Antonio Neri: ‘The Entire Company Inside GreenLake’ Is HPE’s Future
‘For us, it’s not about just being to be able to consume as-a-service, it’s being able to run your entire business through HPE GreenLake,’ says HPE CEO Antonio Neri in an interview with CRN.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise President and CEO Antonio Neri said HPE GreenLake, the company’s nearly $8 billion as-a-service business, is the company’s future with big plans in store for 2023 and beyond.
“We are on a journey ourselves to make [HPE GreenLake] simple, to make it easy to deploy solutions and consume them. But in the end, make no mistake, it’s going to be the entire company inside GreenLake. Even the wonderful servers that we sell today,” said Antonio Neri during his keynote at XChange Best of Breed 2022.
“For us, it’s not about just being to be able to consume as-a-service, it’s being able to run your entire business through HPE GreenLake,” he said.
HPE GreenLake is an edge-to-cloud as-a-service platform that allows customers to run cloud infrastructure services on-premises, at the edge and in the public cloud.
The offering combines visibility, security and ease of management into a pay-per-use model.
HPE channel partners are the tip of the spear when it comes to GreenLake. For its most recent third quarter, GreenLake orders through the channel were up 55 percent year over year—marking the 21st consecutive quarter of GreenLake growth.
“This year, we are growing [GreenLake] year to date [at] 86 percent. The number of partners that are transacting with GreenLake is now twice the number of partners compared to last year,” Neri said on stage in front of around 100 solution providers.
“I feel that we are making progress but as always, the future belongs to the fast. You have to go further faster,” he said.
In an interview at XChange Best of Breed 2022, Neri explains the vision for HPE GreenLake in 2023 as well as the opportunities in 5G and for channel partners.
“We know we have to grow with and through partners,” Neri said. “We only can be successful if we make our partners successful. And that has not changed, and it will not change.”
Here is what Neri had to say in his interview.
The Big Goal For HPE GreenLake In 2023
Scale is the name of the game here.
To give a sense, today we have 120,000 users on the platform—that’s a big number. And we keep adding 14,000 devices per week to the platform—that’s a big number of devices.
There’s a lot out at the edge, but more and more of it becomes these private clouds, data, local storage and data service that comes with it.
For me, the goal for 2023 is to continue to enhance the platform, provide more services through APIs to our partners and our customers, introduce new cloud services associated to workloads that are very crystal clear for us where we can win, and then continue to drive that full integration in a native way with the public cloud.
Because as CIOs become more service providers of sorts, like service brokers, partners have the opportunity to cover some of the gaps that this transition generates.
For us, it’s not about just being to be able to consume as-a-service, it’s being able to run your entire business through HPE GreenLake.
Whether you have workloads in the public cloud, at the edge or on-premises, we want you to use HPE GreenLake to run your entire hardware estate.
‘It’s Going To Be The Entire Company Inside GreenLake’
When it comes down to transforming, it’s about, ‘Who I can trust to take me through this journey and deliver the outcomes I need to deliver?’ So GreenLake is our North Star—that’s where we’ll do it.
We are on a journey ourselves to make [GreenLake] simple, to make it easy to deploy solutions and to consume them. But in the end, make no mistake, it’s going to be the entire company inside GreenLake. Even the wonderful servers that we sell today.
As we get ready for the next introduction coming up here on [ProLiant] Gen11, you will see that every product—whether it’s Capex or as-a-service—will transact through HPE GreenLake.
The benefit for you is that, as a partner, you drive stickiness and an integrated experience— in whatever products and services you deploy—with a point and click. Then the back end of this gets fully automated.
Yes, absolutely [GreenLake] needs to be simpler than it is today.
With our new solutions, more and more are standardized or configurable in a more customized way. In the end, it’s all about deploying it, provisioning it and running it through the platform. That’s our goal. And I will say we’ve made tremendous progress.
If you look on the financial side, the business now is over $7.7 billion in the balance sheet. This year, we are growing year to date [at] 86 percent. The number of partners that are transacting with GreenLake is now twice the number of partners compared to last year.
I feel that we are making progress but as always, the future belongs to the fast. You have to go further faster. That’s has been my mission since, let’s say, the pandemic because I feel this is the right strategy for the company. The partners have to transform too because the customers are demanding it.
GreenLake Opportunities In 5G
I still believe 5G will change a lot of things. In my mind, it will create new use cases.
But it’s a complementary technology, not a replacement technology. That’s why, as a part of our edge solutions, we are integrating 5G in through GreenLake as a part of the Wi-Fi, LAN and WAN connectivity.
We treat 5G as another connectivity protocol of sorts. We give the customer the same experience that—whether you deploy an access point or you deploy a SIM somewhere—you will get the same experience.
This means the connectivity layer is a unification. Then you go above that, you have the unification of the security layer. SASE, or security access service edge, is another area where we are investing in. Then on top of that, you have the AIOps, which allows you to collect a lot of data, which is networking packets that allows you to create new experiences.
5G and Wi-Fi are totally complementary, depending on the use case.
On the other side, we have a business that’s very software-driven, which is the core virtualization in the network plus six key virtual functions you need to run 5G. And we’re going to be synergistic on that on the HPE GreenLake platform as well for telcos and MSPs.
‘Strong’ Demand For GreenLake Regardless Of Supply Chain Woes And Potential Recession In 2023
Our demand continues to be very strong and that’s true across the portfolio. Part of it is because I think our customers are still prioritizing IT. [Customers] need to accelerate their digital transformation.
If there is a recession, which everybody speaks of every day—and when you speak of it every day it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—then you need to get the hard things done in bad times.
Because as we have lived through our professional career, it comes down, goes up, and it comes down again. So if you don’t do it during that hard time, then you’re going to lose out when the times get better because you’re not going to be positioned competitively.
I think customers are realizing that. They’ve learned their lesson from COVID.
I truly believe that there are offers in our portfolio that are unique and differentiated. I have good examples.
So Aruba is absolutely on fire. I have a backlog which is 20 times historical levels—20 times. The demand keeps growing and growing and growing. That tells you the edge is important.
When we talk about digital transformation and being a data-first organization, it starts with being connected. If you’re not connected, you’re not digitizing. Everything associated with data insights is off the charts. AI, machine learning, analytics—all of that is very strong.
In the end, there is also the need to modernize and ‘cloudify’ your infrastructure.
With GreenLake as-a-service, especially in these trying times where people are going to say, ‘Gee, the cost of capital is going through the roof. I may need to rethink that strategy’—the as-a-service actually helps because you only pay for what you consume.
You don’t have to outlay enormous amounts of capital at 6 percent, or whatever is the rate is today. Therefore, you can still get stuff done in an environment that’s constrained.
If you can do that across the entire hybrid state, because people have workloads in the public cloud, then they get an integrated experience. And that’s what GreenLake is all about.