8 HPE Partner Priorities For 2022: Worldwide Channel Chief George Hope
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Worldwide Channel Chief George Hope outlines eight top priorities for partners for fiscal year 2022 including a consistent customer and partner experience with ‘faster speed’ to quote on offerings like HPE GreenLake.
A Strong Finish For HPE Channel Partners In Fourth Fiscal Quarter
HPE Worldwide Channel Chief George Hope is setting the bar high for 2022 after the company’s channel sales closed out the fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 30 up 6 percent year over year for products, services and advisory/professional services.
“The partner business continues to grow both year on year and sequentially,” Hope said. “Thank you to all of the partners.”
Sales of the fast-growing GreenLake pay-per-use cloud service through the channel were up 36 percent year over year in the fourth quarter, with the number of active partners up 47 percent, said Hope. “The indirect mix continues to climb,” he said.
The HPE Financial Services business—which helps drive the GreenLake business—reported deal volume growth of 9 percent, particularly in high-growth product categories.
HPE’s midmarket and SMB nontransactional business through the channel, meanwhile, grew 19 percent year over year, said Hope, with compute up 32 percent year over year and storage up 10 percent. “We had strong performance in midmarket and SMB segments,” he said.
A Consistent Partner/Customer Experience
Driving a consistent partner and customer experience will continue to be HPE’s “North Star” in 2022 and beyond, said Hope.
“It’s critical that we enable partners to drive a better experience for our shared customers,” he said.
The partner experience focus includes faster to speed to quote and price on the fast-growing GreenLake pay-per-use cloud service and other HPE services and products.
“Today more than ever we need to help partners, quote, sell and deliver faster,” said Hope.
HPE is working hard to take friction out of the GreenLake process, said Hope. “We are committed to giving you a better experience there,” he said.
Another key initiative is Flex Offers, which is aimed at driving faster delivery on servers amid supply chain constraints, said Hope.
Flex Offers provides customizable build-to-order configuration aimed at providing dynamic pricing to meet customer needs faster than competitors, he said.
HPE is also focused on AI and Ops analytics with Software Defined Opportunity Engine, which leverages HPE’s Infosight AI platform to drive partner sales growth.
“You can leverage this to get insight into your customers’ installed base,” he said.
GreenLake Remains A Top Priority In Fiscal Year 2022 For HPE Partners
HPE continues to offer a 17 percent up-front rebate plus recurring revenue on GreenLake pay-per-use deals, in addition to the ability for partners to participate in recurring revenue upgrades and layer in their own managed services.
“We want to continue to reward partner investments,” said Hope.
HPE is also continuing to provide GreenLake storage accelerators and new business opportunity incentives, said Hope.
Those big investments to power the as-a-service transformation have been a critical differentiator for partners making the as-a-service pivot.
Partners are also integrated into GreenLake Central and are offering virtual interactive demos of the GreenLake platform, said Hope.
HPE’s Aruba Network-as-a-Service offering is also a high-growth opportunity for partners, said Hope. HPE earlier this year increased rebate incentives for the Aruba Network-as-a-Service offering. It also provides partners an opportunity to generate monthly recurring revenue over the life of the contract.
HPE is also rolling out GreenLake strategy playbooks for multiple business models including resellers, systems integrators, service providers and distributors.
“It is critical that we leverage our entire ecosystem to drive that [as-a-service] pivot,” he said. “We have specific offerings for each [of our partner segments].”
The HPE initiatives will also power independent software vendor offerings on GreenLake in areas like retail, finance, point of sale and supply chain, said Hope. “There will be more offerings to come in 2022,” he said.
Finally, HPE is driving GreenLake distribution momentum through distributor marketplaces. “There is a lot of traffic in the distribution marketplaces that we want to take advantage of,” Hope said. “We are leveraging distributors to recruit and enable tier-three service providers so we can provide right-sized offerings to some of smaller customers.”
HPE Financial Services: A Potent Tool To Drive GreenLake Sales Growth
HPE Financial Services remains a “secret weapon” to drive GreenLake sales growth, said Hope.
HPE FS “constantly brings to market” different programs aimed at helping customers move more quickly to an as-a-service platform, he said.
Hope singled out HPE FS’ success helping customers fund digital transformation through asset buyback and upcycling to a GreenLake platform.
HPE FS transforms and repurposes IT assets into new IT capabilities through its technology renewal centers. In 2020, HPE recovered 3.1 million IT assets and refurbished 87 percent for a second life.
Over the past year, HPE FS has also increased its focus on the SMB market and the channel opportunity.
