HPE Chief Sales Officer Heiko Meyer: ‘We Want To Grow The Core And Gain Market Share’
‘A year ago—it is not a secret—there was an industrywide supply shortage,’ HPE Chief Sales Officer Meyer tells CRN. ‘We could not grow in the core business because there was no supply available. Supply is available now. We want to take share. We want to grow.’
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Heiko Meyer told CRN that the hybrid cloud powerhouse is ready to take the gloves off and drive market-share gains in the core compute and storage business now that the supply chain crisis is over.
“A year ago—it is not a secret—there was an industrywide supply shortage,” he told CRN. “We could not grow in the core business because there was no supply available. Supply is available now. We want to take share. We want to grow.”
Meyer has architected a worldwide go-to-market model that puts in place a “specialty-led hunting” model that is aimed at driving opportunities for partners in compute, storage, hybrid cloud and even high-performance compute and artificial intelligence. “This means we want to take share and share comes through hunting and hunting comes through specialization,” he said.
HPE is investing in storage and compute speciality resources even as it eliminates a number of general sales roles in North America, including some territory account managers, enterprise account managers and partner business managers.
Meyer, for his part, said the HPE specialty sales model is part of a strategy to double down on partners. “If I want to grow, I need to double down and support the channel even harder,” he said. “I have to support the channel even more through specialization to hunt with us and take these opportunities in the market.”
Meyer, a 32-year HP/HPE veteran who has headed up the worldwide sales organization for the last three years, said he is a fierce partner advocate, with 70 percent of the company’s business going through partners. “I have always appreciated working with partners,” he said. “Believe me, I love partners.”
In fact, he said, one of his top priorities for the new fiscal year, starting Nov. 1, is to “win” with partners.
“I want to really double down on the channel partners in terms of specialization and resources on the channel floor,” he said. “Here we can grow, compete and win in the market. You will see us shifting resources a bit more toward specialization because specialization means hunting, and hunting will help us as well grow with and through our partners.”
What are the top priorities for the new fiscal year go-to-market model?
We want to grow the core and gain market share. This means we are investing in specialty-led hunting, aligning with the most relevant opportunities and requirements around compute, HPC/AI and the hybrid cloud business. This means we want to take share, and share comes through hunting, and hunting comes through specialization.
I talk to many channel partners, and they told me, ‘Hey, show up on the channel floor, show up in our offices with our sellers and with specialization with presales resources.’ This will help us to be faster to win opportunities in the market. We want to grow the core and gain share in the market. We will do this through specialization.
I am investing in resources for the channel with specialists and presales, which should help us to drive my No. 1 priority [which is to grow the core and gain market share].
The No. 2 priority is to continue to grow the HPE GreenLake solutions. You have seen that success. Over the last couple of years we have had huge growth in the solutions business though HPE GreenLake. This is not only in the direct motion. This is predominantly as well through and with our partners.
We want to double down on that and continue this growth. We will have opportunities for our channel partners in terms of enablement, resources and presales architects to help them grow in the solutions business.
The requirements of our customers are changing. We have to help our channel partners, including MSPs and service providers, to gain share. We want to let them participate in our GreenLake solutions growth.
Our No. 3 priority is win with our partners. I want to really double down on the channel partners in terms of specialization and resources on the channel floor. Here we can grow, compete and win in the market. You will see us shifting resources a bit more toward specialization because specialization means hunting, and hunting will help us as well grow with and through our partners.
All of the three dimensions are connected to each other. If I do it right, I will gain share in the core business and I will continue to grow solutions together with our channel partners.
I have been communicating these three priorities for weeks with our HPE folks. We are doubling down on these three priorities for the next 12 months.
I can tell you this resonates quite well with partners.The channel partners I talk to said, ‘If you do that, this will help us.’ On the other side, partners are asking us to help them grow in the solutions business because the requirements in the hybrid world of our customers are changing.
Partners want to contribute, but, as you know, partners should have skin in the game. We want to make them successful with and through our solutions, but they have to add their services and capabilities so they have skin in the game.
Are there any specifics you can provide on the cuts inside the North America organization?
