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Antonio Neri: Outposts Is AWS’ Bid To Lock Data In Public Cloud

‘To me, Outposts is just a way to continue to lure you to move to the [public] cloud because their ultimate objective is to move your data to the [public] cloud,’ says HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri. ‘We have this saying: When you check into the public cloud, it is like checking into the Hotel California. You check in and you never check out. What customers are realizing now is that the cost of egressing that data back is enormous. Enormous.’

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You're super-competitive and I know you have this saying, which is that if you can't win, at least get into a fight and have some fun. Where does that come from?

Well, I think it comes from how you grew up. I grew up both between Argentina and Italy, but a big chunk of my time as a teenager was spent in Argentina playing soccer. And for those who understand soccer, it's very intense in Argentina, and so we have a unique set of cultural values and when you cross that line and enter the field, you are a whole different person. You don't have to say anything. People react the same way, so we go to play and to win, but if you're not going to win, we'll pick a fight so at least we have some fun.

Is there an area of the industry that you want to be more dominant in, like security?

I think we have a lot of our own intellectual property because we think about building security at the core, not as an afterthought. We talk about Silicon Root of Trust and iLO [Integrated Lights Out] built at the infrastructure level or at the edge with Niara, ClearPass and others in a more behavioral level. But as we think about the future and how we build a solution, we think about building the security within the stack itself.

Obviously, we are looking for an opportunity to accelerate that innovation through acquisition and partnerships. Innovation comes in three forms: organically and, by the way, we have made the bet to invest $4 billion at the edge. That is an organic investment over four years. We are making huge investments in the GreenLake platform.

But also we are making investments inorganically. In the last 18 months I have done seven acquisitions starting with Plexxi and closing with Cray and all of them come with different types of solutions. The scaling of that in our portfolio and, most importantly, to our go-to-market with you as partners is super critical. But we want to give you a solution, not a bag of doorknobs you have to put together because that is not what customers are going to buy.

Then there’s the partnership ecosystem. We have a very broad partner ecosystem. Some companies will not even think about that. Particularly as you move into the industrial side of the house, we have partnerships now that are part of our solutions: ABB, Schneider Electric and others. Tomorrow we are going to talk about something new, so stay tuned.

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