HPE Partner Power: Driving Game-Changing Business Outcomes For Customers

HPE's current portfolio, touted by many solution providers as the best it's ever had, includes the building blocks channel partners need to build cutting-edge solutions, including servers, storage, networking and hyper-converged infrastructure. Among the HPE partners that are leading the transformational consulting charge and delivering breakthrough solutions for customers are IT Partners, OnX Enterprise Solutions and Anexinet.

Here's a look at how they—together with HPE—are taking things to new heights.

IT Partners: A Hybrid Computing Powerhouse

Steve Tepedino, IT Partners

IT Partners is driving impressive private cloud economics for customers with HPE-based hybrid computing solutions.

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The Tempe, Ariz.-based HPE converged infrastructure Platinum partner, which goes to market with a "simplify, optimize and transform" credo, recently closed a $3 million deal for a Stretch MetroCluster HPE hybrid solution with a midsize financial company that left competitors in the dust.

The economics of the HPE hybrid computing solution that IT Partners designed was so compelling that a public cloud alternative never got out of the gate, said IT Partners CEO Steve Tepedino. "The economics just screamed that [our solution] was a better platform," he said.

"It was just cheaper and more highly efficient than using a public cloud," added Tepedino. "What you get with this architecture is business continuity and services that don't go down. You can't go down. The architecture won't allow it. You have redundancy everywhere. Everything is active. It's really cool."

The modern architecture, which effectively provides the financial institution with its own redundant private cloud, is the kind of hybrid computing game-changer that was not available to midsize customers several years ago because it was prohibitively expensive.

"This would have cost two to three times more three years ago," said Tepedino. "Small companies couldn't do it. It was only available to big companies using Tandem. Small companies just didn't have this flexibility before."

A competitive Cisco solution came in at $1 million above the IT Partners solution, said Tepedino. "The fabric-heavy, network centric ACI solution couldn't compete with the HPE architecture with [VMware] NSX," he said. "The HPE architecture was more nimble, agile and cost-effi cient than the Cisco solution. Cisco puts a lot of stock in the IT fabric. That is where their costs lie. With the HPE architecture, we moved the intelligence out of the network and kept the costs way down for the customer. We put the intelligence in NSX and [HPE] OneView."

HPE's robust hybrid computing architecture with tight integration with VMware allowed IT Partners to put together a converged infrastructure with HPE server, storage and networking. "It's just a really elegant way to deliver IT services," said Tepedino. "It's really slick."

The beauty of HPE's hybrid computing architecture is it provides customers with a massively converged system, he said. "This solution has great scale up and out," said Tepedino. "It's fantastic." Tepedino expects more and more customers to opt for a hybrid computing solution rather than a public cloud option because of the beneficial economics of the HPE architecture. The economics along with the agility of the hybrid offerings simply make the HPE solutions more compelling, said Tepedino. What's more, he said, there are certain applications that just don't profile well on public cloud.

IT Partners, which is growing its HPE business at a double-digit clip, sees a lot of room to grow in the hybrid computing market with HPE. "HPE has the opportunity to become the dominant player in hybrid," he said. "The market is just starting to evolve."

OnX Enterprise Solutions: Putting Synergy Front And Center

Mark Kelly, OnX, U.S.

HPE's Synergy Composable Infrastructure is not even shipping yet but it's already catching the eye of customers looking to simplify complex IT environments. The U.S. division of OnX Enterprise Solutions, No. 46 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, recently closed a multimillion-dollar hyperconverged deal with a future phase that includes a $3 million Synergy Composable component, said OnX U.S. President Mark Kelly.

The deal, which included a dozen HPE HyperConverged (HC) 380 systems, four 3Par arrays and two StoreOnce systems, came after OnX brought the customer to HPE's recent Discover conference where Synergy was front and center, said Kelly.

"The customer had the opportunity to spend a couple of days at Discover to listen to the HPE vision, and it really cemented the story that we built with HPE," said Kelly. "It was a great closing tool."

