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COVID-19 Is Driving ‘Dramatic’ Surge In HPE Cloud Volumes Backup: HPE Storage GM Tom Black

HPE‘s Cloud Volumes Backup service is experiencing a ‘dramatic expansion in customer accounts’ in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, says HPE Senior Vice President/Storage General Manager Tom Black.

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What is your advice for partners selling storage in a COVID-19 world?

Everybody got stretched and put behind by shelter in place. The intimacy that you can show in an engagement with your customers via our AIOps, and the flexibility offered by Cloud Volumes, particularly Cloud Volumes Backup, put you in a very empathetic and human dialogue with someone trying to manage a department through this crisis.

It’s all about helping try to get things back to normal and showing that you understand the customer’s business and where to take them. You need to show them you have some unique offerings in the portfolio via the tools we have talked about. That is the zero- to four- to six-month play.

If you look at this secularly, storage was one of most affected of the three pillars [storage, networking, compute] with COVID-19. Huge projects slowed down mostly because of physical access. The things we have done lately to try to support people include a focus on Primera—which is the only 100 percent data availability guaranteed system that is customer self-installable and upgradeable. There is not some 90-page contract. You buy it, get a support contract and if there is any issue—misconfig, a network issue, any issue at all—we write you a check for 20 percent of the remaining contract value of the system.

We have got over 2.6 million runtime hours on Primera now in the field. We have had zero outages until very recently. It was unfortunately a misconfig—not done by us—but we still wrote the check. No questions asked.

Right now my foot forward [message] to partners and customers is we are paying a lot of attention to what you are going through. We have very fair offers, customer-installable so you don’t need to get 15 people into personal protective equipment and gear into a data center. We have tier zero systems—90-plus percent of our Nimble systems are customer- or partner-installed. You don’t need a huge project for that.

We have global intelligence for our storage—AI and machine-learning software built around an 8-Petabyte data lake. That is an expression of customer intimacy and care that flows through with predictive warnings as well as just helping customers understand what is going on in their [storage] environment anywhere in the world.

With Cloud Volumes Backup and Cloud Volumes we have the ability to move your data around in a very cost-effective multi-cloud environment. That is the thesis for the second half of our fiscal year. We have a complete offer. We are using every tool we have to make your life as customers and partners safer and easier. Long term we are keeping an eye on a very significant technology transition that is coming up.

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