Following HPE and Hewlett-Packard, the past 30 years has been a rewarding adventure in showing examples of how things should be done in business to some things that should be avoided. What I like is that the company took significant risks to move the ball forward and transform in big ways. Detractors will focus on the company’s mistakes, but I think this is immaturity as there has been no company in business for 50 years who hasn’t had missteps.
Today, it is tough to be in the datacenter infrastructure without a software and services play to blend better margins and receive improved Wall Street valuations. Over the past three years, this is precisely the journey HPE has been on, which is to flip the model of selling infrastructure to offering solutions (hardware + software) on a consumption basis. The company’s announcements at its recent HPE Discover reinforced that the company is on the move, quickly building out software and consumption capabilities that I believe provide a lot of enterprise value.
I think other analysts and press covered the announcements pretty well, but I did want to do a fly-over of the announcements.
- HPE Ezmeral– This new software portfolio pulls together the once disparate HPE worlds of IT automation, container management, operations, data fabric, security, and cloud cost control. Related, HPE announced that it would offer the Ezmeral container management, and ML ops will be delivered as a service through HPE GreenLake.
- HPE GreenLake cloud services– These announcements represent a growth in GreenLake consumption-based services which are primarily for the cloud. HPE highlights cloud services for containers, ML ops, DP, network as a service and Aruba edge services platform as a service.
None of these announcements should be a surprise as “edge to cloud” in a consumption model has been the stated intent of HPE CEO Antonio Neri since he took the helm in 2018, and lest we forget GreenLake was introduced in November 2017.
I wrote about Neri’s first HPE Discover as CEO here. One thing I give HPE and Neri credit for is popularizing the phrase “hybrid” cloud. This was well before Google’s Anthos or AWS Outposts. HPE also acquired many companies to build these new consumption-based edge to cloud services, including Cloud Technology Partners, (Sep 2017), BlueData Software (Nov 2018), Cray (Sep 2019), MapR Technologies (Aug 2019), and Scytale.io (Feb 2020). I will admit, based on prior Hewlett-Packard acquisitions pre-Neri, I wasn’t expecting a lot, but I am very impressed at HPE’s new capabilities. HPE has slowly recruited and acquiring software talent, and the company says it now has 8,300 software resources who have built the current and will build future capabilities.
It’s been an impressive run for HPE under Antonio Neri’s leadership as he flips the model from selling hardware to a consumption-based “edge to cloud” model where services and software are the tips of the spear. It’s been rewarding having a front seat watching HPE continue to evolve the GreenLake model, from early days of flex capacity and pay per use to now expanding as a service to the entire portfolio, creation of HPE GreenLake Central for one unified experience, and now delivery of cloud services to allow customers to run a range of solutions for business. HPE isn’t at the end of its journey, and I would posit it’s as it just recently entered the field. Now it’s up to HPE’s sales and marketing teams to make it matter in the marketplace in the form of revenue share gains.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.