HPE's Next Advantage: CEO Neri Is Taking The Company's Customer- And Partner-First Legacy To New Heights


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The Next Payoff For Partners

The GreenLake Flex Capacity business model innovation is unprecedented, said John Kolimago, executive vice president and general manager of the cloud solutions business unit at Anexinet, No. 208 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500 and one of HPE's top Platinum partners. "This is a game-changer," said Kolimago. "I truly believe HPE is on the cusp of something great with this. Other vendors have always had creative leasing, step leasing and financing offers, but this is different. This is truly selling consumption-as-a-service. No one else is doing what HPE is doing with GreenLake."

The new GreenLake channel model allows sales reps to be paid up front for the value of the total deal, said Kolimago. "A lot of companies when they turn to a services-led model, it is to the exclusion of partners," he said. "HPE has worked hard to get the economics right for partners with a hybrid compensation model that compensates the sales reps up front on the total value of the deal on day one, and then the ability to share in the annuity over time as we grow those environments. That is the best of both worlds."

The HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity channel model comes in the midst of a public cloud backlash sparked by soaring monthly bills and increased concerns around data governance. "There is a shift going on," said Kolimago. "With Cloud 1.0, everyone wanted to run to public cloud. They thought it was going to be cheaper. Then they found out all the challenges with ingress and egress of data, variable costs that are spiraling out of control, lack of accountability of mission critical data. Now we are seeing a pivot back where customers are saying maybe the public cloud isn't the best place for their workload."

At the same time, those customers are attracted to the pay-per-use model, which is now available with GreenLake on a wide range of industry-standard offerings, whether it is ERP with SAP HANA, big data with Apache Hadoop, or backup/recovery with Commvault. "HPE is building industry solutions that make it easy for our sales reps and easy for our customers to consume this technology," he said.

The HPE GreenLake channel model builds on what Kolimago calls the industry's most lucrative channel program in the industry bar none, with "unmatched" incentives for partners. Those incentives, combined with a new high-value innovative product portfolio, are driving big sales growth for partners. Anexinet's HPE sales focused on the high-value innovation portfolio of Synergy, SimpliVity, Nimble and 3Par are up 50 percent in the first six months of this year, said Kolimago. "That's what our sellers want to sell because those products are without peer in the industry right now," he said.

Al Chien, president of Dasher Technologies, one of Silicon Valley's top system integrators, No. 161 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500, said the new GreenLake Flex Capacity model thrusts partners into the heart of the pay-per-use market against public cloud competitors.

"This makes us relevant," said Chien. "GreenLake gives us an offering for customers who want an Opex experience. We don't have an offering like this today, so customers default to public cloud. Now we have an alternative that we can offer so we can maintain the relationship with the client. This keeps us attached to the client and promotes our value to the customer. The intent here is to put the channel at the point of the arrow in a cloud consumption model."

Chien, who previously worked at HP for 20 years and has been leading the sales charge at Dasher for the past decade, said Dasher is expecting another year of 25 percent sales growth powered by what he called the best product portfolio he has ever seen at HPE.

Chien credited Neri with driving high-growth acquisitions -- including Aruba, SimpliVity and Nimble -- that are providing world-class solutions that are helping customers manage their infrastructure seamlessly. "Antonio gets it," he said. "HPE has acquired assets and innovated around those core competencies in a way that gives the company a deeper and wider story. It is not piece parts. We are now talking about how customers want to consume IT versus what they want to buy, which is a very different conversation."

Bob Breynaert, global managing director for Equinix, the $4.4 billion data center powerhouse, said HPE's move to GreenLake Flex Capacity is an epochal moment for HPE and its channel partners.

"This is HPE taking what has essentially been a very capital-intensive business, flipping it on its ear and riding the cloud wave," he said. "This is complete, absolute leadership in terms of taking a highly successful business model and moving it into alignment with how companies buy cloud. With GreenLake, HPE has very quickly become a leading cloud company."

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