All that was revealed at HPE Discover 2019

Las Vegas, HPE Discover and the heat was on – HPE lights a fire as it goes Cloudless; really? Find out more …

Summer in Las Vegas is not for the faint of heart nor is it for those who may be prone to fainting. Fortunately, for those who happened to have made room reservation in either the Venetian or the Palazzo, there was never any real reason to step outside. As has been our routine for the past couple of years, we drove our company command center down to Las Vegas, camped out in one of the RV sites, but with reason prevailing, we slept in air conditioned bliss inside the hotel complex. This isn’t to say we never left the facility, but rather, only when HPE arranged for social outings to popular venues.

This year I returned to HPE Discover as a guest of HPE and as part of the HPE Influencer program. This is a group of mostly bloggers, pulled from many disciplines,  that have an interest in all things HPE – some of these bloggers have impressive numbers of followers, with one gentleman having in excess of 750,000. Kind of makes my nearly 3,000 followers (on LinkedIn) rather tame. But before I get into specifics, the HPE team that looked after us did an excellent job and I have to thank Laura Mackay and her team and Katie Boydston as well as Rebecca Wissinger – you put on quite the event for us.

As the days unfolded it seemed almost unnecessary to leave the confines of the digital and social marketing area as the bloggers had been provided a room for themselves where coffee talks were regularly scheduled. This location meant we were very close to the HPE Labs stand on the exhibition floor and also very near the Mission Critical Systems area, which this year seemed to have gained more visibility than in past years – you couldn’t miss it if you were walking down the main aisle upon arriving on the exhibition floor. Of course, having NonStop on the stand was encouraging with Mark Pollans and Roland Lemoine handling the interactions with the attendees. Nearby was Keith Moore who was surprising many attendees with an interesting display of just how versatile NonStop had become while explaining how NonStop was up and running on an HPE Edgeline 4000.

For those looking to this blog for regular updates, it was HPE’s preference for all bloggers to tweet throughout the day and if you missed the activity (and my tweets) just go back to twitter and search handles #HPEDiscover and HPEinfluencer and you will see tweets on all the topics with myself doing the best I could to keep NonStop visible throughout the event. Having said this, I have now returned to adding updates to LinkedIn and of course, there will be even more coverage of HPE Discover in the upcoming July issue of NonStop Insider.

Three items stood out above all else and they proved to be the highlights too of the keynote presentation given by HPE CEO, Antonio Neri. This was expected of course and had been advertised in advanced as being the place to be to hear big announcements from Neri. And no, he didn’t disappoint. However, what surprised many is that Neri began by providing an update on culture and the concerted effort underway to build a culture that revisited the former glory days under Hewlett and Packard and that energized the whole company as it tackled some very challenging projects.

The big news here is the change in culture to where it has become more inclusive, empowering teams to pursue the vision of HPE in ways that produced results faster and it was evident in all the conversations I had with HPE – it’s a complete change from just a year ago. Simply stated, the fear of doing something wrong had completely left HPE and teams were now excited once again by the programs they were advancing. Oh yes, HPE now is a company committed to its partners and to the many channels available to it to get product to market.

So what were the highlights? What were the big stories? After learning that indeed the culture of the company was the soul of the company, once again we heard of data being the new currency of the enterprise. And data was driving everything, make no mistake about it! Neri told us too that HPE was succeeding with its strategy now clearly proven correct and ahead of the market, so much so that HPE was now first in Hybrid sales, first in Hyperconverged deployments (HPE SimpliVity) and yes, first in Composable Systems (HPE Synergy). Addressing the HPE partners who were present, Neri than added how there was now opportunity at the Edge – since acquiring Aruba, it makes the HPE offerings at the edge the best digital transformation partner for you!

