HPE Canada leader Mike Hilton sees GreenLake business showing strong Canadian momentum

Some Canadian partners are having good success closing GreenLake deals, with several in the 6-8 win area, and half a dozen closing in on 3 wins, which HPE considers full activation.

Mike Hilton, President of HPE Canada

At last week’s HPE Discover event, where the main focus was on the GreenLake as-a-service offering, ChannelBuzz sat down with Mike Hilton, President of HPE Canada, to find out how HPE’s flagship offering is progressing in the Canadian market.

Hilton said that Canada’s GreenLake business mirrors the U.S., at around 10% of total business, so there is no evidence at all of any Canadian reluctance to get into this type of new technology.

“We have had some big quarters with some huge transactions and others with many smaller ones, but it evens out to a steady rate of growth,” he indicated.

Ironically, while the Canadian federal government has been one of the later adopters, other sectors have shown keen interest from early on.

“We have seen success in multi-sector gaming, and some public sector organizations like the Western Canada Lottery,” Hilton said. “Retail and hospitality are the two strongest sectors. That is because they were the most impacted by the pandemic. So they had very little cash, but also needed to prepare for where we are going next in the economy. They like what GreenLake  provides in terms of flexibility, both up and down.”

Hilton said that this is basically a repeat of the same trends that came with the last major economic downturn in 2008.

“Having lived through that last down cycle in 2008, we saw that subscription services became very popular with customers. It was a major genesis in the rise of subscription services. We expect to see the same trend if recession hits this time. Ideally you prepare for growth and protect against decline and GreenLake is the perfect way to achieve that.”

Hilton stressed that there will be one major difference between the rise of cloud to mainstream and a similar rise of GreenLake and other as-a-service offerings. The latter will be much, much faster.

“It took years for the cloud to broaden out in Canada, and there were two distinct waves,” he said. “One was desktop, around Office 365. The other was the data centre, and they weren’t simultaneous. That is why it took a decade for the cloud to become mainstream.”

Hilton stressed, however, that it’s important for both HPE and partners to adjust how they sell to sell GreenLake effectively.

“It requires both partners and HPE to have conversations with our customers,” he said. “There is a tendency to  have GreenLake conversations with traditional infrastructure people that we know. It’s important to bring a true cloud message to the right part of the organization that deals with cloud.

Hilton indicated that the Canadian partners who are selling GreenLake are a fairly mixed bag.

“We have a cohort of partners in multiple win territory – with 6 to 8 wins – and one approaching double digits,” he said. “We consider three wins to be full activation, and half a dozen are close to that.”

Hilton also noted that some partners are running into RFP which are just for as-a-service proposals.

“Some are just for GreenLake,” he said.

At the just concluded HPE Discover event, one of the major announcements was a new partner program, the HPE Partner Ready Vantage program, which is focused on SaaS and services. Hilton expects to see strong demand for this in Canada.

“Partners want an as-a-service story that embraces and supports the services business of their organization type,” Hilton said. “Partners want to make a way to make sure they can keep their services portfolios healthy. They can go to market with our services, or theirs that support their services agenda. That was the core message around Discover for partners. We are incredibly committed to making sure partners can build long term relationships with the customer that supports their services business.”

HPE also announced HPE GreenLake for Private Cloud Enterprise, which extends the ability to roll out private clouds of all sizes.

“Any time we can build something that is more prescriptive and drives more out of the box capability, it’s good for everyone, and doesn’t require reinventing the world on a regular basis,” Hilton said. He also noted that unlike the AWS Outpost private cloud, this one is designed to let partners deliver their service.”

HPE also introduced eight new GreenLake services, two of which Hilton singled out of being of particular interest to the partners he spoke with.

“HCI as as service piqued a lot of peoples interest because it includes the ability to manage AWS,” he said. “It really feels like a public cloud . Similarly the new Backup and Recovery solution also integrates with AWS, which is especially important for those with strong AWS businesses.”

“With GreenLake maturing, this is an exciting time for organizations,” Hilton concluded. GreenLake represents an incredible way to drive greater efficiency to out of their organizations. I want my organization spending tune with end users not with technology.”