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HPE’s New Software Defined Opportunity Engine: 5 Things You Need To Know

Here’s a look at HPE’s new AI-based Software Defined Opportunity Engine, which slashes the time it takes for partners to do custom sales proposals from as much as 45 days to just 45 seconds.


HPE’s Cloud-Based Machine Learning Sales Proposal Breakthrough

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday unveiled a breakthrough cloud-based machine learning platform that slashes the time it takes for partners to do custom sales proposals from as much as 45 days to just 45 seconds, said HPE Storage Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Black.

Black—the hard-charging leader of HPE’s storage business who conceived of the new AI platform—said the Software Defined Opportunity Engine (SDOE) is a game-changer for partners looking to drive sales growth based on a detailed AI-based cloud assessment of a customer’s IT environment.

“This is a massive productivity increase for partners looking to get to the sales close meeting and get the PO [purchase order],” said Black. “When you partner with HPE, we help you go fast. We help you increase your revenue. We help you increase the velocity of your growth and increase your customer relevancy in a way that our competitors currently do not have the ability to do. Sales productivity goes up substantially with the SDOE. What used to take 45 days can now be done in 45 seconds.”

The SDOE is simply one more example of HPE’s commitment to use cutting-edge AI technology to help its partners increase sales, said Black.

“When you partner with us you can be assured we have invested in modern cloud technology and software to make you more profitable and to help you grow faster,” he said. “And we don’t charge partners for this. This is a benefit of doing business with HPE.”

Here is a look at five top things partners need to know about the SDOE.


Transforming The ‘Outdated’ Sales Proposal Process For Partners

The new SDOE uses a cloud-based machine learning platform with 1,250 trillion data points to quickly analyze a customer’s IT environment to provide the optimal IT solution.

In a blog announcing the breakthrough, Black said the SDOE does away with an “outdated” IT infrastructure buying process at a time when digital transformation has never been more critical.

“With our new SDOE tool, customers receive fast, tailored quotes, informed by real-world data based on their own IT environment, to optimize their infrastructure and accelerate their digital transformations,” wrote Black. “HPE InfoSight acts as the engine that uses the power of cloud-based machine learning to drive global intelligence and insights across HPE servers, storage and virtualized resources and has analyzed more than 1,250 trillion data points since 2010.”

The new platform represent a quantum leap forward in what was once a process that took several months before coming up with a custom sales quote proposal for a customer, said Black. That often involved a systems engineer and salesperson going on-site and then drawing up a proposal.

“Before SDOE you had to have a systems engineer or solutions architect go through understanding that environment and then do the manual work of mapping that to a new technology,” said Black. “Then you had to work through a price quote and a follow up with the customer. All of that in order for a customer to get to a final proposal. With SDOE we’ve taken all those weeks and many meetings out of the process. We literally save in many cases days or weeks to get to a fully qualified, software-generated proposal.”


Partners See SDOE As A Lead Generation Game-Changer

HPE has broken new ground with the AI-based opportunity engine that takes lead generation for partners into the 21st century, said Steven Flynn, vice president of HPE product management at Synnex, HPE Americas Cloud Distributor of the Year. “Nothing like this has been done before, so quantifying it is difficult,” he said.

Before the SDOE, vendor leads, for the most part, were disappointing, said Flynn. “We all know that we deliver leads with various degrees of veracity,” he said. “You might get one big one out of the bunch that you pursue. With this, every single opportunity that gets delivered to the partner has validity. Every single one has a reason why or multiple reasons why it should be taken seriously by a customer. You can’t get a much hotter lead than that. The only thing hotter than that is to have the customer call and say, ‘Hey I need to buy something from you.’”

The SDOE eliminates the long, arduous up-front discovery that it took to qualify an opportunity, said Flynn. “This takes opportunities that already exist, applies the various intelligence, the sizing tools, the database assets and applies all of that,” he said. “It applies all of that, skips the entire lead generation process and says, ‘Your customer needs this and here’s why.’ If you’re in sales, could you imagine having that delivered to you?”


