HPE Next should make life simpler for partners

HPE CEO Meg Whitman used the firm's Q3 results as an opportunity to share more details about plans the firm is making to streamline its operations

Vendors enjoy talking about simplicity and taking the complexity out of how they work with partners and design products for customers.

That was very much the theme of HPE CEO Meg Whitman's comments made to analysts to discuss the firm's third quarter numbers.

The firm delivered a 6% improvement in revenues to $8.2bn, which included the final contribution from the software business before its spin-off to Micro Focus. Operating profit from continuing operations was $643m

Server revenues flat but the contribution was up by 13% thanks to better delivery, hyper converged experienced 200% growth and flash climbed by 30% which was level of improvement matched by wireless LAN solutions.  3PAR revenue was down 9% because of competition in the US market but the Aruba networking business delivered a strong performance thanks to a 30% improvement in wireless sales.

But for the channel the comments that will be of interest will be those around the 'HPE Next' programme, which is going to be outlined in more depth at next month's security analyst meeting.

Whitman outlined the broad ambition of the scheme, which is part of a process of stream-lining the firm's operations and making its sales process simpler.

"This quarter we announced a program we are calling HPE Next. The goal of HPE Next is to produce an organisation that is precisely built to compete and win in the marketplace," she added "To do so, we are clean sheeting the operating model and organisation structure to simplify how we work. We are improving core business processes to clarify accountabilities and make the company more efficient and effective. We are rightsizing the end-to-end cost structure to ensure we deliver on our financial architecture."

"All of this will be done with a continued commitment to operational excellence and to our customers. These efforts will simplify everything from how we engage with customers to how we process orders and compensate sales. For example we are reducing the layers in our customer-facing organisations and shifting resources to the geographic markets that will drive the vast majority of our business. These changes will be better for HPE and for our customers," said Whitman.

HPE is committed to making $1.5bn of gross savings over the next three years and the firm is still working out the exact funding formula for HPE Next but it is hoping to offset costs by some real estate sales.

Whitman was also quizzed by analysts on her personal commitment to the firm after much of the Summer was spent with her being linked to the CEO position at Uber.

She confirmed she had looked at the Uber job but in the end decided it was not the right thing to do and was focused on HPE.

"I have dedicated the last six years of my life to this company and there is more work to do and I am here to help make this company successful and I am excited about the new strategy. So, lots more work to do and I actually am not going anywhere," she said.

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