HPE formally announces HPE Complete program and opens it to all partners

The HPE Complete program, in existence since late 2016 in what amounted to beta form, has now been opened to General Available, allowing all HPE partners, including those outside the U.S., to participate.

Marty Lans, General Manager, Storage Connectivity Engineering & Global Interoperability Business Unit at HPE

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has had its HPE Complete program to validate strategic vendor partner designs and take them to market through both their direct and channel sales arms since November of 2016. It has even been written about in the past. Now, however, the program and its General Availability have been formally announced for the first time. The program’s availability has also been expanded. It is now open to all HPE partner tiers, whereas it was previously only available to Platinum partners. It has also been expanded globally, as it was just in the U.S. before.

“Until now, the program has always been a beta,” said Marty Lans, General Manager, Storage Connectivity Engineering & Global Interoperability Business Unit at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “It takes time to work out all the kinks globally. Many of our vendor partners have done announcements around the availability of their integrations, but for HPE Complete itself, this is our coming out party.”

Lans, who also designed a similar program for EMC in the early days of this century, said that it has a couple major objectives – filling gaps in HPE’s own offerings with the designs of top third-party vendors, and providing reassurances that customers that these designs have been fully validated to work with HPE products. HPE Complete also provides full support for these designs, including billing and ongoing support.

“Traditionally, we met with these types of partners in the channel,” Lans said. “Now HPE Complete is a complete resell model to develop revenue relationships.”

The program now has 28 vendor partners, with the most recent additions being Commvault, Mellanox and NVIDIA.

“What has changed since last year is the scale of the program,” Lans said. “We have added more vendors, and have more big ones like Citrix coming on this summer. “Bringing in the kind of big vendors that we have been adding recently gets more attention from the market. We have the ability to grow by about five partners a quarter.”

Lans stated that the process begins by full qualification and interoperability testing.

“It’s tested against everything in the data centre,” Lans said. “It’s a rigorous test, and every test is unique and based on the specific technology. We assign an engineer to develop a test plan.”

The supply chain for the solutions has been externalized with distributors providing the service.

“We determined that the best way to do this would be to enable the channel to do it, by having the distributors use their hubs as our facility, rather than by using our own hubs,” Lans said. “We began by using Tech Data. We have brought in Ingram Micro since then, and will be adding Arrow.”

The go-to-market motion leverages the HPE P&L structure.

“That simplifies things,” Lans said. “Using parts numbers from HPE allows solution selling from Day One.”

The next element is full HPE Complete support if troubleshooting is needed, to ensure a smooth customer experience.

“We do the triage because we sold it, and will stay on the line until resolution,” Lans said.

“The last piece is integration,” Lans said. “This includes full automation, orchestration and management.

“The degree is different for different partner types and for different partners, but we provide this for each partner in the program,” he indicated.

Now that the program has been expanded to allow all HPE partner tiers to participate, as well as partners outside the U.S., Lans said that they expect the program to rapidly expand further in terms of vendors, resellers and sales.

“We anticipate a major expansion in both scale and scope going forward,” he said.