HPE ramps up investments in Singapore

Enterprise tech giant HPE will invest $140m over five years in its new regional headquarters and a startup incubator programme

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is investing $140m over the next five years in Singapore as part of its efforts to cement its position in the fast-growing market for enterprise IT products and services in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Speaking at the launch of its APAC headquarters in Singapore, HPE’s president and CEO Meg Whitman said the facility will bring together different aspects of HPE’s businesses such as research and development at a single location to better serve businesses.

“When I meet with customers in diverse industries around the world, it’s very clear that we’re living in what we call the idea economy,” she said, noting that the ability to turn a new idea into a new product or business has never been easier.

To help startups turn their ideas into reality, part of HPE’s new investments in Singapore will go into a $16m incubator programme dubbed InnovateNext that will partner local companies to develop and commercialise new technologies.

“Singapore is an innovation hotspot and the best place for us to base our operations in this important fast-growing region,” Whitman said.

To be co-funded by HPE and Singapore’s Economic Development Board, InnovateNext will support 12 startups over the next three years, with the goal of developing viable products and services.

Specifically, startups will receive access to HPE resources, mentorship and consulting expertise to develop products that align with HPE’s key focus areas of hybrid IT, data analytics and internet of things (IoT) across industries such as financial services and manufacturing.

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They can also work alongside HPE’s customers to develop prototypes and proof-of-concept projects in a new innovation centre, as well as showcase their offerings at a customer engagement centre that lets HPE customers learn about industry use cases and apply HPE solutions to achieve their business outcomes.

Mohan Krishnan, vice-president and general manager of business development, enablement and solutions at HPE Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the company is currently working with a handful of startups, such as Singapore’s gridComm, a supplier of smart lighting systems that integrate with HPE’s data analytics platform.

“Working with HPE, we have made our street light platform more scalable and flexible for IoT device management,” said Mike Holt, co-founder of gridComm. “Data drives smart cities. Our integration with HPE data analytics provides a critical solution for street light control, smart city sensor integration and data analysis.”

More acquisitions on the cards

During the past quarter, HPE’s revenue fell by 10% from a year ago. Whitman attributed the rough quarter to “executional challenges” in the reorganisation that had been going on. 

“We had done the single biggest separation in American business history, right on to the separation of enterprise services and software,” she said. “The good news is we’re now 100% focused on the business and I anticipate that we will improve on our execution.”

Whitman said HPE will make more acquisitions to keep up with the growing pace of innovation in the industry.

“You can’t invent everything – if someone has a good idea, we either have to follow, make an investment or buy that company. You’ll see a more aggressive M&A [mergers and acquisitions] strategy than we’ve had in the past five years,” she said.

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