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HPE CEO: We won’t grow the business without the channel

HPE kicks off its Discover event with a range of enhancements for the channel around its GreenLake proposition

HPE’s CEO has praised the channel’s involvement of its GreenLake proposition, and has gone further in underlining the importance of partners to the vendor’s business.

The firm is holding its Discover event this week and, in a pre-briefing ahead of his keynote, HPE CEO Antonio Neri said that the firm relied on the channel for 70% of its business.

A lot of the focus of the next couple of days will be around GreenLake, which is the fastest growing part of the business and largely driven by the channel, but Neri was keen to stress the contribution from partners went wider than that.

“It’s not just about GreenLake, the channel is important for us as a company. We continue to be a partner-led company,” he said. “We want to make it easier for partners to deliver everything as a service.

“Seventy percent of sales on a global basis go through the channel partner community. If we don’t grow the business through the channel, then it is going to be hard for us to grow our business.”

Discover included details of more GreenLake cloud and software offerings and plans to integreate partners into GreenLake Central to expand the collaboration options and increase more as-a-service sales. The firm also unveiled updates to its Pro Series programmes to provide resellers with more enablement tools.  

Paul Hunter, HPE worldwide head of partner sales, revealed that 700 partners were now selling GreenLake and there had been a 47.1% increase in orders from partners in the past year.

“This is growing faster in a fast-growing segment of the overall business,” he said. “We want to enable partners to be more successful selling the consumption piece, and it works well when consumption is the lead at the start of the sales pursuit.”

GreenLake was first unveiled a couple of years ago at Discover as the vendor looked to create technology bundles that would help partners take digital transformation services to customers.

“We have a world-class partner community enabling our customers to transform their businesses with new levels of speed and innovation,” said Hunter. “Our partners play an essential role in both shaping and executing our strategy to become an edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company.

“The services and offerings we’re making available to partners today will bring them more opportunities to sell, help them better serve our joint customers, and more rapidly expand the scale and reach HPE GreenLake.”

HPE has taken steps to increase the speed that partners can respond to customers with more standardised GreenLake options for small, medium and large configurations. Partners can offer users choices of cloud services that are on GreenLake Central, including cloud services for containers, virtual machines, storage, data protection and networking.

From next year, the plan is to give the channel its own access to Central so they can gain a unified view of customer data.

Other announcements included the addition of storage, management and container services to the cloud services that resellers can sell as part of HPE GreenLake for Partners Programme.

 Neri was also asked in the pre-brief about what he thought the prospects were for a post-Covid-19 economy, and he said HPE had analysed the markets and come to the conclusion a “U”-type recovery was the most likely. The firm’s economic experts ruled out a prolonged “L”-style recession, but also felt that there would not be a quick bounce back and a “V”-shaped return to normal.

“We subscribe to the U scenario, but there are questions about how deep and how far the U is,” said Neri.

HPE Pro Series enhancements

  • Sales Pro – the vendor is providing the channel and its sales teams with access to training and learning tool, including a video-recording option for sales teams to practice pitches.
  • Tech Pro – HPE has expanded more learning badges with segment-focused content, with the launch of an SME portal, and a virtual event strategy to help partners take exams and gain certifications. Since the HPE Pro Series launch, the Tech Pro community has grown more than 50% quarter over quarter, and more than 60,000 partners visit Seismic every month.
  • Marketing Pro – Formerly known as the Partner Ready Digital Marketing Programme, the latest incarnation offers tailored content, education and resources around developing end-to-end marketing.

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