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CEO Antonio Neri On Why HPE ‘Outperformed’ Dell, Cisco

'We outperformed every single competitor,' says HPE CEO Antonio Neri. 'Everyone that was put in front of us we beat them this quarter. Cisco was down. Arista was down. Juniper was down. Ruckus was down. Ubiquiti was down. We were the only one that had a plus in front of it.'

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How much time are you spending on fixing the supply chain?

Right now I spend time on two vectors—customers and partners as usual and supply is on the other end. That is where I spend the bulk of my time without losing sight of making sure we deliver the right innovation at the right time, which is a component of what I am passionate about.

We have war rooms where our procurement, our planning team, our engineering team—which plays a huge role in qualifying alternatives and making sure we can fulfill demand through different types of usage—so we have as much flexibility as possible. This is a very intense process. It is fundamental blocking and tackling, having daily calls with them [suppliers] and then having military precision.

It is a long supply chain with our suppliers-—the ones that build the motherboard and the mechanicals. To build a server, you need a chassis, you need a motherboard, you need a CPU and a bunch of memory and drives. Then you configure that based on whatever the workload-optimized solution is. The PCBs and the mechanical parts come from China, and our suppliers are reliant on other suppliers to give them components. They are working themselves with tier-two and tier-three suppliers, which in general are not just large companies, but smaller companies too. We are trying to get line of sight all the way through that.

Many of these companies are online, but some have very low output, some are getting stronger and stronger every day.

Don’t forget the logistics side. Because as travel gets impacted there is the capacity to ship products on the commercial airlines in the bellies of the planes.

It is not just a supply chain but a logistics challenge that goes with it. We will get through this. The question is how long is it going to take?

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