HPE Pointnext GM Pradeep Kumar: Partners Own The Customer Relationship

“Whether it is HPE or the partner providing the front-end or back-end services, ongoing management or optimization, the partner owns the relationship,” said HPE Pointnext GM Pradeep Kumar.


The GreenLake Flex Capacity pay-per-use model allows partners to own the long-standing customer relationship and provide continuous workload optimization in a fast-changing hybrid cloud landscape, said Hewlett Packard Enterprise Senior Vice President and General Manager of HPE Pointnext Pradeep Kumar.

“The partner owns the relationship,” said Kumar, a 21-year channel-savvy HPE veteran who has been driving strong alignment between HPE’s Pointnext services business and partners. “I want to be very, very clear here: The end-to-end relationship for the whole time is between the partner and the customer.”

That customer ownership commitment covers partners that add their own managed services and invoice the customer as well as cases where HPE provides managed services not available from a partner, said Kumar.

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“Whether it is HPE or the partner providing the front-end or back-end services, ongoing management or optimization, the partner owns the relationship,” said Kumar. “A substantial percentage of the partners want to keep the relationship with their customers. It is a long-term relationship. They are the custodian of that piece of paper between them and the customer.”

Bob Panos, vice president of sales and services at American Digital, Elk Grove Village, Ill., loves the fact that the GreenLake model allows him to add American Digital’s own services and then invoice the customer. “Having the ability to invoice the client is paramount,” he said. “For a partner, that is very important. That keeps us in front of the customer and lets us have more strategic conversations with the customer around architecture, growth and capacity planning.”
Key to the fast growth of GreenLake Flex Capacity, which is part of Pointnext, is that partners can add their own front-end and back-end services to the deals. What’s more, partners are acting as trusted advisers to optimize workloads for customers in a hybrid cloud market.

“With HPE [GreenLake], you can go into a hybrid model and you can move your workloads between the public cloud and the private [on-premises IT] environment,” Kumar said. “So as a partner, you are continuously giving customers advice on where workloads should be. That is the key to the customer relationship because customers want to be continuously transforming for the better. We give that choice to our partners and, in turn, to our customers. This is about choice and agility.”

HPE even provides a portal for partners that offers deep insight into how customers are consuming IT resources across different business units or groups within a company. “This gives partners the full visibility into customer [IT] usage,” he said.

Under the GreenLake model, the partner is managing the complete hybrid IT environment, said Kumar. “The partner is the conduit to the end customers,” he said. “The partner owns the relationship and will manage the relationship with the public cloud provider as well as with HPE. More and more customers are worried about Amazon Web Services and [Microsoft] Azure taking control of their whole IT environment and their data, so the partners play a big role here being the custodian managing all of it.”

For partners, the key to continuing to act as a trusted adviser is the skill set to manage both public and on-premises environments, said Kumar. “This isn’t about selling something and walking away,” he said. “It is selling something and being with the customer in a continuous relationship. That is what partners are good at: maintaining that customer relationship and making money over the full life cycle. This really increases the stickiness of partners.

Kumar’s Key Benefits of Selling HPE GreenLake

It Is More Profitable Than A Capex Sale: Over the course of a GreenLake consumption deal, partners will make twice as much as they would in a Capex model.

Higher Customer Satisfaction: With HPE Datacenter Care part and parcel of every GreenLake sale, HPE’s customer satisfaction is unmatched. “Our customer satisfaction is unparalleled in the industry,” said Kumar.

Land And Expand: HPE is seeing customers that adopt the consumption model rapidly expand it to multiple segments of the business. “Once customers experience the consumption model, they start to look at converting their entire data center to a consumption model,” he said.