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HPE Confirms Discover Conference Still On, Cancels ‘Most’ Events Through April

Partners are applauding Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s decision to hold its June Discover Las Vegas conference as planned, but the company has canceled or postponed a number of April events due to coronavirus concerns.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is canceling or postponing “most” of its events through April due to concerns over the global coronavirus outbreak, HPE told CRN.

“Out of an abundance of caution and consistent with our peers given health concerns over the coronavirus, we have made the decision to cancel or postpone most HPE-hosted, co-hosted or sponsored events through April 2020 worldwide, except for local events in areas deemed safe to host,” said HPE in a statement to CRN. “We will continue to aggressively execute on our strategy and shift resources to engage our customers and partners with digital marketing and in other ways.”

However, HPE said it still plans to host its annual Discover Las Vegas event in June as well as its Discover More London conference on April 22.

[Related: ProLiant Server Chief David Gaston: HPE Silicon Root of Trust Is Security Game Changer]

Channel partners are cheering the San Jose, Calif.-based company’s decision to not cancel its Discover events.

Keith Nelson, vice president of technology for Vistem Solutions, an Irvine, Calif., solution provider, said he was glad to hear that HPE is still planning to go on with Discover Las Vegas.

“You have to continue to do business, you can’t allow media hype that you haven’t really verified to change our life,” he said. “That is resorting to listening to chanting. You look at the numbers: It is still well below the normal flu cycle. You need to go on, be smart about what you do, take prudent precautions and go on.”

Nelson said he traveled from California to San Antonio for the XChange conference in the midst of the coronavirus concerns. “My feeling is you need to do what you do during every flu season: Wash your hands and take precautions,” he said.

Nelson’s advice to his customers: “Continue to do business. If people want to work mobile, we are always there to help set them up to make sure they have a secure environment to conduct business in a proper way,” he said.

Jeffrey Wing, vice president of operations for ACP Technologies, a West Seneca, N.Y., solution provider, said coronavirus concerns are not steering his attention away from focusing on his customers and the quality of service ACP provides.

“Too many people are turning their focus to something that has nothing to do with their business rather than focusing on their business,” he said. “I think HPE is doing a great job. The world has to continue. This is one of just a series of issues that always happens in our world. It is just that this one is gaining more publicity.”

That said, Wing said ACP Technologies is ready to assist any customers that want to set employees up to work at home.

There have been more than 89,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide as of Tuesday morning. At least 3,100 people have died, including six deaths in Washington State.

The coronavirus impact has hit IT companies' bottom line as well as large events.

HP Inc. postponed its annual partner conference, Reinvent, in response to the spread of coronavirus. Google Cloud’s upcoming Next conference is being changed to a virtual format to limit travel due to the global outbreak.

In addition, IT companies are restricting employees from traveling. This month, HPE withdrew from this year’s Mobile World Congress due to health concerns over the coronavirus. Both Amazon and Google are also restricting employee travel.

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