We don’t comment on cuts, but we are investing in roles to align the vision to the strategy and to our priorities. This means that we will see some decreasing investment in certain roles while we will invest in other roles.
Where specifically are you investing in specialization in North America?
We are investing in storage capabilities.
It could be through reallocation of resources we have in our organization to train them and enable them and let them go into the storage business as well as hiring people in the market.
It is really resonating quite well. We are doing the same with the specialization in compute, driving the growth of compute specialists and, as you can imagine, with HPC/AI, which is really growing, especially in the U.S. We are doubling down there. We already started the investments there a couple of months ago because we could see this business was really taking off. Here we have as well some people we can train within our organization and some we have to bring in from the market.
There will be growth with specialization, but on the other side there is a good message as well: The way we cover our accounts will not change. We will have no change in the coverage on our top rising star accounts, which is the top segment in our pyramid.
In the enterprise space we will still have enterprise account managers covering these accounts, but they will add as well knowledge to go into one of those product or solution portfolios deeper. So you will have an enterprise storage specialist or an enterprise compute specialist or an enterprise solutions specialist covering the accounts. So they can do both. They can play in the portfolio but they can also go deep in one of the [product] portfolios. That is resonating.
I have to invest in specialists. So I have to find some areas where we can be different or smarter in how I cover the market. This will come from the combination between the portfolio [account] play and specialization.
We will keep the coverage on our accounts. We are happy to have relationships on our accounts. We want to keep that as a source for future growth: upselling and cross-selling.
But on top of that, I need to grow through the specialization and through hunting. This means we want to add net-new logos with and through our partners. I think it is an exciting message for our channel and our overall organization. The good thing is it fits the operating model [HPE CEO] Antonio [Neri] has layed out. So we have now ropes to the ground in the sales organization with the [the business units]. We have a consistency across the world. So when you have a partner working here but they want to serve customers outside of America, we have the same structure. We have consistency in how we treat customers and work with partners. So the partners should benefit from this consistent structure on a worldwide basis.
Is HPE taking the gloves off to gain share in bread-and-butter storage and compute rather than just GreenLake solutions?
We want to do both. I can tell you we are excited. We have the best product portfolio in compute with our [HPE ProLiant] Gen 10, Gen 10 Plus and Gen11 and with our Alletra storage, which is unique. It is the fastest ramp we have ever seen. We are also seeing that on the HPC/AI side. That also fits with our foundation of services. It all fits perfectly together.
A year ago—it is not a secret—there was an industrywide supply shortage. We could not grow in the core business because there was no supply available. Supply is available now. We want to take share. We want to grow. This is not only the task of the global field sales organization. This is in alignment with [HPE Executive Vice President of Compute] Neil [MacDonald] on the compute side; with [HPE CTO and Hybrid Cloud Business Unit Executive Vice President] Fidelma [Russo] on the hybrid cloud and with [High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence Executive Vice Pesident] Justin [Hotard] on the HPC/AI side.
If I want to grow, I need to double down and support the channel even harder. I have to support the channel even more through specialization to hunt with us and take these opportunities in the market.
Will there be any compensation changes that accompany the new specialization model?
We have the same compensation across all the customer segments. But what is important is that we will drive resources to the channel. There are more feet on the street. There are more sales specialists and pre-sellers available for the channel as well as on the services side with solutions architects to help them grow the HPE GreenLake business.
Partners will see on the one side more resources from us and on the other side they will see us much more aggressively competing in the market. They are going to love to win with us again.
What is the ultimate economic opportunity for partners to team with HPE in the new fiscal year with the new go-to-market model?
I am excited that the model will help us to achieve all the three priorities I mentioned at the beginning of our conversation. The No. 3 priority is how we can win with our partners.
We have the best portfolio in the market, and we have a very wide portfolio in the market. We are not a pure-play [technology company] that has a little bit of storage or compute. We have a whole portfolio.
What I want to do is offer all the partners something from those that want to sell infrastructure with our support and their services up to the partners that want to sell solutions. I want to offer them all the best support and most aggressive [go-to-market model] to win in the market. We want to hunt together with our channel partners. That is the exciting message we want to give to our channel partners. This is going to work and go a long way with our partners.