SDOE’s First Strike: 3Par To Primera, Nimble Sales Upgrades

The plan out of the gate is to use the InfoSight-based SDOE for storage upgrades with a sharp focus on moving the 3Par installed base to Nimble or Primera.

One reason for the initial focus on storage is the platform is based on InfoSight, which was part of HPE’s acquisition of the Nimble storage business in 2017. In fact, InfoSight has what may well be the most comprehensive storage workload data lake ever assembled.

HPE Primera, meanwhile, is fueled by one of the biggest incentives in HPE’s Partner Ready program with a 3X storage compensation multiplier. 3Par was removed from that 3X multiplier this year.

Synnex’s Flynn said he sees the SDOE having a dramatic impact on the HPE drive to move the large 3Par installed base to either HPE Primera or HPE Nimble all flash. The AI-based intelligence in the SDOE has the ability to provide the optimal storage solution for customers, he said.

“There are many opportunities where a 3Par legacy environment should be converted to Nimble, and there are many others where it should be converted to Primera,” he said. “The intelligence HPE has put into this to deliver recommendations gets down to that granular detail. It determines what the best solution is for the customer. The partner is able to go to the customer with that kind of insight.”

In the past, solution architects may have pushed a customer to what might not have been the most optimal solution, said Flynn. “This optimizes the solution for the way the current [IT] environment is functioning,” he said.


The CloudPhysics Connection- Combining SDOE And CloudPhysics

HPE is combining SDOE with the AI-based hybrid cloud assessment tool from its acquisition of CloudPhysics.

While SDOE is based on HPE’s installed base of storage and servers, the CloudPhysics assessment tool analyzes on-premised IT environments and provides quick return on investment recommendations for cloud migrations, application modernization and infrastructure.

The CloudPhysics data lake—which includes more than 200 trillion data samples from more than 1 million virtual machines-—provides a one-two AI sales punch when teamed with HPE’s InfoSight AI- based predictive analytics data engine.

InfoSight—which collects information from HPE’s massive installed base to automatically remediate infrastructure issues—has 1,250 trillion data points in a data lake that has been built up over more than a decade.

The HPE plan is to combine the CloudPhysics and InfoSight data lake into one Software Defined Opportunity Engine that provides customized sales proposals. “We already prototyped the integration to prove it before we made the integration offer,” said Black.


A New Era In Sales Proposals: Elevating ‘Trusted’ Adviser Status Of Partners

With the global pandemic accelerating the need for digital transformation, the SDOE elevates the “trusted” adviser status of channel partners, said Black.

“For our partners, SDOE allows them to work as trusted partners with their customers as they gain a real understanding of their customer’s workloads, configuration and usage patterns,” said Black in a blog post announcing the opportunity engine. “The tool auto-generates a quote with the best storage solution for the customer.”

The SDOE game changer, Black said, comes with customers grappling with complex scenarios for every IT purchase: “What’s the right infrastructure configuration to meet SLAs? Do we opt for Capex vs. Opex? Where should we modernize, on-prem or in the cloud? How do I demonstrate ROI in order to proceed?”

Ultimately, both partners and customers benefit from the data-driven conversations that come from the SDOE proposals, said Black.

“For our partners, SDOE allows them to work as trusted partners with their customers as they gain a real understanding of their customer’s workloads, configuration and usage patterns,” wrote Black. “The tool auto-generates a quote with the best storage solution for the customer, taking a process that previously took weeks, down to a process that takes approximately 45 seconds. Our partners become more efficient, more strategic, and can achieve better outcomes for their clients. Both customers and partners benefit from data-driven conversations that focus attention rapidly on the right objectives, based on the unique priorities of each customer and a dramatically streamlined process, eliminating on average five meetings from the current sales process.”



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