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HP pitches hybrid IT action plan to partners

HP lays out a plan for partners to create a business practice around hybrid IT, revolving around four key product/services areas.

LAS VEGAS -- Talk is cheap without action. For partners, talk is cheap and without action doesn't address their main concern: profitability. Here on Day 2 of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Global Partner Conference on Tuesday, the vendor rolled out a detailed plan of action for partners to create a business practice around hybrid IT, or an on-demand IT infrastructure -- one of four strategic areas that HP has targeted for its business. The other three areas are big data, security and the digital workplace.

The opportunity for partners is to help customers as they transform their businesses with IT is big: $1 trillion in hardware, software and services. In particular, customers need partners to help bridge from where they are today to where their businesses need IT to be tomorrow, which means operating in two IT environments simultaneously, according to Sue Barsamian, senior vice president of indirect sales with HP's Enterprise Group.

"The on-demand IT infrastructure is the essence of that bimodal operation, where you need to optimize traditional IT while you lay the foundation for the new style of IT. This is the core of the go-forward strategy for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE)," she said.

HP breaks down the on-demand infrastructure into four essential ingredients and four ways that partners can participate: at the software control layer, to enable agile IT operations or the end-to-end orchestration and management of the infrastructure and the applications to deliver the automation and analytics that will transform the IT environment; speed to market with cloud or building a hybrid cloud environment that marries private and public; create an on-demand infrastructure foundation; and delivery of transformation services, that is, by advising, transforming, integrating, supporting and providing financing.

A partner action plan tied to product was laid out for each of the four areas:

Software control layer. HP OneView, HP Operations Analytics, and getting certified to sell software in the company's IT management software portfolio.

"If you want to be a trusted advisor and have conversations with your customers, you need to own the management stack," said Robert Youngjohns, executive vice president and general manager for HP Software.

Speed to market with cloud. HP pointed to a $25 billion private cloud opportunity and advised partners to focus on deploying and managing private cloud. The company said partners should learn about HP Helion CloudSystem with cloud services automation and gain Cloud Builder status; get familiar with Helion Partner Marketplace, which will go live in June, to sell third-party cloud services to complement the private cloud environment; and understand the services opportunities around HP Helion OpenStack and Development Platform.

Create an on-demand infrastructure foundation. Creating an infrastructure matters to the tune of $117 billion, according to Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager with technology services at HP. Opportunities for partners are in storage, servers, networking, and converged and hyper-converged infrastructure: 3PAR flash storage solutions; HP Gen9 server and unified wired/wireless solutions; and HP ConvergedSystem 300 and HP ConvergedSystem 700.

Services transformation. Partners can sell their own services or they can sell HP Services, from an organization with 25,000 certified professional engineers. Partners can tap into all of the transformation areas today by attaching services – such as integration services, support services and flexible capacity services -- to a customer project.

David A. Rush, B2B category manager at Newegg.com, an online retailer of IT based in City of Industry, Calif., attended HP GPC to get a better understanding of how Newegg can better partner with HP. "We need to know how [HP's strategy] translates into getting our sales guys certified and how that translates into the cycle of a sale," said Rush, who also expressed interest in learning more about HP services such as Helion.

Steve Perea, president of Dataridge, an IT services organization based in Boca Raton, Fla., that specializes in security, mobility, networking and storage, brings 30 years of experience in the partner community and a close relationship with HP. He started Dataridge less than three years ago.

"The attraction to HP is the end-to-end comprehensive opportunity," he said. "It allows a smaller company like mine to find impactful spots where I can address clients," he added.

As a newer partner business, Perea sees his company as a fit for some but not all of HP's transformation areas. "Hybrid IT is an absolute," he said. With his extensive product-driven history in the channel, Perea knows he will have to align with the idea of being a more services-led company.

Expect to see HP roll out partner action plans for the other three transformation areas -- big data, security and the digital workplace -- at HP Discover in June.

Next Steps

Day 1 of HP GPC 2015: HP courts partners with new programs

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Not to be cynical, but when it comes to the enterprise space, HP has a long way to go to gain credibility and become competitive.
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