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HPE unveils hybrid server, targets SMBs via channel partners

HPE has launched a server-as-a-service offering that it will sell through channel partners, which will be able to add cloud services for small and medium-sized businesses.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise today announced the HPE ProLiant Easy Connect Managed Hybrid server sold as an as-a-service offer through channel partners. The new platform targets small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers, educational institutions and branch offices.

The new Easy Connect portfolio offers tightly integrated compute, storage and networking together with virtualization and cloud management software from Zynstra.

"With the Easy Connect platform we've packaged up an offering that allows for a managed hybrid IT environment for partners to deploy at their SMB customer sites," said Hojin Kim, vice president of worldwide channels for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) networking and services.

Similar to larger companies, SMBs have the cloud within their sights, however, unlike larger businesses, many lack the IT resources to sort it all out. SMBs rely on partners to help them understand which workloads to move to the cloud versus which to keep on premises as well as how to think about security, reliability and manageability.

According to Kim, the Easy Connect products are marketed towards partners because of the potential to wrap additional cloud services -- such as Azure services, security or recovery or managed email services, for example -- on top of the hybrid server device to make it a compelling and unique offering for the customer. Or, a partner may add services for application development, application management for specific vertical applications, migration services, on-site support services or IT design services, to name a handful.

"What we're doing here is allowing our partners to be able to transition to a more services-led model. When we talk to partners, we hear that they're more interested in moving away from the bulk of their revenue being driven by traditional product resale and more into migrating into a services-led motion," Kim said.

What we're doing here is allowing our partners to be able to transition to a more services-led model.
Hojin Kimvice president of worldwide channels, HPE networking and services

Up until now, partners often provided services such as firmware updates or software maintenance to SMB customers at no or low margin. Easy Connect automates these types of services, helping to lower a partner's service delivery costs while adding higher-value services.

HPE expects the initial sweet spot for the HPE ProLiant Easy Connect Managed Hybrid server offering to be the sub-100 user market. Kim expects the K-12 education market, a large market in the U.S., to be a strong market as well as enterprise customers with branch offices having 20 to 30 users, with no onsite IT support.

The Easy Connect will be available through distribution in the May timeframe for Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Synnex, D&H, Avnet and Arrow Electronics. Partners can expect product incentives as well as Web training on how to deploy and how to sell the monthly subscription service through distribution. The enablement resources will be available through distribution as well as the HPE partner portal.

HPE also announced today the HPE ProLiant ML10 Gen9 server, an offering in the vendor's portfolio of Gen9 10, 100 and 300 series SMB servers. The new compact server features Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 processor as well as other features that improve the security, performance and total cost of ownership, according to the company. The product is currently available.

Next Steps

Read about HPE's game plan in the hyper-convergence space.

Gain insight into HPE's storage technology strategy.

Learn about HPE's European services catalog for ISVs.

Dig Deeper on Computer Hardware Sales, Installation and Maintenance

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How would a managed hybrid server, sold on an as-a-service basis, fit into your business model?
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Interesting offering, I am interested in knowing what the business outcome conversation would sound like. What is the compelling argument in promoting this offering to our clients ?
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I believe the magic word is recurring revenue for the partner and monthly subscription fee for the customer.
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