Look For ‘Much More’ HPE GreenLake Lead-Generation, Co-Selling: HPE GreenLake GM Keith White

Hewlett Packard Enterprise GreenLake General Manager Keith White says partners can expect “much more” lead generation and co-selling as HPE accelerates its edge to cloud platform as a service sales charge.

Growing The GreenLake Channel Partnership

Hewlett Packard Enterprise GreenLake General Manager Keith White says partners can expect more investments to drive GreenLake sales growth including more lead-generation and co-selling.

Even with a significant lead and competitors in “early days” of as a service, HPE is putting its foot on the gas and accelerating its edge to cloud platform as a service partner commitment, said White, who has built a broad GreenLake ecosystem since joining HPE from Microsoft 19 months ago

“The (as a service partner) pivot is going to continue,” said White, a 16 year Microsoft cloud sales veteran who helped propel big Azure sales growth. “It is going to deepen and it is going to expand so that we can make sure we continue to accelerate growth together. It is all about joint growth but it is also about solving these business problems for our customers. When it is HPE plus our ecosystem one plus one equals three.”

White pledged that HPE will continue to grow the channel partnership with new incentives, and “much more much more co-selling so that we can help support them as they continue to build out and grow their business.”

The expanded partner commitment comes with HPE unleashing a new wave of GreenLake ecosystem partnerships at this week’s HPE Discover Virtual conference. That includes GreenLake industry solutions for medical records with Epic; high transaction financial services payments with Lusis and risk management with Splunk. Other partnerships include an HPE GreenLake for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI and Microsoft SQL Server.

“We have significant momentum,” said White. “I really see us accelerating. We are going to showcase it at Discover. You are going to see a number of announcements that show the vast transformation just in the 18 months that I have been here. Even the 12 months during the pandemic with all the changes and challenges that happened we delivered new cloud services and capabilities. We are delivering Lighthouse. We are delivering Aurora. We are delivering joint partner solutions for our customers. The momentum is dramatic.”

White credited HPE CEO Antonio Neri for getting the entire company behind the HPE GreenLake on premises cloud services charge. In 2019, Neri pledged to have that the entire HPE portfolio would be available as a service.

“Frankly Antonio has the whole company pivoted now,” said White. “So I see nothing but foot on the gas on the straightaway right now!”

What do partners need to do to make more money with on premises cloud services?

For partners the first thing is this really meets their customer’s needs. It allows them to have these much deeper conversations with their customers about transformation, modernization and business challenges. So really understanding the opportunities that we have at HPE that they can bring to their customers is number one.

Number two is it really opens up new business models. I mentioned the powered by GreenLake capabilities. And then with all of the of the third party strong partners we have like Microsoft, Veeam, and SAP now you have a full solution they can offer their customers. We are bringing together these solutions so they don’t have to aggregate.

Third and finally, we are going to continue to make sure that GreenLake provides partners with the highest profitability of any of the cloud services that are out there. So we want to continue to invent. We want to continue to partner. We want to continue to co-sell and really drive leads, drive incentives and drive capabilities through that ecosystem so that they see the profitability and then they have the longer term relationship with the customer whether that is consumption based or subscription based. We have a lot of offers from that standpoint.

So bar none HPE is going to be the most profitable on premise cloud service provider?

We are a partner built company. We are only successful with our ecosystem and the momentum that we have seen with our ecosystem has just been dramatic. We have now over 900 partners that are ready to help our customers with their hybrid journey. Now, they are only participating in the GreenLake ecosystem because of the profitability that they have.

So our goal is to really start to offload and offset a lot more of that profitability to our partner ecosystem as they manage more and more customers across the board.

So we are going to continue to invest there. We will continue to grow not just the partnership and not just the incentives but also again we want to do much more lead generation and we want to do much more co-selling so that we can help support them as they continue to build out and grow their business.

So just know that the pivot is going to continue. It is going to deepen and it is going to expand so that we can make sure we continue to accelerate growth together. It is all about joint growth but it is also about solving these business problems for our customers. When it is HPE plus our ecosystem one plus one equals three.

How big is this on premises cloud services opportunity?

It is huge because what we are seeing is this on premise as a service opportunity grow at a compound annual growth rate of 60 percent for the next three years. So this is turning into a $35 to $40 billion market opportunity for these as a service on premise capabilities. That is across everything we have talked about from the hardware to the services to the partner ecosystem. That is dramatic growth. It is a dramatic opportunity. That’s why I love seeing the fact that our partners and the channel are now pivoting to as a service, offering GreenLake to their customers.

