HPE Americas Channel VP: SimpliVity Sales Momentum Is Off Charts, Surpassing Initial Aruba, 3Par Sales Strength

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Vice President, Americas Channel Jeremiah Jenson on Tuesday told CRN the SimpliVity hyper-converged channel sales momentum in the U.S. is off the charts with growth, exceeding even the robust initial channel numbers from red-hot past acquisitions like Aruba and 3Par.

"The growth we are seeing with SimpliVity is hotter than previous acquisitions whether it is 3Par – which was incredibly successful (out of the gate) or Aruba – which was even more successful," said Jenson in an interview with CRN. "This acquisition is even hotter than those and the [sales] ramp is going that much faster. The market acceptance has been greater. The partner uptake has been greater. This is a $6 billion market and we intend to take more than our unfair share. This is the fastest growing acquisition we have had in the channel."

[Related: HPE Chief Richardson On 100 Percent Channel Pledge For Nimble And SimpliVity, Dell EMC And Distie Commitment]

The $650 million HPE SimpliVity acquisition – which was completed in February – is already on a strong sales ramp in the channel in the Americas with deal registration up triple digits in the most recent quarter both year-over-year and sequentially, said Jenson. "This is already a multimillion dollar business in our first full integrated quarter (with SimpliVity)," he said. "It's an eight-figure business almost immediately. We have been really, really pleased with the [sales] ramp."

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HPE's sales momentum comes with Cisco announcing this week that it is acquiring hyper-converged software provider Springpath Inc. for $320 million.

HPE is fueling the SimpliVity sales momentum with a 100 percent commitment to drive all of the SimpliVity sales through partners. In addition, HPE has come out of the gate with a heavy investment in incentives to drive sales growth including a new spiff program, effective August 1, that rewards partners up to 10,000 points in additional rewards, said Jenson.

In addition, HPE is offering customers up to $400 for every older server and appliance take out that is returned to HPE. That incentive helped close a $1.2 million deal that included SimpliVity. "We are seeing $100,000 transactions on a daily and weekly basis at this point," said Jenson.

Dan Sytsma, vice president and general manager of Melillo Consulting, one of HPE's top Platinum enterprise partners, said Melillo added SimpliVity to its portfolio after the HPE acquisition and expects the product to account for as much as 25 percent of its sales within a year.

Melillo, No. 306 on the CRN SP500, has already closed two SimpliVity deals and has a half dozen more in the pipeline, said Sytsma. One of the deals was with a telecom service provider on a fast growth path looking for a more flexible and agile infrastructure with expansion capabilities, said Sytsma.

The SimpliVity hyper-converged product is providing a "huge ROI (return on investment)" for customers looking to consolidate infrastructure into a more "manageable and more cost effective" platform, said Sytsma.

"The technology is a definitely a difference maker for us and customers," he said. "What we see is the ROI customers are getting is huge. HPE has done a great job stepping up into the marketplace, seeing what was out there and offering a great solution to customers."

The 100 percent channel commitment with SimpliVity is also helping fuel sales, said Sytsma. "That is huge," he said. "HPE is 100 percent behind the channel to deliver this value to customers. There is no direct conflict. Having that confidence from HPE that this is a channel focused only solution is huge for Melillo and other partners."

Snowcap Technologies, one of HPE's top enterprise partners, expects its HPE business to be up about 30 percent this year as a result of what the systems integrator is calling the flat out best and most complete storage and compute portfolio with the addition of SimpliVity and Nimble, said Matt Cavanagh, a partner and vice president of engineering at Lynnfield, Mass.-headquartered Snowcap Technologies.

"SimpliVity is a winner," Cavanagh said. "We like the way it manages data and extends capabilities to remote offices with backup and replication."

Snowcap is also excited about the acquisition of Nimble with the InfoSight predictive analytics functionality moving across the complete HPE portfolio, said Cavanagh. "InfoSight is a game changer," he said. "We love the fact that HPE is making investments to improve customer experience and get at root cause issues faster."

Steve Hilts, a managing partner at Snowcap, said the SimpliVity and Nimble acquisitons have provided a "big competitive advantage" for customers and HPE partners. The new offerings are signs of a faster moving and more agile HPE, he said.

Hilts praised HPE CEO Meg Whitman for getting partners and HPE laser-focused on driving next generation software defined infrastructure sales. "Meg has righted the ship and helped move our business forward," he said. "Over the past year, we have seen fantastic growth with HPE."

HPE's field engagement with partners has improved considerably over the last year, said Hilts. "We see the field more in lock step with us," he said. "We have more converations in lockstep with HPE. We are fighting the fight more together than separately. We are seeing great things in the field."

Erik Krucker, CTO at Comport Consulting, an HPE Platinum partner and No. 379 on the CRN SP500, said Comport's HPE storage sales will be up 20 to 30 percent this year with acquisitions like SimpliVity and Nimble. "SMB customers are really starting to gravitate toward Nimble and SimpliVity," he said. "I see more SMB conversations around Nimble and SimpliVity. As an HPE partner, we are able to accomplish a lot of different things for customers when you look across the entire HPE portfolio.

HPE is moving faster than competitors into new disruptive technologies, said Krucker. "Customers sometimes look at the big OEMs as old stodgy companies that are unwilling to change," he said. "By bringing SimpliVity and Nimble into the conversation it shows customers that HPE is willing to adapt to the marketplace so customers can get the most value out of their IT investments."