A Focus On High-Margin Strategic Storage Offerings
HPE’s focus on high-margin strategic storage offerings, including a focus on GreenLake, Primera and Nimble storage, is a $3 billion storage refresh opportunity, said Hope.
“There are certainly margin-rich opportunities for you that are uniquely positioned to help seize the market that we are now innovating with on storage,” he said.
“Help us go after that $3 billion storage tech refresh opportunity,” said Hope. “We have had a lot of competitive takeout in the SMB space.”
Hope urged partners to take advantage of the HPE pivot to move from being a leader in enterprise storage to becoming a leader in data services and data management.
In May, HPE unveiled a new Storage-as-a-Service subscription model providing partners with a complete cloud software-based provisioning platform, the Data Services Cloud Console.
Furthermore, HPE unveiled at that time a new suite of subscription storage data services and new storage systems—All-NVMe Alletra 6000 and 9000 systems.
HPE also recently said that it is entering into the ransomware cloud services protection market with its acquisition of Zerto.
The breakthrough Zerto platform—combined with HPE technology under the HPE GreenLake pay-per-use platform—brings instant data recovery to both the edge and the cloud with what HPE said is five times faster recovery than competitive offerings.
Strengthening Commitment To Help Partners Transform At Their Own Pace
HPE is “strengthening” its commitment and programs in fiscal year 2022 to help partners transform to an as-a-service model at their own pace, said Hope.
“We’ll enable you to take advantage of our edge-to-cloud strategy as we get ready to bring the entire portfolio to as a service by March 2022—wherever you are on your journey,” he said. “Not every one of you is transforming at the same pace.”
HPE has provided business-outcome-focused sales training for partners, which has been a critical differentiator in the as-a-service battle against competitors.
The stepped-up focus on helping partners transform comes with HPE gearing up for the March launch of GreenLake.HPE.com, a new platform that effectively unites all of HPE’s edge-to-cloud GreenLake as-a-service and subscription offerings into a single platform that includes partners.
The initial launch will include five unnamed partners that have fully integrated their own services via open APIs into GreenLake.HPE.com with HPE’s aim to add all partners to the platform.
The GreenLake.HPE.com breakthrough will complete a journey that began two years ago with HPE CEO Antonio Neri (pictured) pledging to offer the complete HPE portfolio in an as-a-service platform.
‘Laser-Focused’ On Growing Core Compute And Storage Business
HPE remains “laser-focused” on driving core storage and compute sales in the channel, said Hope.
“We’re continuing to enable partners to support our storage and compute solutions and then help them embrace a workload-centric approach, which takes advantage of the innovations we are now providing in the data services console,” said Hope.
HPE compute orders were up 10 percent in fiscal year 2021 with an operating margin of 10.8 percent, up 260 basis points year over year.
HPE storage orders were up high-single-digits in fiscal year 2021 with an operating margin of 16.3 percent.
HPE Pointnext service orders, meanwhile, were up mid-single-digits in fiscal year 2021.
HPE Continues Investments In Driving Partner Tech, Sales And Marketing Expertise
HPE is continuing its investment to drive partner technology, sales and marketing expertise with Tech Pro, Sales Pro and Marketing Pro.
“Your sales, technical and marketing folks can leverage virtual forums, connect with experts and specialists,” said Hope. “We can help you close opportunities, architect outcome-based solutions, and we are looking to help you achieve digital marketing proficiency as well.”
HPE has committed to providing its partners the same tools, training and expertise it provides its own team.
“We want to make sure that you have the same learning and collaboration opportunities as our own employees,” said Hope. “So as we continue to enhance our own systems and tools and solutions, we have you in mind.”
HPE is also driving more “collaborative selling” in 2022, making it more “profitable so we can jointly increase our relevance and differentiate ourselves in the market,” said Hope.
HPE’s Partner Ecosystem Remains A ‘Clear Differentiator’
In 2022, HPE is going to drive more new initiatives to collaborate with partners to drive sales growth of the HPE services and product portfolio.
“In 2022, we are going to focus on enabling every partner to take advantage of some of the new initiatives and collaboration opportunities,” he said. “We are partnering as one team with you regardless of whatever your current or desired business model is.”
HPE is also focused on “creating an environment” where partners can collaborate with one another to expand selling opportunities, he said.
As part of the ecosystem sales offensive, HPE is launching Cloud United, aimed at providing local hybrid cloud services through a global network of service providers.
“Cloud United is a new initiative that offers our partners the ability to provide local hybrid cloud services in minutes,” he said.
Hope also thanked Neri for being a fierce “champion” for channel sales and partners. “I say this over and over, but CEOs typically don’t spend as much time with the partners as you do,” said Hope. “We certainly appreciate your commitment.”