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HPE takes aim at hybrid IT management as a service

Starting with its GreenLake family, HPE is building out a hybrid platform from the edge to the cloud

HPE’s goal is to connect edge computing with the cloud, using a platform that enables IT to become a service broker for the business.

According to HPE, a lot of enterprise applications are remaining on-premise because they haven’t been engineered for the public cloud. Given the different environments, a survey from HPE has found that the skills required to manage IT operations across the public cloud and on-premise are very different. Managing hybrid environments requires different tools, which adds to cost and complexity.

Speaking at HPE Discover More in Munich, CEO Antonio Neri said: “We are helping enterprises driving hyper connected operations. Tomorrow means a world where everything is hyper connected, with data that creates insight and value. Our bold vision is that the enterprise of the future will be data-driven. Organisations that can extract data quickly and efficiently will be unstoppable.”

However, the independent survey of 1,000 IT decision makers reported that three-quarters of IT decisions agree that data is siloed between public and private clouds (77%) in their organisations, and admit that data silos are a key challenge (75%) for their businesses. This may be preventing many organisations from making greater use of the public cloud. About two-thirds (66%) feel that data migration to the public cloud is stalled at their organisation. 

HPE has put in place a suite of technologies to help IT departments evolve into IT service brokers for their organisations.

The company has now introduced GreenLake Central, which it said allows customers to break through IT challenges by delivering a single, integrated management control plane for their entire hybrid IT estate, and one operational console from which to direct and drive their digital transformation initiatives – all delivered as-a-service.

According to HPE, the platform gives customers the freedom to choose which tools they want to use to build applications, where and how to place their workloads and data, and only pay for what they consume.

Read more about HPE GreenLake

Phil Davis, president of hybrid IT for HPE, said: “Businesses of all sizes are embracing as-a-service models to unlock innovation and agility and lead disruption rather than become a victim of it.

“As-a-service elevates the role of IT decision makers, allowing them to become true service brokers who focus on strategic initiatives and revenue growth. As this survey data shows, the market clearly views as-a-service as the future, but is looking for a new and better approach to realise a consistent cloud experience across public, private and the edge.” 

For the past two years, HPE has been acquiring cloud technology businesses and growing its internal capabilities to shift its focus towards being a provider of IT as a service. In 2017, HPE  acquired Cloud Cruiser, which provides IT infrastructure consumption analytics tools.

It also acquired MapR’s business assets in August 2018, to accelerate its Intelligent Data Platform capabilities; and in November 2018, it acquired BlueData, a container-based platform for artificial intelligence workloads. Cloud Technology Partners, the consulting business acquired in 2017, has become part of its PointNext service business.

The GreenLake service offering is being delivered through HPE channel partners. The company said it has experienced 200% channel growth, and has 500 channel partners around the world selling it.

By 2022, GreenLake will be used to drive all its products as a service. During its Q4 2019 results, chief financial officer Tarek Robbiati reported revenue of its as-a-service business of $462m. According to the transcript of the earnings call, posted on the Seeking Alpha financial blogging site, Robbiati said: “Looking forward, we feel confident we can achieve our growth guidance of 30% to 40% compounded annual growth rate from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2022.”

HPE said its finance business is a key cornerstone to delivering GreenLake. But the company is hoping to build on this by moving beyond leasing to enabling its customers to pay in a flexible and metered way that supports on-demand, elastic IT.

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