This is nothing but upside and accelerated growth. It is the place that we want our channel to be so they can really accelerate their own personal profitability and capabilities.

What is the biggest obstacle to that partner on premises cloud services sales and profitability?

The biggest challenge is you really have to shift your mindset and you have to transform as an organization as well. No longer is it about filling hardware or component capabilities that customers need. It is really about shifting and pivoting to what are the business challenges that customers have and what are the solutions I can offer? They have to look at how do they get deeper on these services capabilities?

I think that is the biggest thing we have to get from our channel. It is about how do they turn from maybe more transactional type capabilities to being much more services led. That is when it really takes off.

It’s exciting to see people make that shift. That is sort of the biggest thing. You have to mentally shift your business model and understand what that means going forward. We have got workshops. We’ve got a lot of learning materials. We have got a bunch of playbooks and a lot of components to help partners in that transformation. Frankly we are really excited to embrace that change.

What is your vision for what the channel looks like as the channel moves forward with this new model?

I think what is most exciting from a channel standpoint is now you are going to have basically such a deep relationship with the customer. It is going to be all about how are we servicing that customer, how are we helping them solve their business problems. It is a true partnership that gets established. It is not just a transactional sort of scenario- vendor to customer. It is truly a partnership and a relationship. So what I see with the channel is you have this army that is able to help really accelerate business transformation, digital transformation, data monetization, as well as all of this edge capability that is going to happen in an automated, self serve, services led way. I see it as this massive transformation of partnering with their customer base to really help accelerate their business and really having that strong connection with their customers.

What are the similarities and differences with regard to how Microsoft approached this partner opportunity versus HPE?

You really have to shift your mindset into looking at what the customer challenges were and really understanding from a solutions standpoint how to solve those business challenges.

We talk about digital transformation, data monetization and modernization of our environments and how do we serve our customers and employees better? How do we improve our operations? How do we improve our products?

That whole mindset shift is very, very different as you talk to customers. You get to learn about the industry verticals. So for a hospital it is all about improving patient care. It is not about the technology if you will. It is all about improving the customer experience for a retailer.

The technology enables that but you have to approach it that way. So I think there is a lot of similarities to this transformation that I am seeing in terms of what we did at Microsoft to what we are doing at HPE. It is about having that deeper relationship with the customer.

The second big thing is it is really about the ecosystem. This isn’t about one company delivering capabilities. This is about the power of that ecosystem. You have ISVs. You have Managed Service Providers. You have Colos. The Colos become very critical here. You have the systems integrators that are building these solutions for our customers.

You have to embrace the ecosystem. It is we - not a me. It is a cosell through and with the ecosystem. That is exciting because that is where it is fun because now you are getting all these smart brains and all these super powers from each of the components that are getting together and that is your Justice League. That is exciting to see!

You have been at HPE for 18 months. What is your perspective in terms of how fast HPE is moving?

We have significant momentum. I really see us accelerating. We are going to showcase it at Discover. You are going to see a number of announcements that show the vast transformation just in the 18 months that I have been here. Even the 12 months during the pandemic with all the changes and challenges that happened we delivered new cloud services and capabilities.

We are delivering Lighthouse. We are delivering Aurora. We are delivering joint partner solutions for our customers. The momentum is dramatic. Frankly (HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) has the whole company pivoted now. So I see nothing but foot on the gas on the straightaway right now. So it’s really exciting!

What can partners expect at HPE Discover 2021?

We are so excited about what we get to deliver to our customers. This is a huge Discover for us! Two years ago Antonio made his promise (to deliver the complete HPE portfolio as a service by 2022). Last year, we started to introduce a couple of cloud services. We talked about virtual machines and ML Ops and that we would be delivering those. But this year we have delivered (cloud services) and we are continuing to innovate and keep our foot on the gas with respect to that acceleration.

I think the biggest thing (for partners) to think about is this is all about the customer experience. Cloud services on prem hasn’t really been discussed before but now it is a reality. I love the fact that we are delivering in a few areas.

First off if you think about that base foundation of what customers require: compute, storage and networking. You’ll hear about our compute cloud console – how we make it super simple for configuration to happen and management to happen on that front.

You wrote about (HPE Senior Vice President and Storage General Manager) Tom Black and our data services cloud console that took a leap forward with data services. And obviously Aruba Central has really been a bright spot for us to be able to manage and deliver all the networking capabilities. So we have this base foundation that is really head and shoulders above where anyone else is at.

