibold is to invest in educating the sales reps and systems engineers who are selling GreenLake. “The behavior of selling infrastructure totally changed,” he said. “We are moving from an infrastructure approach to a workload-optimized approach. We have to know about the processes of our customers and the applications of our customers and how the workload is being structured so we can move it to the right architecture.”
That education of the more than 2,000 Bechtle sales reps could pay off in big sales given that the average relationship with customers for Bechtle is more than seven years. “In a lot of cases, it is more than 10 to 15 years,” said Guschlbauer. “We guide these customers in digital transformation. We help them transform their businesses.”
The GreenLake value proposition is critical given that once you win a customer in “these times you win him for years to come,” said Guschlbauer. “If we lose them, we lose them for years.”
Rüdiger Rath, CEO of Cancom Group, based in Munich with $1.3 billion in euros in annual sales, said he was thrilled that Seibold is heading up the GreenLake partner business.
“Everyone knows him,” said Rath, who has worked with Seibold for about 15 years. “He has a long track record and is well respected in the channel. … He is open and you can trust him. If he says it is raining behind you, you don’t need to turn around.”
Seibold has both the channel experience and technology experience to make a big impact accelerating GreenLake sales growth, said Rath. “He has all the major components to drive success. I can only say, ‘Congratulations.’ It is a really, really great move by HPE to put him in that position.”
Seibold’s channel experience is critical given the importance of being able to weigh both the vendor and partner interests, said Rath. “He always finds the best position for both parties,” he said.
Seibold never gives up and is always ready to team with partners to win deals, said Rath. That paid off in a big sales win recently with Seibold leading the charge on a new proposal to win the deal, said Rath. “He was so bold and we both rocked it and convinced the customer that HPE was the right solution,” he said.
Rath said he sees the worldwide GreenLake partner sales job as one of the most important roles in HPE given the need for an alternative to the hyperscalers amid the backlash over high public cloud bills. “More and more customers see the GreenLake business case and they have hope,” he said. “You can better calculate [cloud costs] if you have a solid workload on your on-premises infrastructure.”
Ralf Schäfer, CEO and COO of Comline SE, a German IT provider and one of HPE’s top worldwide GreenLake partners, said he has developed a “partnership” and “trust” with Seibold that is now a “business friendship.”
That partnership, trust and business friendship has powered a GreenLake transformation that is providing big automation and cost savings for customers and growth in Comline SE’s outsourcing business, said Schäfer.
The success has resulted in Comline SE putting 85 percent of its service production combined in a hybrid model with SAP HANA and Microsoft Azure. The GreenLake platform reduced production costs by 20 percent with 40 percent reserve capacity, said Schäfer. “Today it is the perfect architecture,” he said. “It has been a perfect successful story for us. I am so happy about this story.”
The GreenLake model has resulted in five-year customer outsourcing customer contracts with customers with profit margins doubling as a result of the automation and scale, said Schäfer. “From a profit point of view it has been so strong and successful that we have decided over the next five years for our strategy our focus is outsourcing with GreenLake,” he said.
Schäfer’s advice to fellow partners: “The real main point is to have a vision, a view and a dream of the architecture, a discovery of the soul,” he said. “I call it future mode operation architecture.”
Internally, Comline SE refers to it as CACE—Come with Any Cloud Environment—with the ability to shift workloads between clouds like Azure and GreenLake, said Schäfer.
Partners need to move beyond the “control and cost mentality” to the vision and dream of GreenLake, said Schäfer. “Uli has been a key player who has helped us translate our strategic architecture dream into GreenLake,” he said.
As for Seibold’s new job overseeing the worldwide GreenLake partner and service provider sales, Schäfer said he is “happy and proud” for his friend to take the next step in his career. “On the other hand I have some tears in my eyes because the time we can share together will be reduced,” he said. “Uli is a really good choice. He has done a fantastic job with channel development here in Germany.”