New GreenLake services, Pro Series tweaks highlight partner play in virtual HPE Discover

HPE GreenLake’s consumption model is now top priority for HPE, so unsurprisingly, it is top priority in messaging to HPE channel partners at Discover this year as well.

Paul Hunter, HPE Worldwide Head of Partner Sales

Today, HPE is kicking off its HPE Discover event, moved online by the pandemic. For partners, there are no head-turning announcements along the line of opening up HPE GreenLake to the channel, which headlined the 2018 event. Instead HPE announced seven new GreenLake services, which will be available to partners, as well as a new Small-Medium-Large pre-integrated building block model to make them quicker and easier to consume. Other channel-related announcements included enhancements to the three “Pro” programs – Sales, Tech and Marketing.

The messaging for partners going forward isn’t quite GreenLake! GreenLake! GreenLake! – but it’s close.

“We have been on a journey the last 2-3 years to sell more of our consumption portfolio,” said Paul Hunter, HPE Worldwide Head of Partner Sales. “With the introduction of our GreenLake 3.0 partner-led consumption model, we have been growing that. The partner business in GreenLake is up to close to 30%. It is the fastest growing part of our fastest growing segment.” 700 plus HPE partners are now actively selling Greenlake, and 47% of GreenLake orders now go through partners.”

Hunter emphasized HPE’s ongoing activities around improving partners’ fluency with GreenLake.

“This is a considerable change for many established partners, and they need help positioning consumption,” he said.

“We provide resources to partners who want to grasp this opportunity, and when they want to do that, we get fully involved,” said Greg Stafford HPE Pointnext Worldwide Channels Leader. “We provide transformation workshops to help partners assess what they do today, and what it will take to build a consumption practice.”

Stafford said that the most common questions at the workshops were how the partner should pay their sales reps and how should they best invest upfront dollars.

“We are seeing a common thread where once they get through the transformation workshop, they decide what way to go. The first three days of the Workshops are very heartfelt on what they do as a company, and do they want to do this or not.”

The new GreenLake news comes on top of a makeover of the GreenLake customer experience.

“We have re-engineered the GreenLake customer experience, from the announcement of GreenLake Central – the operations console – last November,” said Erik Vogel, Global Vice President, Customer Experience, at HPE. “We’ve really redefined how we approach our customers. The original HPE Greenlake was very analog. What we have done now is built a more self-service model — digital, multi- channel enabled and in real time. Customers can learn about the offers, testimonials, demos, and we are offering trials so they can kick the tires.

“We are also providing transparent pricing, which we haven’t in the past,” Vogel added. “Customers answer a number of questions on things like workload, backup, and whether they want it managed, and get a price for a solution in 3 or 4 clicks. That’s a list price. They can work with partners to optimize the price, but this is a starting point, which makes it easy for them to navigate the process and get the detail that they need,”

Vogel also emphasized that GreenLake now extends far beyond its original Flex Capacity.

“We have taken a big leap forward,” he said. “It is a true service, fully managed and supported where all the lower functions are taken care of. It’s not just Flex Capacity. It’s much more similar to the cloud.”

All this is available to customers, but not yet to partners.

“In 2021, partners will have their own access to the program,” Stafford said.

Partners will, however, benefit immediately from the addition of a new streamlined delivery system from GreenLake, based on pre-integrated building blocks, which includes seven new GreenLake services

“These come in 17 new pre-integrated configurations with small, medium and large sizes like t-shirts, and which fit like lego bricks,” said Keith White, GreenLake’s SVP and GM. “These can look and feel like custom offerings, but accelerate time to market and time to value.”

The new services include Cloud services for Containers, Cloud services for Virtual Machines, Storage, Compute,  Cloud services for Data Protection, and Cloud services for Networking.

HPE also announced an expanded storage partner ecosystem around GreenLake, adding Scality RING and Veeam. Earlier this year, they added Cohesity and Quomolo.

Much of the news around the Sales Pro, Tech Pro and Marketing Pro communities was about momentum, but there was some new news as well.

“We completed the Pro series a year ago,” Hunter said. “The difference now is the participation – building the critical mass. A year ago on Seismic, we had 5000 participants and now we have 60,000.

“We are also getting a comprehensive digital footprint of our partners that we didn’t have a year ago, Hunter added.

“Last year Tech Pro was announced at Discover,” said Kathleen Walsh, Director Tech Pro, Channel Enablement and Storage Enablement at HPE. “We have seen 78% growth since November 1, when we introduced Learning Paths and other functionality. We expect over 11,000 members by Discover, over 7000 of which are partners. Chatter on forums increased this year by 53%. 25x more technical content was consumed in the first 6 months of FY20 compared to all of FY19.”

Some tweaks are also being announced to Marketing Pro.

“We now have 32,000 total users, 9000 content downloads, and 1400 Partner Learning Center courses completed since it was launched in November,” said Laura Seymour, Senior Director Global Channel Marketing at HPE. “HPE Marketing Pro Learning Center now has better localized experience – with UI and content now in six languages.” It was initially just in English.

“We also have new channel campaign blueprints and prep kits, to help partners develop and integrate digital marketing campaigns,” Seymour added. “The  blueprints are recommended bundles of tactics around specific campaigns such as gaining visibility with new prospects.

“We also recently released about 89 podcasts to partners through our Sales Pro Learning Centre,” Walsh said.