Re: HPE ranked #1 for social media. Makes Microsoft Digital Marketing Excellence Top 50 again!

This is big. Fifty Five and Five analyzed the websites, blogs and social media efforts of 39,000 Microsoft partner companies across the Partner Network in 2019 to create its Digital Marketing Excellence Top 50. Hewlett Packard team.jpgEnterprise (HPE) made it into the Top 50 … out of 39,000 companies studied, mind you. If that’s not impressive enough, our #HPEMSFT social media program earned the highest score across the entire Partner Network.

It’s definitely a badge of accomplishment for us, clearly demonstrating two important marketing strategies that one might not associate with an 80+ year old company like HPE:

  1. With digital transformation, we understand that “social” is becoming the most important and appropriate engagement to get the message out to target audiences. Traditional marketing assets like brochures, eDM, newsletters assets still have their place for our traditional customer based but today are outpaced by relevant digital marketing assets like real time social media posts, social videos, blogs. These offer a new way to access, share and discuss the information with peers, colleagues and relevant influencers in a much easier way, allowing exchanges, conversations and interactions.
  2. We have succeeded in creating a social media program with our Strategic Partner, Microsoft, that has been impactful, first by broadcasting information and news every day and second by reaching an impressive number of customers, partners and employees around the world. Key elements of the program include the association of digital IT influencers delivering continuously digital assets, an internal social employees training and coaching program, an up-to-date and modern website, a dedicated blogging engagement and an ongoing measurements of activities with dedicated KPIs. In 18 months, we managed to get thousands of people engaged from more than 80 countries around the world using our unique #HPEMSFT hashtag.

Yet our Digital Marketing efforts should come as no surprise to our partners and customers.  HPE’s focus has always been to provide customers with the best possible service. That starts with getting our message across in a way that engages and excites, whether that message is about our solutions, our partners’ or both.

 Quick to move to get results

After getting in my role leading HPE Microsoft Alliance Marketing globally just over a couple of years ago , it quickly became clear to me that digital was the way to go, I began bringing together the key elements of a strong digital marketing function.  Our alliance web site is constantly updated with our own material, plus videos and podcasts from Microsoft and recognized social media gurus. I enlisted Greg Chabot, who had been managing our blog site since 2014, while also creating weekly social media posts for our many key alliance partners.

The final and perhaps most critical move occurred in 2018 when I began our association with @TechNative and @Social_4U. This brought us the services of Dominic Halpin and Stephane Bureau, 2 digital IT influencers who bring not only their audiences but also their social knowledge, best practices, speed and agility. On a day- to-day basis, they consistently deliver new additional digital assets, posts, blogs, podcasts, social videos, and live photography during events, thereby complementing strongly the corporate HPE assets. Other key contributors to the spectacular expansion of our social media campaigns include:

- Building and training a worldwide team of HPE and Microsoft experts making them feel comfortable in posting articles and joining conversations on both on Twitter and LinkedIn as part of their daily routine.

- Establishing a single unifying hashtag - #HPEMSFT – and making sure it was used in every tweet and by every member of the Microsoft Alliances SoMe team, as well as all other team members involved in social media. This approach was so effective that #HPEMSFT was often the #1 hashtag related to Microsoft across numerous events and activities.

- Ongoing Microsoft related posts to the @HPE_Alliances account covering all aspects of our alliance with Microsoft.

- Great cooperation from the HPE – Microsoft Alliance teams in SoMe, either by retweeting existing tweets or generating their own

- Closely involving the HPE Social Media team, especially Diana Zavala from ''@hpe_HybridCloud"

Our quick and effective creation of a digital marketing program has taken us from way down the list of companies in the fireworks.jpgFifty Five and Five Digital Marketing Excellence list only a few short years ago to well into the list’s Top 50 both last year and this.  Winning the top spot in social media was especially gratifying for all the great people involved in this initiative.  .

Appreciated by Microsoft and customers

Microsoft finds significant value in the Fifty Five and Five Digital Marketing Excellence report:

“This report is a great resource for partners looking for examples, case studies and best practices from their peers. By comparing websites, blogs and social media practices, partners can see how their marketing efforts compare to benchmarks set by the best in the Microsoft Partner Network” – Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft

Our mutual customers also appreciate our efforts to provide them with the latest and best information in the format and approach they prefer. We understand the importance of our social media channels and our connection with our customers.  It’s a cost-effective way of engaging our audience, creating conversations, generating leads and ultimately converting those leads into new customers.

According to Stephane Bureau, Founder and CEO Social_4U: “18 months ago, we build an ambitious social program combining external and HPE internal strengths based on a set of complementary resources people. We remain astonished by the success of this program which requires a tremendous commitment to make it happen, as well as a strong collaboration with the HPE Microsoft Alliance team members from both companies and joint partners. This success is also based on a fantastic 32 years partnership between HPE & Microsoft, two biggest IT players with an exceptional portfolio of solutions and Go-To-Market. HPE and Microsoft have constantly proven themselves able to adapt to new market directions and confidently position themselves at the forefront of the market. This SoMe initiative is yet another case in point.”

But our favorite part is creating and sharing content that our followers find valuable. This not only helps our brand loyalty and increases traffic to our website but creates a positive image of HPE. It’s hard to put a price on that. Judging by the results of the Fifty Five and Five report, we are achieving that goal – for us, for Microsoft, and for our mutual customers.

See the results for yourself

The 2019 edition of the Digital Marketing Excellence Top 50 report from Fifty Five and Five will be released this July at Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas. The report is free, and we are looking forward to grabbing our copy.  You can pick it up in person at the Fifty Five and Five booth #616 on July 14. Or register now for your digital copy at Fifty Five and Five’s website.( This year’s report includes profiles of the best performing partners, as well as interviews, insights and case studies from industry experts, including:

  • Foreword and interview from Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft
  • Insights and key findings from the thousands of partners analyzed by Fifty Five and Five

And I look forward to seeing you at Microsoft Inspire where we can discuss the report in person and see what our proven commitment to … and success in Digital Marketing can do for you. Also,  be sure to look for #HPEMSFT and visit the site to keep up to date and in touch so we can help your business achieve success now and into the future.

Urs Renggli


About the Author


Urs Renggli is the Global Marketing Lead for the Microsoft and SAP Alliances, directing all aspects of HPE's global alliance marketing strategy and partner marketing. He is responsible for developing and implementing end-to-end sales and marketing Initiatives and programs. Urs has spent a number of years at both HPE and Microsoft and understands both the power and importance of this strategic alliance in terms of the solutions it delivers to customers.


That is really awesome actually, however it has been 2 years since it happened. I could not yet find anywhere the results for the previous year, 2020. Have you been as successful in social media as you have been in 2019?!

Thank you Xenogenesis,

I can confirm that there is a now a weekly ranking, showing the latest position in realtime: 

The Top 50 Microsoft Partners