HPE promises quick channel integration, availability of new acquisitions

In contrast with Aruba, where the program was deliberately kept separate from HPE Partner Ready, the plan with the many new acquisitions is to bring everything together quickly as part of an integrated strategy.

HPE CEO Whitman on stage at Partner Summit

LAS VEGAS – On Monday, at the keynote of HPE’s Global Partner Summit here, company CEO Meg Whitman discussed the role of HPE’s multiple new acquisitions in the company’s partner strategy. HPE also outlined its channel integration plans for the new technologies, and how they can fit into partner go-to-market efforts.

“We have made some bold moves to transform ourselves,” Whitman told the partner audience in her keynote. “We will increase the portfolio of integrated products you can present to your customers.

Whitman began by discussing SGI, the smallest of the acquisitions from a numbers perspective, but one that she considers to be extremely strategic.

“We were already the leader in High Performance Computing, and with SGI we are taking this to an entirely new level,” she said. “With the explosion of data, more customers than ever before will need this to translate data into insight.” She referred to SGI’s TAM as a $23 billion opportunity.

Unlike the other recent HPE acquisitions, SGI sold primarily direct.

“SGI was not channel-centric,” said Jesse Chavez, Vice-President, Worldwide Indirect Strategy and Operations, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “They were only about 15 to 20 per cent channel, but we expect that that will grow when we present it to partners.” He indicated that SGI’s technology will be released through HPE in July, and that it will be made available to partners in a phased introduction at that time.

“The way we bring SGI into the fold, it will fit into the product sets we have today, into our Apollo and HPC lines,” he said.

SGI had about 200 partners, who are being “white gloved” as they are being brought on board, Chavez noted.

The SimpliVity acquisition makes HPE a significant player in the hyper-converged space.

“For customers who want hyper-converged solutions, we are bringing HPE infrastructure with SimpliVity to deliver the best hyper-converged offering to the market,” Whitman said. “It’s a $2.5 billion market growing at 25 per cent a year.”

“A lot of partners are extremely excited about this one,” Chavez said. “It is enterprise grade hyper-converged that we believe we can scale pretty quickly from an enterprise and readiness standpoint.”

Chavez noted that before acquisition, SimpliVity used a ‘meet in the channel’ model.

“The distributors would integrate it with Lenovo or Dell,” he said. “We kept that model we could get our own product ready to go, and we will still do that because we don’t want to kill off that competitive element of it.”

Chavez indicated though that now that HPE has introduced their Gen 10 ProLiant servers with their new technological goodness, SimpliVity software will be available on the 380DL integrated in their factory and available to all partners in this way. He also noted that November 1 was the date set for the integration of the SimpliVity channel program into Partner Ready.

Nimble Storage, HPE’s most recent acquisition, strengthens HPE more in the mid-range and SMB, although the plan is to integrate their InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across their entire storage portfolio, including the enterprise-focused 3PAR line.

“Together with Nimble we will bring flash-optimized data services to customers with the right balance of price performance and agility,” Whitman said. This is a $15 billion TAM growing at a 17 per cent rate.

Chavez indicated that the limited SKU selection mainly targeted at SMBs that HPE earlier announced would be available to all partners is already available.

“In November, the full product line with all the SKUs will be available, and at that point we will also merge the programs, with the same timing for SimpliVity, November 1,” he said.

Cloud Cruiser, which HPE acquired in January, makes an IT infrastructure consumption analytics app that gives clear insight into IT usage and spend for better management of public private and hybrid clouds. HPE had already been licensing them in their Flexible Capacity offering.

“By providing insight into IT usage and spend, this helps customers more effectively plan and manage their IT systems, and will further differentiate offerings like Flexible Capacity,” Whitman said.

“That’s a great acquisition for us, and we expect we will see a lot there,” Chavez said. It will be available to partners beginning November 1.

Finally, Whitman discussed the February acquisition of Niara, a behavioral security analytics startup.

“We are also accelerating at the edge, and Niara is a leader in the category of using big data and analytics in a network security offering to better protect data,” she said. It is scheduled to be available to partners in the early August time frame.

Chavez noted that most of these acquisitions had already been selling entirely through partners.

“That’s a significant opportunity from a partner perspective and assists in folding them into Partner Ready,” he said. “Unlike Aruba, where we kept the program separate for a lot of reasons, these integrations will be completed quickly.”

One area that Chavez did indicate that HPE will be looking at is harmonizing the distribution of all the new companies, who brought their existing relationships with them.

“We are definitely overdistributed,” he said. “We will have to look at the distribution landscape and determine how we will go forward.”