HPE North America Channel Chief Terry Richardson: 5 Bets Partners Should Make To Drive Sales Growth

HPE North America Channel Chief Terry Richardson says partners need to make bets on key opportunities like GreenLake, Edge compute, intelligent storage, ProLiant volume compute and HPE customer choice alliances to drive sales growth.

Innovation Driving Sales Growth

Hewlett Packard Enterprise North America Channel Chief Terry Richardson, a 30 year enterprise IT sales veteran who has been hailed by partners as a fierce advocate for the channel, says HPE is opening the doors for partners to drive unprecedented sales growth in the edge compute- intelligent storage era.

“With the way that data is exploding and business is changing the definition of the data center is also changing,” said Richardson. “Partners need to look at the edge as a big opportunity where compute, storage and networking will all be prominent.”

With the explosion of the data at the edge and the importance of real time decision making, Richardson said partners need to make sure they are pivoting to the intelligent edge opportunity. “Things are happening in real time,” he said. “The edge focus allows customers to make those decisions in real time. We are seeing a blend of traditional IT technologies with industrial and other operational technologies.”

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Richardson, who was voted the top channel chief by partners in CRN’s 2017 Channel Madness competition, said no other vendor provides the sales growth opportunity that HPE does with its edge to core to cloud portfolio.

HPE GreenLake Pay Per Use Model

HPE’s GreenLake pay per use model, which which provides a public cloud consumption experience on-premise,is driving unprecedented recurring revenue sales growth for partners particularly with HPE SimpliVity, HPE Synergy and storage infrastructure, said Richardson.

“We are training our own sales force and partners to lead with consumption,” said Richardson. “That is the conversation most CFO’s and CIOs want to have today because they want to get some of the benefits offered by the public cloud but with a solution that is on premise or in a managed co-location environment as an alternative to public cloud. Customers are finding comfort in the enhanced security and data sovereignty provided by GreenLake. It’s an innovative offering that gives customers the best of both worlds and is only available from HPE.”

HPE GreenLake had its largest quarter ever in HPE’s second fiscal quarter ended April 30 with GreenLake channel sales accounting for more business in a single quarter than in all of 2018.HPE partners have closed more than 120 GreenLake deals and more than 500 partners have a GreenLake sales pipeline.

HPE Gen10 ProLiant Volume Compute

HPE’s aggressive pricing on ProLiant volume compute products is driving an unprecedented server sales opportunity, said Richardson.

“We are continuing to be aggressive in our pricing to allow partners to win and allow HPE to grow share,” said Richardson, referring to the recent average nine percent price cut on Gen10 ProLiant servers. “We are going to continue down that path especially with the Smart Buy Express products. We have the world’s most secure server at the most aggressive prices that we have ever had.”

The most recent HPE price cuts come just two months after HPE slashed its Smart Buy Express HPE ProLiant server pricing by more than 5 percent—its biggest price cut on the ready-to-ship offerings in years.

With the new HPE ProLiant pricing– combined with customer trade in incentives – customers are now able to purchase an Intel or AMD based ProLiant server for less than $1,000, said Richardson. “This is the most aggressive HPE has been on pricing since we became a separate company (in 2015),” he said.

Key to the ProLiant volume compute sales opportunity is the Gen10 ProLiant secure root of trust firmware advantage, said Richardson. “Security is top of mind for customers of all sizes,” he said. “The fact that HPE has what has been proven to be the world’s most secure server is something every customer should pay attention to prevent a variety of cybersecurity and ransomware attacks,” he said.

Intelligent Storage

HPE’s InfoSight artificial intelligence predictive analytics platform is key to driving storage sales growth, said Richardson.

“Intelligent storage leveraging InfoSight AI is a huge competitive advantage,” said Richardson. “InfoSight is unique to HPE. It is a proven technology that has a decade’s worth of data collected and analyzed. That InfoSight advantage is bring brought to the rest of our portfolio.”

HPE is moving storage to another level with storage intelligence and insights, said Richardson. “We realize that the amount of data that customers have to manage now is becoming way too difficult to deal with effectively and efficiently with traditional approaches,” he said. “Integrating AI and machine learning is a necessity. HPE is on the forefront of that with InfoSight.”

HPE CEO Antonio Neri, for his part, has singled out HPE InfoSight’s artificial intelligence predictive analytics platform as key to HPE’s intelligent storage management strategy, said Neri.

“When we think about storage, we think about not just storing data, but how we turn that data into outcomes and intelligent data platform management,” said Neri. “That capability requires very much AI and machine learning we have developed over a number of years.”

The large installed base of Nimble and now ProLiant customers using InfoSight gives HPE an unprecedented advantage in a market where machine learning and AI are now table stakes, said Neri.

“Everybody is doing machine learning and AI today,” said Neri. “That is the new standard. The reality is how do you do it in a way that becomes autonomous. That is where InfoSight has really been developed with an ability to self learn based on understanding what’s out there with the large installed base.”

Leverage Customer Choice Alliances

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s blockbuster “Customer choice” alliances with the likes of Nutanix, VMware, Red Hat and others through its Pathfinder program is sales growth game changer, said Richardson.

“We recognize we can’t do everything ourselves so we are partnering with best of breed strategic software providers to bring partners and customers the best possible solutions,” said Richardson. “We are focused on openness and choice for customers. That is the opposite end of the spectrum from vendor lock-in.”

HPE’s recent blockbuster deal with Nutanix has been hailed by partners as a sales growth game changer. The deal puts Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software on HPE GreenLake. It also makes Nutanix available on HPE ProLiant and Apollo servers. The new offerings will be available sometime in the third quarter (July 1- Sept. 30).

HPE’s Complete program– which opens the door for partners to sell innovative breakthrough software offerings- is also a critical HPE differentiator, said Richardson. “HPE Complete extends our portfolio into categories that are important to customers with companies like Cohesity, Qumulo, Scality and Datera,” he said. “This allows partners to look at HPE as a full solution provider so they don’t have to invest in additional vendor certification and training.”

Intelligent Edge/ Internet Of Things

The opportunity around intelligent edge/internet of things with HPE Aruba and HPE Edgeline Converged Edge systems is poised to drive dramatic sales growth for the channel, said Richardson.

“We are just scratching the surface on the prominent role that the channel will play in intelligent edge/internet of things,” he said.

Neri has called the edge the “next frontier” in computing and invested a whopping $4 billion to develop new innovative edge offerings.

One example of HPE's Aruba intelligent edge market leadership, said Neri, is a "refinery of the future" project with Texmark Chemicals Inc., a family-owned chemical processing plant in Galena Park, Texas.

Neri, in fact, has singled out refinery of the future project solution provider Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies (CBT), an HPE Aruba Platinum partner, which has invested millions of dollar in the edge and IoT market opportunity. “We saw this coming five years ago,” says Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of CB Technologies. “Our OEM and distribution partners tell us we are two years ahead of the rest of the industry.”

At Discover, CB Technologies will be showcasing a number of industrial IoT solutions in a broad range of markets including utilities, manufacturing and insurance companie.

CB Technologies’ big investments in refinery of the future are starting to pay off with sales up 46 percent last year bringing the company to $141 million in annual sales. "In 2019, we are going to see more growth around IoT, edge and delivering solutions like refinery of the future," she said.