An Inside Look At Hewlett Packard Enterprise's NYC Launch Party

Ready To Launch

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Monday night marked its first day as an independent publicly traded entity, some of the company's top executives gathered with an array of channel partners and customers to celebrate at a launch event in New York. The fete kicked off eight hours after CEO Meg Whitman launched the company onto the public market by ringing the bell to open the New York Stock Exchange that morning. The party, hosted in Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District, brought together some of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's top executives with solution providers, customers and members of the press to mark the historic split of Hewlett-Packard into two separate companies and the beginning of the next chapter for Whitman and her enterprise team.

Opening Bell

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman started Nov. 2 off with a bang, or rather, a bell. Surrounded by her colleagues and partners, Whitman rang the opening bell Monday to signal the beginning of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where shares of the newly formed $53 billion company now trade under the symbol "HPE" (its former other half, HP Inc., trades under the old Hewlett-Packard symbol, HPQ). Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise closed down 1.6 percent, at $14.49, on its first day of trading. Whitman told CRN that ringing the bell was the highlight of her day. "It was historic and really fun. I think it made our partners proud, it made our employees proud. It was a historic moment," Whitman said.

Our House

The new Hewlett Packard Enterprise logo was splashed across the front of the venue, the Pop14 event space on West 14th Street in New York's Meatpacking District, lest there be any confusion as to whose birthday was being celebrated.

Social Butterflies

A DJ provided a night full of thumping pop music, against a backdrop of giant video screens that spotlighted messages from well-wishers posted on Twitter and other social media outlets throughout the day.

Lady Of The Hour

The star of the evening was undoubtedly Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, who made her way through the crowd accepting congratulations from many of the partygoers. Whitman was originally scheduled to address the crowd but chose instead to spend all of her time talking with guests one-on-one, an HP insider told CRN.

Partnerships On Parade

John Monahan (left), vice president of sales at Convergent Technology Group, an HPE-exclusive Platinum partner in Midlothian, Va., was said his company has seen 35 percent to 40 percent growth year over year, a trend he expects to continue if not improve.

"We're here to celebrate with Meg [Whitman] and HPE, and we're very excited about where HPE is going," Monahan said, noting that Whitman has given partners a number of assurances that her commitment to the channel will stay strong.

"They're focused on the channel, they're focused on building up our business. They're strengthening our technology solutions, strengthening our certifications and training, so if you look at the reseller community, we're stronger than ever before, and it's because of Meg's direction and what she's investing in the channel," Monahan said. He's pictured here with Romano Ninassi, area manager, channel sales, for HPE.

From Down South

Steve Bishop (right), chief technology officer at VeriStor, a Duluth, Ga.-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise partner, was on hand to celebrate the launch with one of his customers.

The Tougher Side Of HPE

Terry Richardson, vice president and general manager of U.S. channel sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said solution providers will immediately benefit from the company's new focus.

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a very clear strategy that will be precisely articulated to the partners, so they know exactly what the strategy is, where we're investing, where we're going and what's expected of them, so I think there will be greater clarity. We've narrowed the focus," Richardson said.

Partners will see a Hewlett Packard Enterprise that's "more aggressive than they've ever seen us," Richardson said.

Logos, Logos Everywhere

Hewlett Packard Enterprise showed just how versatile its new logo can be, using it as the focal point of a number of works of art that adorned the walls of the party.