10 Partner-Ready Game Changers From HPE Discover 2017

Global Channel Chief Samuels On HPE's Partner First Advantage

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Global Partner Summit, which this year is paired for the first time with HPE Discover, includes a slew of partner program enhancements including a new HPE Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program and new Silver Data Center Specialization.

New HPE Global Channel Chief Denzil Samuels, who will be hosting his first Partner Summit since taking the top channel job six months ago, says what differentiates HPE from the competition is its "partner first" approach to the business. HPE partners say that no HPE competitor can match HPE's channel track record.

As HPE moves to accelerate partners sales growth on all fronts, HPE competitors are falling short, says Samuels. In some cases, he says, HPE's compensation incentives are as much as four to five times greater than the competition.

That compensation advantage is first and foremost a testament to HPE's "born in the channel" DNA, says Samuels. "Our partners trust us," he says. "Our partners want us to win. Our partners love the brand. They love what the brand stands for. They love the innovation engine we have."

New HPE Partner Ready Competencies

HPE is launching four new partner competencies at the global partner summit as part of its stepped up hybrid IT-intelligent edge offensive: private cloud express, enterprise private cloud, enterprise hybrid cloud, and secure virtual workspace.

Soon after the summit, HPE is poised to also introduce competencies for Microsoft Azure stack and enterprise application continuity with SAP.

The new partner competencies are aimed at driving sales growth in the hybrid IT market where partners say they are delivering private cloud offerings that are coming in at as much as 50 percent below public cloud offerings.

Experis Technology Group, a fast-growing Potomac, Md.-based private cloud powerhouse, is consistently beating public cloud providers with the breadth and depth of the HPE hybrid cloud portfolio, says Experis CEO Raymond Tuchman.

’With public cloud outages, more and more customers are looking at the risk and the economics of private cloud versus public cloud,’ said Tuchman. ’Our HPE private cloud is more secure, more affordable and comes with more support than public cloud. The HPE products are bulletproof. That’s why our private cloud business is growing.’

The four new competencies join a list of seven other offerings: mobile first/campus; infrastructure consolidation and virtualization; rapid provisioning; empower with SAP HANA; enterprise-grade Hadoop; Skype for Business and intelligent spaces/workplace.

New Partner Ready Business Outcome Focused Pre-Packaged Solutions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is driving more business outcome focused prepackaged solutions that include updated reference architectures and technical assets for partners.

The new prepackaged solutions – which include solution guides, customer presentations and quick reference cards all based on HPE's partner competencies - are based on proven HPE methodologies aimed at driving more business outcome focused solutions.

HPE Chief Sales Officer Peter Ryan (pictured), a 37-year sales veteran who is overseeing the direct-indirect sales organization, urges partners to leverage the bullet proof reference architectures to drive increased customer satisfaction. He compares the business outcome focused assets to following a "recipe" in a cookbook.

"It's much easier to look in a cookbook sometimes with a picture of what the meal looks like, what ingredients to buy, what equipment you're going to need to cook the meal, and all the steps you need to do it," he says. "And if you do that, you'll likely create, more often than not, something you're happy to eat, and something your guests are happy to eat."

New Pre-tested And Integrated Software-Defined Infrastructure Offerings

With HPE driving more disruptive technology partnerships including a comprehensive container-based partnership with Docker, the company is driving more pre-tested and integrated software-defined offerings.

In line with that software-defined infrastructure charge, HPE is eyeing the next round of solution offerings focusing on containers and app platforms, internet of things, high performance computing/deep learning, object storage and archiving, intelligent spaces extensions and industry vertical solutions.

The new pre-integrated offerings come with HPE driving more software defined partnerships through its Pathfinder investment and partnership group - chartered with making investments that connect startups to enterprise customers- with a focus on leveraging HPE's partner network.

Among the HPE investments and partnerships are some of the most promising and disruptive technology providers including Chef, Mesosphere, and Hexadite. "We now have a reputation in the valley among the VC community of being the best partner for these enterprise companies," boasts HPE CEO Meg Whitman.

Using The Same "Leading Edge" Curriculum As HPE's Direct Sales Force

HPE is making sure partners are using the same leading-edge curriculum that its direct sales reps use in a bid to drive more co-selling of business outcome solutions.

The new training knowledge credit simplification improvements are aimed at making it easier for partners to keep their sales forces directly aligned with the fast growth opportunities being pursued aggressively by the HPE direct sales force.

The knowledge credits provide a "clear path" to the "leading edge" curriculum being used by the HPE's direct sales force, said HPE Vice President Worldwide Channel Strategy and Operations Jesse Chavez.

The knowledge credit curriculum ultimately will drive more "co-selling" between partners and HPE direct sales reps, said Chavez. "This creates a lot more alignment," he said.

Expanded System Integrator Partnerships

With HPE's successful spin-in merger last month of its $20 billion Enterprise Services business with 110,000 employees moving to DXC, the $28 billion company is focused on driving more tight alliances with system integrators.

That system integrator offensive will be front and center the Global Partner Summit. HPE, in fact, says it is forging more unique partnerships with system integrators.

In the most recent quarter ended April 30, HPE reported strong growth within its system integrator business alliance group.

Whitman said there was double-digit growth in the quarter from certain North American system integrators along with double-digit growth among Asia Pacific system integrators and 20 percent growth for India-based system integrators.

Another sign of that system integrator offensive: an expanded partnership that will be announced at the show that combines system integrator Wipro's infrastructure as a service offering with HPE Flexible Capacity.

