Advancing Life & Work
HPE-Editor

HPE Tech Talk podcast: The Many Futures of Work, Episode 5

Workforce. Workplace. Workstyle. It's all changed.  Following the pandemic, organizations are grappling with how to create the most effective and safe environment from the office to remote work. HPE’s Rohit Dixit joins us to discuss the technological and cultural impact of a hybrid workplace.

 

 

Also available on:     Spotify    /   iTunes    /   Other podcast apps

 

Transcript

Robert Christiansen:

[0:12] Welcome to the HPE Tech Talk. I'm Robert Christiansen, your host… [0:41] And joining me today is Rohit Dixit, Senior Vice President and GM of Pointnext Advisory and Professional Services. Thank you for joining me today, Rohit.

Rohit Dixit:

[1:42] Good to be here, Robert. Good to speak with you again.

Robert:

[1:52] I want to talk to you today about the state of the workplace, and this very hot topic that we have of late. Before we get into all that, before COVID-19, can you paint a picture for us—what was the state of the industry prior to that

Rohit:

[2:11] Yeah, absolutely, Robert. COVID didn't start something. It actually just accelerated things. Even earlier, you had customers that were very much focused on making sure that their employees were engaged; that they were empowered; that they were emboldened and were able to collaborate. Because there were some basic dynamics in the industry that were taking place around ubiquitous connectivity. And we also had limitless compute power. So if you had the connectivity and you had the compute power, you could get people across the globe to collaborate. If you look at collaboration tools in the last seven, eight months, I think we've seen a pickup on collaboration, connectivity, much faster than probably happened in the decade before that. So you're right. The old line of, "We didn't start the fire," COVID didn't start it, but it has definitely accelerated the pickup on that.

Robert:

[8:07] Rohit, where are you branching out in trying to bring new technologies and collaboration in that workspace, for you personally?

Rohit:

[8:23] Our workplace solution, it comes out of the HP intelligent workplace offering that we're very much focused on. What we've always been focused on, as a team, is around  how do you attract and retain and get the best out of the talent that you have? And how do you optimize and make your existing workplace much more effective? Now, we have to do all of that plus with an increased focus on safety and health of the employees as well. Keeping sort of those as the North Star that we've been working towards, we've introduced actually quite a large set of remote work solutions.

[9:14] One of the big ones is around social distancing, tracing, and tracking, where you can have devices, where, when two people get too close for some social norm some kind of proximity warning.

[9:35] Also looking at touchless entry so that, just for sanitation, that nobody's touching doorknobs and buttons. We're using facial recognition and multifactor access controls for identity verification. Fever detection with thermal cameras, machine learning, augmented reality, and visual remote guidance for being able to assist somebody onsite with the expertise that may be off-site. These kinds of solutions we rolled out in large international airports, global food processing and packaging plants, retail stores, corporate offices. And really what we're trying to do is work with our customers so that we can keep those North Stars in place and be able to integrate with whatever existing solution they have, and then layer on these kinds of services on top of that.

Robert:

[11:11] Let's say that I'm one of your customers and I used to be sort of on board with the workplace transformation narrative before the pandemic hit. Now, I'm looking at to fully modernizing it and to allow my employees to thrive in this new environment. What should I do?

Rohit:

[11:30] I think the first thing you have to think of is putting yourself in an employee's shoes… and thinking about a day in the life of the employee, where they might be doing some work remotely, some work onsite, there might be customer visits. All of that with a great focus on that employee's safety.

[11:58] First is, just to start with probably the most important one, is that comprehensive risk management with safety, security and keeping all of that top in mind while you're optimizing usability.

[12:11] The second one is that bridge between the physical world and the digital world. How do you make that as seamless as possible and how do you make that experience as seamless as possible, so that one can switch from one context to the other as easily as you can?

[12:35] How do you make that, again, movement across the platforms against the various modes of collaboration that you could have? How do you make that also as seamless and as boundaryless as possible? And again, make all of that platform independent, cloud enabled. How do you do frictionless deployment of productivity tools as well?

Robert:

[13:09] One of the things I like so much about working here at HPE, Rohit, is just the aggressiveness we have towards innovation. With that in mind, can you just talk a little bit about what we, as HPE, are doing to help make this happen for folks?