HPE CEO Meg Whitman has touted the new Synergy platform, originally code-named Thunderbird, as one of the biggest breakthroughs from the company in the past decade. At the heart of the Synergy infrastructure, which is slated to be available in HPE's fourth fiscal quarter, ending Oct. 31, is a set of open APIs that bring software intelligence to deploy workloads seamlessly in complex hybrid IT environments.

That kind of unified architecture is compelling for large enterprises grappling with far-flung IT environments. The OnX customer betting on Synergy has more than 500 locations across 48 states and Canada.

The blockbuster OnX deal came after multiple briefings with the customer at HPE's Houston and Palo Alto, Calif., briefing centers, said Kelly. "We really make sure we use the briefing centers and sales tools HPE has," he said.

HPE partners are benefiting from a hefty investment that the company has made in innovative new products under Whitman's leadership, said Kelly. "The investment in innovation has just created a fantastic product portfolio," he said.

One sign of that innovation is the HPE HC 380, which is driving new sales opportunities focused on business outcomes with line-of-business customers, said Kelly.

"When you have a product portfolio like HPE has, it's not about speeds and feeds anymore; it's about solving business problems," he said. "You can go in and have a discussion about what HC 380 means to a line of business versus just chatting with the folks in IT and procurement about how many spindles they need."

Kelly got a kick out of seeing Whitman demonstrate the HC 380 at a recent partner roundtable. "It was pretty cool to see the kind of grasp she had on what the technology means to customers and HPE long term. It was extremely encouraging. If HPE's CEO has that much passion around a product line, we should make sure our sales reps are focused on it as well."

In addition to what he calls the best product portfolio the company has ever had, Kelly says HPE is at the top of the list for field engagement and working to solve any and all customer issues in the field.

In fact, Whitman and HPE Enterprise Group Executive Vice President Antonio Neri have "personally" reached out to make sure the company is resolving any issues for customers, said Kelly.

Anexinet: Transformational Consulting Focus Pays Off

John Kolimago, Anexinet

Anexinet's no-holds-barred focus on driving business outcomes for customers is paying off in significant sales growth for its HPE business. The Blue Bell, Pa., company, No. 200 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, is driving HPE sales growth at a 20 percent clip above last year, powered by products like the new HC 380 and the Aruba wireless networking portfolio, said Anexinet Chief Sales Officer John Kolimago.

The transformational consulting focus has helped put the HPE Platinum partner on the elite CRN Triple Crown list that recognizes the most elite solution providers in the country for technology prowess and sales growth.

"What customers are demanding is faster time to value and faster time to market, and that's what HPE is helping us provide," said Kolimago. "We used to think about HPE as a product company. We don't anymore. We think of them as a solutions company driving business outcomes."

HPE's sharp focus on four key areas—transform to hybrid, protect the digital enterprise, empower the data-driven enterprise and workplace productivity—is driving transformational consulting engagements with customers, said Kolimago. "You can't drive those business outcomes with just a product portfolio," he said. "It's a combination of the hardware, software and services."

Anexinet has leveraged the sharper HPE focus on business transformation to create cutting-edge solutions for customers. "We have the discrete knowledge on how to take the offerings from HPE and wrap them with our expertise and professional services to deliver solutions that help our customers realize better business outcomes."

Kolimago credited HPE's revamped partner training and certification for sharpening Anexinet's business outcome edge. "Our engineers clamor for this education because it is more focused on what matters most to our customers, which is business outcomes rather than speeds and feeds of a piece of technology," he said. "HPE is teaching our presales architects how to lead a conversation based on transformation with our customers."

In addition, Anexinet is increasingly teaming with HPE's Technology Services group, including cloud workshops to help round out its own services portfolio, said Kolimago. "Those services-led offerings really help us open lots of doors and ultimately help us build pipeline," he said.

Anexinet is finding strong success with the HC 380 tightly integrated with VMware. "There is no simpler platform to set up and deploy virtual machines for customers that want to run their business like a service provider," he said.