Doubling Down On HPE Flexible Capacity

HPE is doubling down on its popular Flexible Capacity offering which opens the door for partners to offer customers public cloud economics with a private cloud Flexible capacity offering.

The highly acclaimed Flexible Capacity offering from HPE Financial Services allows partners to provide a flex up and flex down bursting capability. That Flexible Capacity offering is seeing a more than 30 percent increase in the current HPE fiscal year compared with the year-ago period, says HPE Financial Services CEO Irv Rothman.

BlueAlly Technology Solutions, Cary, N.C., HPE partner – No. 198 on the 2016 CRN SP 500 – expects its HPE business to triple this year based on the strength of the HPE portfolio combined with the breakthrough Flexible Capacity program.

’We are seeing very high satisfaction scores for customers that have adopted the Flexible Capacity model,’ said BlueAlly Vice President of Sales Jim Bartis. ’This is a next-generation offering where HPE services and financial might converge into a fully deployable Opex consumption model. Not only does it give customers public cloud economics in a private cloud environment, it gives them private cloud security, performance and control. We love Flexible Capacity because it is really a services offering with a financial component wrapped around it that enables the customer to use what they need as they grow.’

A New HPE Pointnext Capacity Care Midmarket Solution

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Pointnext technology services team is driving a set of services purpose built for the channel with the first offering a new Capacity Care offering for the midmarket.

The new Capacity Care offering enables capacity monitoring and procurement support for HPE Proliant Gen10 systems with usage tracking, capacity monitoring and quarterly consultations.

"Taking this into the midmarket space provides lot more opportunity for partners," said HPE Vice President of Worldwide Channel Marketing Chris Ogburn.

The new midmarket offering comes with stepped up joint engagement between partners and HPE Pointnext consultants in the wake of the completion of the spin in merger last month of its $20 billion Enterprise Services business- the former EDS- with 110,000 employees - moving to DXC.

Dan Molina, CTO of San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners, said his company is teaming closely with Pointnext to drive a richer set of consulting and advisory services for clients.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Pointnext," he said. "We are literally breaking new ground together understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses and it's allowing us to build a richer set of consulting and advisory services for our clients."

Aiming To Allow Pointnext Services To Be Private Labeled By Partners

One of HPE Global Channel Chief Denzil Samuels most ambitious initiatives is a plan for partners to be able to private label the Pointnext services as their own.

Samuels – the former head of global channels for GE Digital who joined HPE just six months ago- has made the strong ties between Pointnext and HPE partners one of his top priorities.

Samuels, who is driving ever more simplicity into the HPE channel charge, is working closely on private labeling initiative with Ana Pinczuk, who joined HPE just four months ago as the head of HPE Pointnext.

"We've got a real fresh view on how we are going to take services to market," promises Samuels. "Why wouldn't the channel actually brand some of our services. Why wouldn't we make it easier and easier for them to enjoy services success because that is also going to drive growth."

Samuels said the Pointnext private branding initiative is part of an all-out drive to increase partner sales growth. "We are going to look across that continuum and work with partners so they can rebrand them," he promised. "It's a multi-billion dollar market opportunity and we want to get it right."

Simplfied Silver Data Center Specialization

With the acquisitions of Nimble and SimpliVity bringing an influx of new partners to the company, HPE has created a new Silver Data Center Specialization.

The changes reduce the partner training time from nine days to five days as part of a stepped up HPE small medium business (SMB) market offensive.

The new Silver Data Center Specialization is part of a major initiative from HPE Global Channel Chief Denzil Samuels to drive silver-level sales growth.

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., solution provider, said he would definitely look at adding the Silver Data Center Specialization as a result of the shortened training time.

"We are big fans of Nimble and the barrier for us carrying it was the cost of the training," he said. "This reduces that training time and will definitely impact us in a positive way."

Goldstein said the change shows HPE realizes that Nimble, SimpliVity and even the HPE Arista partnership can have a big impact in the SMB market. "You don't have to be an enterprise reseller or customer to leverage products like Nimble, SimpliVity and Arista," he said.

Samuels said the change is aimed at scaling the Silver tier channel business. "We are going to make it simpler for Silver partners to join our ecosystem," says Samuels. "We are not just focusing on Platinum. We are embracing Silver partners because we need that scale. We're going to make it simpler to embrace all the various categories of partners that play in that market. We are going to make it simpler for them to grow their business and drive greater profits for themselves."

HPE Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program

The biggest partner program game changer at global partner summit is a new Partner Ready Digital Marketing program aimed at transforming how partners capture leads and drive sales growth.

The program brings together a robust arsenal of tools and content partners can brand and use on their own websites or blogs and social media to capture sales leads and then convert them into sales.

The program – which partners are calling a digital marketing game changer- comes with partners increasingly building out digital marketing campaigns in a market where B2B (business to business) buyers are completing as much as 70 percent of the buying decision before speaking to a sales rep.

Among the tools that are available free of charge to all HPE partners as part of the new Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program: a breakthrough social media center tool which is being used by 1,500 partners in 113 countries; a Product and Solutions Now content repository that has had 20,000 asset downloads; and a marketing concierge service that partners can query to find any and all content they need to drive effective digital marketing campaigns.

"This is all driven by the change in the way the customer is behaving – their buying process and habits," said HPE Vice President of Worldwide Channel Marketing Chris Ogburn in an interview with CRN. "This starts with the customer. Partners need to change and adapt, or they are going to be left behind. Partners doing digital marketing are the ones that are going to see better pipeline and sales results. Partners that are not doing this are going to lose customers without even realizing it until it is too late."