Rohit:

[13:36] I think, I am really very proud of our, what we call the NWI practice, the networking district workplace and IOT practice within the NPS team, because what this team has done is it's really sort of very actively stepped into the problem. It's engaged with customers really quickly. It's innovated very, very quickly. It's taken this as an opportunity to serve our customers in building the new environments… This is all using HP products and the compute storage, networking products, of course, but also using the partner ecosystem, and that could be around Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, what have you, but leveraging all of these partners to really bring solutions to the market and to our customers with great speed.

[14:51] Interestingly, through the course of this pandemic, we recently have been recognized in the IDC quadrant as the only full stack player, which means hardware all the way up to the solutions in their quadrant as being a strategic leader.

Robert:

[15:36] I have to say, Rohit, when I saw the IDC Marketscape Worldwide Digital Workplace Services, I had to say, I wanted to come over there and high five you, but I know you're living in a different part of the country.

Rohit:

And we're not allowed to high five anymore, anyways. [Laughter]

Robert:

[15:58] There's an advantage of being a full stack provider because a lot of the folks that do the similar type of work have to go piece these things together with other systems and vendors and hardware vendors and stuff like that. Personally, I like the fact that HPE offers a full platform, turnkey solution with one phone number to call.

Rohit:

[16:20] I couldn't agree with you more. And by the way, now, now that we can offer it as a service, you're giving the best of the both worlds to the customer, where they're getting a fast, innovative solution with all the flexibility, in terms of the consumption model, which I think if you're not a full stack player, is very difficult to pull off. So I couldn't agree with you more

Robert:

[16:41] So if we're advising the executives there who are looking at any of these type of, what I call advanced workplace, which you call the hybrid workplace transformation, if you could ask them to latch into one thought, what would it be for them?

Rohit:

[17:12] There's a couple of things in my mind, that I think we need to address. The first one being that this sort of rush to remote work.

[17:22] There's a risk in here that everybody thinks that all work in the future will be all remote. I don't think so. I don't think that's very practical. I think in the future, there will be still a hybrid model working with much larger emphasis on remote than we've ever seen. And if we are still in that hybrid model working, we're seeing a very interesting phenomenon here.

[17:52] There used to be a time when company needed to go through a transformation, but IT used to be the slowest to adapt. Those days are long gone. Right now, what we're actually seeing, and definitely seeing it accelerate through the pandemic, is that there is more technology now, and the technology is evolving faster than our people or our employees or their capability to adapt that. Even as we become more hybrid, we become more technology dependent, the adoption of that technology and the adaptation that we're seeing from my employees, I think is where a lot of focus needs to be.

[18:26] Therefore that means that, keeping in mind the management of change of how people now work, how do you make them feel part of a team? How do you make them feel connected? How do you make them feel energized? All those human elements I think are, on top of technology, those are sort of the human element, the people element things, that I would encourage everybody to focus on. And that balance of people, the technology, and the processes that underlie it, just keeping that holistic view in mind and making sure that we recognize that the world in the future will be hybrid, not purely remote, but obviously tilted away from physical workplace, I think is just a balance that we all have to keep in mind and that we will all have to solve for as we go forward.

Robert:

[19:16] I couldn't agree with you more. Prior to COVID, the airline industry, the hotel industry was booming, which means people were meeting face-to-face, they were collaborating, they were doing all that stuff. We had lots of collaboration tools before that, but there wasn't the emphasis as there is like now. Humans need to talk to humans. We like being in the same room. And with each other, there's something that happens with the energy. And I really think that you're spot on there with that balancing. But the key here is that whether I'm working in a remote office, whether I'm working at my home, whether I'm in a coffee shop, whether I'm traveling in an airport or I'm in my main office collaborating with 15 other people or with your team, for example, it should be an easily ubiquitous service. I think what you're doing there, I want to just congratulate you on the success of the team so far.

Rohit:

[20:09] Yeah, thank you very much

Robert:

[20:57] Thank you everyone for joining me. This is Robert Christiansen with the HPE Tech Talk. I want to thank Rohit Dixit, the SVP and General Manager of the Point Next Advisory and Professional Services Group. Thank you for joining me, Rohit. I really appreciate it.

 

Check out HPE Tech Talk series

 


HPE Editor
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

twitter.com/hpe
linkedin.com/company/hewlett-packard-enterprise
hpe.com

 

 

HPE Editor
0 Kudos
About the Author

HPE-Editor