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HPE boss looking for channel to bring SME growth

HPE is looking to reward those that bring in more business from small and medium-sized customers over the next year

HPE’s CEO Antonio Neri has indicated that the company is planning a major focus on the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market with its channel in the year ahead.

The vendor’s boss used his keynote slot at the Canalys Channels Forum EMEA to talk about the progress the firm had made to come up with solutions to deal with edge computing and the positive backing the channel had given its GreenLake offering.

The firm has been encouraging the channel to sell its GreenLake offering, and at its Discover event in June it updated those cloud services to include machine learning, container management, virtualisation, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), data protection and connectivity as a service (CaaS).

But he also shared some ideas about what was coming from the vendor, with it clear that there is more scope for the channel to make in-roads into the SME segment.

“Together with our partners, we have made incredible progress, and I am more optimistic about the future than ever. Next year, we will increase our focus on SME for partners and will introduce enhancements and new initiatives, promotions and solutions to enable our partners to assess sales in our core business and drive share,” said Neri.

He added that HPE would also be encouraging its partners to work together, with collaborative selling between solution and service providers, via its Cloud 28+ platform.

“We will enable partners to develop synergies to help SME customers find the right wireless solutions to meet their off-premise business requirements, positioning themselves as trusted advisers,” he said.

Neri also made it clear that HPE would be supporting partners that went for the SME segment: “Our HPE Partner Ready compensation programme will continue to reward partners for their alignment to our strategy.

“We have three x to five x multipliers for our consumption intelligence total solutions, and offer margin and price protection for selling to SME customers,” he said.

In a separate session, George Hope, who recently replaced Paul Hunter as worldwide head of partner sales at HPE, said that the company was using options such as Greenlake Swift to get into the mid-market, and everything as a service (XaaS) was an approach partners should be embracing.

“Get on board. Customers need help and we have transformed our company to adjust and take advantage of that opportunity. We are at an inflexion point and we want to all jump on that next wave together,” he said.

“I want the channel to get engaged with this digital journey and raise the as-a-service strategy and bring the cloud to the customers so they don’t have to go anywhere.”

He said that, as the coronavirus recovery continued, he saw opportunities for the channel to start to make revenues from customers keen to transform their operations.

“Once the dust settles a little bit, and everyone gets back to ‘How do we move this thing forward?’, there will be a lot of pent-up demand and a lot of transformation to the new digital business. We will go from the information age to the insight age, and leverage that to get more value out of [customer] data,” he added.

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