HPE Partners See New CEO Neri Accelerating 'Next' Era of Channel Sales Growth


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Hewlett Packard Enterprise partners said new HPE CEO Antonio Neri is set to drive what they are calling the 'Next' era of channel sales growth.

Neri, the architect of the HPE Next initiative to make the company more agile and nimble, officially took over as CEO on Thursday.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Incoming HPE CEO Neri On Delivering Public Cloud Economics On-Prem, 'Everything As-A-Service' And Why HPE's 'Channel First' Model Will Never Change]

Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., HPE partner, said the entire HPE partner community is excited about Neri taking the CEO job because of his iron clad partner commitment.

"Antonio has experience in the field working with the partners," said Tuchman. "He knows what we face everyday and he is out there ready to help partners any way he can. We are very excited about the future with Antonio taking over as CEO. He understands both the power of technology and the channel. He has done a great job architecting the software defined road map with great acquisitions."

Experis is seeing exceptional sales of sales of the Simplivity hyperconverged product line which HPE acquired one year ago for $650 million as a result of Neri's leadership. "We believe we are going to do $1 million in Simplivity sales in February," said Tuchman.

Tuchman said he expects his HPE sales to be up about 20 percent this year. That's on top of the 18 percent HPE sales growth the company reported last year, said Tuchman."The HPE products we are offering today are second to none," he said.

Neri, a 22 year HPE veteran who started as a customer service engineer for the company in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), celebrated the first day of what he called his "dream job" with a blog post on LinkedIn called "Living The Dream."

"It’s not the first time a dream has come true for me in my 20 plus years at HP and HPE," said Neri. "This also happens to be the place where I met my dream girl – my wife, Caroline (who also worked in the EMEA call center in Amsterdam), in 1995…. In the years that followed, we have shared, along with our two children, countless adventures all over the country from Boise to Houston to Palo Alto."

Neri  said HPE will win because its razor sharp focus on keeoing "customers and partners" at the "core" of the company. Borrowing the HPE Aruba mantra of "Customers First, Customers Last," Neri said enterprises of the future will require "intelligent and autonomous IT systems" that seamlessly connect data from the edge to the core to the cloud.

"At HPE, we will be focused on powering them by building the world’s best infrastructure solutions – intelligent, state-of-the-art technologies and services that provide them with the tools to harvest, analyze and store critical data from across their business," said Neri. "By quickly turning data into insights, enterprises will drive new business models, create new customer and workplace experiences, and increase operational efficiency."

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HPE Platinum partner and No. 245 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, said Neri's channel interaction is second to none. "Antonio is known for making sure that he has a high touchpoint with partners," she said. "The channel can count on Antonio. With his leadership, I think we can continue to lead the market with the most innovative technology solutions for our customers. Antonio's knowledge and interaction with the channel and partner ecosystem is going to allow us to stay ahead in this ever changing industry of providing heterogenous solutions."

Dan Sytsma, vice president and general manager of Melillo Consulting, a long-time HPE partner that is celebrating its 30th anniversary, said he sees Neri as a "hands on" leader moving the company forward with next generation hybrid IT offerings like Synergy, Simplivity and Nimble. :"Those products are really resonating with customers," he said. "We see HPE embracing the new directions that customers are going in. We could not be more thrilled that Antonio is on board as CEO. He has been with HPE for 22 years and is very responsive to partners."

Melillo Consulting was one of the first partners in the Mid-Atlantic region to sell and support the new software defined product offerings like Synergy, Simplivity and Nimble. "We have a lot of good deals in the pipeline with products that Antonio has brought into the HPE family," he said.

Neri, for his part, used the LinkedIn blog post to call on HPE partners and customers to "dream big" with a pledge to make HPE a "safe place to take risks, adapt fast and "push the boundaries of what is possible—whether that is product innovation, business process innovation, or even a new approach to running efficient meetings."

With technology moving at "lightning like speed," Neri said HPE is "better positioned than ever to take advantage" of the market opportunities that exist now and in the future. "Our employees are the ones who enable us to go to market with more of the state-of-the-art innovations on which our stellar reputation has been built so they must always feel empowered to take risks, to seek novel and original ways to solve problems or capitalize on opportunities. All our employees must be strivers, not simply survivors. To go further, faster. To accelerate what’s next for our customers and partners. And to achieve their dreams. Just as I am doing."

As for former CEO HPE Meg Whitman, who officially steps down as CEO today, she ended her six years at the helm by singling out Neri's "unparalleled passion" for the company and dedication to customers. "I’m absolutely confident that he is exactly what the company needs to take its next step," said Whitman in a tweet. "Good luck, my friend!"

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