Then that next layer- that platform layer – where we talked about virtual machines as a service. We are now delivering virtual machines across a variety of form factors using the new HPE GreenLake Lighthouse capability.

We have also delivered our containers as a service leveraging our Ezmeral technology. We have also talked about bare metal as a service and obviously containers running VMs on bare metal.

So in essence you have this platform layer that any workload or any solution can be delivered on. So we are excited about that piece of it.

Then what you’ll hear today is all of the innovation that is happening with us and our partners to deliver workloads and to deliver these industry solutions to really help customers take it to the next level.

So we talked about machine learning operations. We have talked about high performance computing as a service. We are working with Microsoft on Azure Stack HCI and offering that piece of it. You’ll hear us talk about data protection and Veeam as a service. You’ll hear us talk about Epic and the opportunity to do electronic medical records or with Lusis to do high transaction payment processing. And the list goes on and on.

So we now have this platform. GreenLake Central is that single pane of glass (for management). And now we have got these sets of workloads and industry solutions to really help customers move their digital transformation and their modernization efforts forward. It is really exciting.

What is GreenLake Lighthouse and what does it mean for partners?

Remember cloud services is what the customers are purchasing from us. It is not hardware. It is not componentry. It is not piece it together for them. They are asking us to deliver HPC as a service or virtual machines or containers as a service. So what we are delivering for them with Lighthouse is a cloud native solution that removes all that complexity and configuration and allows them to rapidly deploy and leverage multiple cloud services. So we are really sort of abstracting the requirements so they don’t have to worry about those types of things.

How does Lighthouse change how partners make money driving cloud services in the field?

It really helps the channel in the sense that they don’t have to go through all of the configuration and orchestration that they do today. We are basically creating workload optimized configurations for our customers. What it allows partners to do is to really focus on that customer challenge. What is the business problem we are trying to solve? What is the workload required? What is the industry solution they need?

It really allows partners to provide their expertise around that customer and really deepen the relationship they have with their customer and then really engage with them in a much stronger scenario. It is significant.

How does Lighthouse change the customer on premises cloud experience?

What customers care about is that SLA and that experience that they are getting. They want to have storage available when they need it. They want to be able to run their SAP with five nines. They want to be able to run their payment processing at a high capacity rate. They want to use something like Splunk to do risk analytics to really flow through pedabytes of information. That is what they are trying to do. It is not about which hard drive do I have.

So what we have done is we have worked with all of our partners very deeply to make sure that we provide optimized systems. And customers have choice. They have different size choices. They have different processor choices.

We want to make sure customers get exactly what they need. But what we really tried to really focus on the outcome which is that SLA.

Is there any comparable when you look at competitors with regard to how they approach on premises cloud or the edge?

I have yet to find anything that is comparable. We are taking the best of everything across HPE and we are optimizing that. We are partnering with folks like Intel. You’ll hear us talk about our silicon on demand. What this allows us to do is to is share multiple cores within a system and to only turn on those cores when they are required.

So for a customer that is purchasing software on a per core basis – an Oracle license or a SQL license. This is going to drastically and dramatically save them dollars because they are only going to have pay for those licenses when those cores are turned on versus the system itself. There is no other options out there like that.

With GreenLake Lighthouse we are providing workload optimized offerings. Most of our competitors are giving piece parts or they are putting together component parts if you will. We don’t see anything even close to any of this. This continues the innovation and the market leadership that we have been driving.

What kind of demand are you seeing for on premise cloud services?

We are seeing dramatic increases from our customers and from our partners. You saw last quarter we grew GreenLake (as a service order growth of) over 40 percent which is fantastic. The channel continues to grow in the high, high percentage range which is fantastic to see.

That’s because again the competition is so early days. What (Dell) Apex talks about is storage as a service. That is one of the core baseline things that you can do. That is not what customers are looking for. Customers are looking to digitally transform. They are looking to modernize their infrastructure. They are looking to solve their busines problems. What we are delivering is not just that base foundation, not just the platform components but all of these workloads and all of these industry solutions with an entire ecosystem.

You’ll hear from Qumulo. You’ll hear from Microsoft. You’ll hear from Veeam. You’ll hear from SAP. You’ll hear from Lusis. You’ll hear from Splunk. You can go down the list. We are bringing the industry forward and we are accelerating the industry forward. We welcome the competition because we want customers to have choice. But just know that we have got our foot on the gas and we are continuing to accelerate well past everyone else!

