This content is part of the Conference Coverage: HPE Discover 2024 news and conference guide
This article is part of our Conference Coverage: HPE Discover 2024 news and conference guide

HPE puts the focus on enabling channel to sell AI

Vendor uses shindig in Las Vegas to roll out competency and talk of increased support for those keen to take advantage of the surge of interest in artificial intelligence

HPE put the emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) at its Partner Growth Summit, with the vendor unveiling a number of competencies partners can go for to promote their capabilities with the technology.

It’s been a couple of years since the vendor used the event to launch its Partner Ready Vantage programme, which covered all of HPE’s activities across compute, AI, hybrid cloud and the edge.

A year on and the focus is very much on the AI element, with the vendor introducing a range of products that embed the technology, working with Nvidia on solutions and increasing support so channel partners can start to take advantage of a growth market.

Simon Ewington, worldwide vice-president for the channel and partner ecosystem at HPE, put the latest announcements into context, highlighting the vendor’s channel track record and the progress made with the programme in the past year.

“We’ve been on a pretty important journey, after a tricky couple of years where the entire industry has had to cope with the global pandemic and then supply chain shortages,” he said. “But despite those challenges, HPE has always understood the criticality of partnering to deliver complete value-added solutions that solve real customer business challenges.

“We’ve got more than 2,000 partners now enrolled in HPE partner advantage, and those partners delivered more than a billion dollars of as-a-service contracts working with HPE in the past year – and that growth momentum has continued with our partner-led as-a-service business,” said Ewington.

He added that the channel was key to the firm’s success, and that its latest moves are designed to increase support for partners. “We continue working together, and that’s also the theme of our partner growth platform,” said Ewington. “And in the past 12 months, we have doubled down on partners we’ve shifted to a specialised sales coverage model. We’ve added a very significant number of compute channel specialists: we’ve doubled the number of HPE channel storage specialists ... [who] are working with our partner community every day to hunt and to win new logos and new opportunities in the market.”

Betting on partners

He added: “We’re basically betting on partners, and part of that bet, your objective, is to grow partners’ market relevance, and HPE’s relevant partner community, by delivering on three key pillars of our strategy. First, leveraging HPC innovation engine. Second, helping partners achieve higher levels of profitability. And third, delivering a better end-to-end partner experience working HPE innovation, profitability and experience.”

In addition to the AI focus, the vendor has also introduced a sustainability competency with Nvidia, and an HPE Aruba networking secure service option.

Ewington added that the introduction of the fresh competencies was crucial in helping the channel unlock fresh revenue streams.

“We are focused on expanding with new tools, expanding with new competencies to really accelerate partners on a path to even higher levels of competency and profitability,” he said.

Ewington said the competencies also provide a structure for those unsure about how to engage with AI and tap into the growing market.

“Not every partner knows how to grasp that opportunity,” he said. “Not every partner knows where to start. Not every partner knows the tangible steps to take, and we want to help partners. We want them to better understand the steps, and that is why we will be taking control and we will deliver AI leadership in the channel.”

New and updated competencies

HPE has introduced a number of fresh competencies, with AI solutions, HPC for enterprise, networking security service edge and solutions for sustainability.

At the same time, the vendor has updated its storage and data services and compute certifications.

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