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HP at Microsoft Ignite: a focus on unique interactions


By Steven Fleischman


Three days of non-stop, head-spinning, mind-boggling activity.  That’s the best description I can give for events such as the recent Microsoft Ignite held from May 4–8, 2015 in Chicago.

HP was a Platinum sponsor for this year’s event. When we recap shows like this one, companies like HP usually measure success in numbers. The larger the number of attendees at your sessions or the more visitors to your booth, the more successful the event.  


Ignite HP booth.jpg

But in reality, the true measure of success is not the quantity but the quality of interactions. It is these conversations with individuals or small groups that make the connections that leave a lasting impression and can often signal the creation of a strong relationship that lasts well beyond the four days of the event.    

With that in mind, I’d like to focus on some unique, small-scale/big-impact results I experienced at Ignite.

Getting a handle on Hadoop
In a discussion with a representative of a major financial industry company, we were able to clarify the Hadoop options available to them if they chose the HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Microsoft Analytics Platform. For example, the company could order the CS 300 with an HDInsight option (100% Apache Hadoop distribution from Microsoft’s based on Hortonworks Data Platform). Alternately, they could utilize existing deployment of Hadoop (based on Hortonworks or Cloudera), and query using PolyBase which is available as part of the CS300 for APS, which enables seamless querying of data. This information was important in helping them build the solution that was right for their requirements and applications.  

Providing the right information in a flash
Several large companies stopped by the booth to specifically learn more about 3PAR and our Flash Arrays (AFA). Two of them - a large global equipment manufacturer and a payment processing company – wanted to know what made HP 3PAR better than the competition. Because we had 3PAR experts and equipment on site, we were able to respond quickly and accurately, demonstrating 3PAR performance and capabilities. This is information that will help these companies make a better decision … and that’s always a positive thing.        

Clearing up misconceptions
A public sector customer had not been told by his current vendor that HP servers support Windows 8 Storage Spaces. We informed him that we are supporting Storage Spaces as of March 30 on our HP D-Series Enclosures (D3600 and D3700) and provided him with complete information on those capabilities. He also asked about HP’s software-defined storage solution, StoreVirtual VSA as an alternative to Storage Spaces.

Like the other clients who came to the HP booth or who engaged with HP at Microsoft Ignite, the customers described above came away with answers, ideas, and information that will make it easier for them to select the solutions that are right for them. And that is exactly the type of outcomes HP is looking for.  

We’re game
I’d like to mention one more highly successful HP activity – a contest that supported our “Discover the dark side of your Apps” session. The contest showcased how StromRunner Load can help Azure Developers test their Azure app performance quickly and easily at massive scale. We held a series of head to head Performance Test “Rounds” or “games” with winner advancing to next round. Each round got progressively more challenging. We ended up with 109 participants with many others waiting to try the challenge, but unable to due to a limit of time and stations. We’ll have to bring more stations for the next time! This quote summarizes the positive reactions to the contest:  

“HP gave a great presentation showing how easy it is to do load testing bragging that anyone could do it. They didn’t lie, took no time to learn and execute and this contest proved that”
Joseph Pickering - Manager, Directory Services

You can check out the highlights of this year’s Microsoft Ignite at the event site.  And don’t forget that there are two more events coming up that bring with them more opportunities for unique and valuable interactions with HP

Steven Fleischman has been at HP for 10 years, working on the Mega Alliances - Oracle, SAP and Microsoft - in marketing, business development and channel program roles. In his first position at the company, Steven created the foundation for what became known as the Solution Elite Program, starting with an idea for a channel program to almost $300M in revenue with 28 partners. Currently, Steven is part of the Corporate Strategic Alliances team as an SAP and Microsoft Evangelist. Steven attended Syracuse University and St. John’s University and has a BS in Marketing with a focus on International Marketing.

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