Once culture was covered and the presentation moved on to the product portfolio two items stood out. Firstly, there was an update on the vision – Cloud, Edge and Data – with the news HPE was committed to providing everything as-a-Service very, very soon. It will be a challenge but this is where GreenLake comes to the fore and where the announcements were made that GreenLake, which had started out being offered through partners (to enterprises), was being expanded to include robust edge offerings on the basis of as-a-Service as well as infrastructure in general being offered on the basis, too, as-a-Service. This is all part of HPE pursuing a transformation in the economics of products (i.e. the way we consume products) that is up there with the digital transformation of technology and people and processes.

This will be challenging for NonStop users, but the more I heard from HPE, I came to realize the challenge will be for existing enterprise customers. New logos to NonStop, on the other hand, unfamiliar as they will likely be with all things NonStop may find this a good way to begin their NonStop journey. And when you think too of the implications of Hybrid IT, it is almost a certainty that your enterprises will need outside help so I can see the services side of HPE growing significantly, particularly as they are focused on very clear missions with little need to be concerned about legacy as those charged with providing services to legacy IT users have already been incorporated into DXC Technologies. 

The second item that caught my attention was the news that everything running in the data center was to be supported by the edge – if you had your favorite solution overseen by corporate IT expect to see options provided for running that same solution out on the edge. As an aside, for many of us it came as news that out at the edge, increasingly there will be mini-clouds present as really, clouds are an “experience” more so than just a product or technology. Interesting indeed – and a lead in to what HPE is describing as a future that eventually becomes Cloudless. I for one am not expecting to see a HPE Cloudless product line, but anticipate this being a place holder for something big as Neri promised more on an exciting new pursuit at next year’s HPE Discover event.

For the NonStop community, GreenLake may prove worth watching as the prospect of HPE IT, where NonStop has such a strong foothold, indeed becoming a showcase for the comprehensive nature of GreenLake may soon be real as it promotes HPE “eating its own dog food.” However, that isn’t certain but what is more assured is that NonStop will be seen at some point productized and supporting multiple Edgeline products. It’s a real case of showcasing that everything running in the data center will be supported at the edge and there is nothing more reflective of the complexity of the data center than NonStop. Should be interesting to see how HPE builds its go to market plans for such a NonStop offering.

Our bloggers pavilion on the exhibition floor was where the coffee talks were held throughout the event. Perhaps the most impressive coffee talk came towards the end of the event when we were gifted the presence of both the CMO and the CCO – Jim Jackson, HPE’s Chief Marketing Office and Jennifer Temple, HPE’s Chief Communications Officer. As Temple observed even as the change in culture was becoming palpable, “As a company, we believe in getting out in the community; it’s part of our heritage and we are doubling down on it!”

Perhaps closing with this is as good a place as any and to bring together the many threads that made up this year’s HPE Discover event. HPE is executing major pivots – to customers, software, services and to its people; customer first and customer outcomes represent a big change away from the mentality of box sales but as with every major effort looking to become a more confident, leaning-in, organization – it’s going to take more time to see how well the execution holds up, over time. Perhaps most important of all, NonStop still makes it to the final slides of the show – as specialized, mind you - but for the NonStop community, making it onto any slide at this level of presentation is always good news!   


Richard said…
Cloudless? Need more then here's a clue -

Forbes published this by a journalist present at the HPE Discover event, Matt Kimball:

Cloudless does not mean an IT environment without a cloud presence. Rather, it’s reflective of the future state of IT, in which data, applications, workloads, compute, and storage reside everywhere—on prem, hybrid, public, multiple public clouds, and on the edge.

IT has to be able to manage this very complex environment simply, via point-and-click deployment and movement of workloads and applications based on data locality. Furthermore, it requires security from the point of data origination to the transformation into actionable intelligence.

Lastly, it requires a brokering engine that enables IT to quickly determine where data and apps reside based on any number of factors including cost, governance and sovereignty, regulatory requirements, and more.

HPE’s strategy is to deliver the tools that enable IT to break down the siloes that exist between clouds.

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