Similar to HP Inc., HPE’s first year could not be called a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination. For a year of disruption that saw every corporate giant in the enterprise software space feel at least a little bit of struggle, HPE made moves to shine through. Third quarter reports had HPE net revenue down six per cent, but cash flow from operations up 10 per cent from the prior year period.
We spoke with IDC analyst and director of infrastructure channels research, Paul Edwards to learn more.
“Whether you are Dell or HPE, you saw disruption due to the changing industry this past year, so no matter how well HPE has reacted to that disruption, it was unavoidable,” said Edwards. “They’re satisfaction scores have risen, and I would say they are more nimble than before. Overall, this year was relatively positive.”
Considering HPE is a leader in the majority of the market segments it serves at first in servers, second in networking, second in total storage, and second in IT services, and that 80 per cent of Fortune 500 customers are HPE Enterprise Services customers, relatively positive is the right word.
HPE recently beefed up its enterprise security portfolio, as well as add upgrades to its Partner Ready program. Not everything has been peachy at HPE, with the company splitting off its services division and non-core software assets to Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) and Micro Focus International respectively.
One-on-one with Charlie Atkinson
We spoke with Charlie Atkinson, the managing director and vice president of HPE Canada’s enterprise group about year one.
“When we were embracing the advent of our separation a year ago we were looking forward to being able to move faster and to have a deeper focus on the driving forces that are really driving change and opportunity in the market,” said Atkinson. “Here we are a year later and that vision is one that we have really realized. The agility, the empowerment, and the accountability that we have has just been phenomenal.”
That vision continues to be important as the industry reshapes the way the enterprise operates with the whole notion of multi-cloud and the shift of workloads to different cloud models. This shift requires HPE to become much more adaptive and responsive, something the company hopes to continue to do moving past this first year as well.
“We put a tremendous amount of focus on helping our customers move into the world of agile dev-ops and hybrid IT, “ said Atkinson. “When you look at our converged systems and hyper-converged offerings, we’ve done extremely well, especially in the large enterprise space, helping our customers really operate in the mobile world we live in, and how to make hybrid IT simple.”
On shedding more weight
On the surface, further splitting off of HPE less than a year after the big HP split may seem concerning. But, if HPE is adamant in promising to make itself a faster, and more nimble company. These moves have been made with that ideal in the forefront.
“[The CSC and Micro Focus deal] will allow us again to move faster and have that deeper focus on the enterprise group, while also helping those divisions being spun off succeed in their own space. The combination of enterprise services and CSC will make that business, as a separate independent company, the number one end-to-end IT services firm in the world,” said Atkinson.
We won’t know how those moves turn out for a little while longer. The deal with CSC comes into effect on April 1, with the Micro Focus deal coming into effect in the second half of HPE’s upcoming fiscal year.
Looking forward to year two
As the industry continues to change, HPE is confident in its ability to continue to adapt and succeed in this space.
“One of the reasons our channel community is so excited is because when you look at our hyper-converged offerings, when you look at where our synergy is going, it really does create a great opportunity for our channel partners to contribute in the migration of the workloads from the traditional IT space into tomorrow’s hybrid IT space,” said Atkinson.
“The real proof in the pudding is how you are doing in customer satisfaction ratings. We’ve got industry leading sat ratings, and we are going to continue to innovate, and continue to deliver advanced services in our portfolio.”
If you missed CDN’s interview with Mary Ann Yule, president of HP Canada, from earlier this week, be sure to check that out for the other half of the story here.