Hewlett Packard Enterprise SMB Sales Chief Describes Shift To Data Center Management

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is enabling small and midsize business, government and education customers by empowering its channel partners with software-defined data center and virtualization technologies, Aaron Mills, vice president of HPE's SMB and SLED (state, local and education) sales, told XChange Solution Provider 2016 attendees Thursday.

In a keynote at The Channel Company conference in Los Angeles, Mills said those technologies are blurring the lines more every day between cloud, infrastructure, applications and data.

HPE would be a great partner for many of the XChange attendees looking to deliver those technologies to non-enterprise customers, Mills said, but first he had a job to do -- clarify to them where HPE is on its journey, and resolve any "identity crisis" resulting from Hewlett-Packard's recent split into two distinct companies.

[Related: XChange Panel: Strategic Service Provider Model Is Reshaping The Channel Landscape]

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HPE has been working to implement a simplified engagement model for the partner community around servers, storage, networking and OneView, its converged management platform.

"What you see is a lot more agility and speed around our go-to-market programs," Mills said. That's true across products, services and support mechanisms for partners.

As HPE invests more resources into data center management, the company is emphasizing four areas driving its transformation: hybrid infrastructure, protecting the enterprise (not just security, but also backup and recovery), workforce productivity and an intense focus on data technologies.

HPE is taking best-of-breed concepts around server and storage product lines, and creating best-of-breed configurations, he said.

"We're really here to nurture and expand our partner community," Mills said, as they're "making the transition from traditional infrastructure partners to a new style of IT."

The message resonated with Joe Blackmon, CEO of KKI Technologies, a managed service provider based in Bartlesville, Okla. The reference configurations Mills discussed could be useful to his company.

"I'm going to check them out. I think it could be something we could take advantage of," Blackmon told CRN. "The least time spent configuring is good for us, 'cause it's more time we can spend with our customers."