What is the difference between how Cisco approaches cloud services versus HPE?

We have seen a huge increase in our Aruba environment for quite some time. In fact, it has been one of the shining stars if you will of our earnings releases the last couple of times. We are starting to see market share increases. That is because customers are now going in and they are modernizing what they had in the past. They might have been running Cisco or something else in the past. Now they are saying what is the best option for me? Aruba has really provided that new cloud native, cloud service capability for them to move forward.

We are going to where the puck is going. We are not resting on our laurels. We are really moving the industry forward and we are seeing it on the networking front just as much as we are seeing it across the other workloads and solutions we are talking about.

How important is GreenLake support for Microsoft HCI and SQL Server?

The world is hybrid. Our customers are looking for a hybrid offering. Frankly you have seen significant momentum in the public cloud space with Azure. They are catching up to AWS and in fact you are seeing a lot of enterprise customers really embrace multiple clouds. We see it happen in a lot of our customers where they are running Azure, AWS, Google and GreenLake across the board.

However, with Microsoft we have such a strong partnership. We have been working with them for 25 years. When I was at Microsoft I worked very closely with HPE.
To deliver Azure Stack HCI where we are seeing dramatic growth in the HCI space. In fact people are expecting double digit growth there over the course of the next few years. To be able to offer an integrated solution to our customers with the cloud experience and to be able to leverage Azure Stack HCI and Azure in that hybrid offering is exactly what customers are looking for. So we are really excited about that partnership and really providing our joint customers with that hybrid solution.

With Cloud Console, Compute Console, and Aruba Central are you seeing up the ability for customers to buy via subscription versus multiyear GreenLake deals?

GreenLake is our edge to cloud platform. Period. What this allows customers to do with things like our Compute Console, our Data Services Console, our Aruba Central capabilities it gives them that depth of capabilities they require to do the management, to do the orchestration, to get the insights they need and all of that flows through GreenLake.

Of course they have the choice to do it as a consumption based offering. So they can consume and easily pay for just what they use or they can have a subscription capability to keep this technology up to date as they go forward. So we are really excited about offering customers choice as well as the real deep capabilities we are well known for, providing them with everything they need to be successful.

We also have the ability to mange all of this for them. So we also have our GreenLake managed services which does provide full management capabilities for customers. You’ll hear us talk to companies like LyondellBasell (one of the world’s largest producers of plastic resins) where we are managing their entire data center for them. We can do that for customers in a variety of ways.

This is where the channel is getting so excited. I talk about the relationship partners have with customers solving their business problems. We are seeing more and more of the service providers and the channel offering that capability as well- all of that powered by GreenLake, leveraging our technology and our capabilities to improve their business and customer retention.

What is Aurora and what impact will it have on partners?

Aurora makes sure that all of this is secure. This is about Root of Trust and Zero Trust architecture. This gives us from the silicon on up to the application deep security so that people can be assured that their workloads, their data, their applications, are all handled in a very, very secure way. That is so critical in today’s world where we are dealing with cyber-threats.

How big a breakthrough is Aurora in terms of solving what is the number one problem for customers right now?

It is dramatic. We are starting to see applications really scale out of the data center to the edge locations. That is a concern for a lot of customers. We are seeing attackers being persistent and really trying to exploit (IT systems) with advanced techniques in these specific areas.

What we wanted to do is provide a cloud native, zero-trust security approach that is edge to cloud. So Aurora really embeds within the GreenLake platform an ability to continuously and automatically verify the integrity of the hardware, the firmware, the operating system, the platform and all of the workloads including the security workloads. So we are basically going from silicon all the way up to the application piece.

We do continuous attestation. It automatically detects advanced threats from the silicon to the cloud in seconds compared to what takes days today. I have even seen averages of a month. We are doing this in seconds now. This is really to helping minimize loss. It helps with unauthorized encryption that might pop up. Obviously there is a lot of data and a lot of intellectual property in these systems. Data is the new gold for customers. Intellectual property is their gold. So we really compliment the existing security investments they have to reduce that security concern and reduce any downtime.

We’re really excited about that. We have made a number of acquisitions as well on the security side of the house. That is where we are getting some of the underpinnings of this as well as the work we do with our partners on security across the board.

It will first be embedded in GreenLake Lighthouse. So we are really excited about getting that capability out so customers know they have a secure cloud native infrastructure with which to run all of these fantastic cloud services.