Responding quickly to fast-changing realities: How HPE updated its Strategic Alliances organization

I really don’t understand how they do it.  At the end of each year … fiscal or calendar … I read about people taking aduncan 1.jpg leisurely retrospective look at the events of the past and an equally leisurely glance at what may lie ahead. If your organization is anything like mine - and given today’s realities, I’m pretty certain it is - that kind of leisurely approach and accompanying “victory lap” would result in getting run over and squashed by the realities of an industry and a marketplace that are moving at hyperspeed … and demanding that you keep up or drop out. If things are changing, we need to react, adapt, and move. Now. No leisurely anything allowed. As Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) President and CEO, Meg Whitman, recently made crystal clear: “We cannot take our foot off the accelerator”

So when the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Alliances team saw both the need and the opportunity to implement a major restructuring initiative back in August of 2015, we moved. The problem wasn’t the results we were getting from the Alliances organization as structured. It’s that we were pretty sure we couldn’t continue to achieve the same or better results with all of the changes occurring in the world around us. without making changes of our own. We were also eager to respond to input from our Alliance Partners who saw clear advantages to making bolder moves in line with the mission of the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise business.

First, we were looking at the separation of HP into two companies – HP, Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Strategic Alliances would be a part of HPE, so we felt that adjustments needed to be made to position our organization and our partners perfectly for greater growth and success within the new company.

Second, we were also seeing major, disruptive changes in our customers’ operations and needs. HPE had evolved its offers to reflect the New Style of IT and the New Style of Business that customers were quickly moving to. We had established 4 Transformation Areas to serve as focal points for providing the right solutions to our customers and a solid growth path for HPE and our partners. It was clearly time to create a structure with and for our Strategic Alliance partners that reflected the new realities and the HPE strategy.  
The new look for HPE Strategic Alliances  
The new structure model we created was different from the old in two major ways:

  1. It encompassed all three Business Groups (BG) of the new HPE: Enterprise Group, Enterprise Services, and HP Software, reflecting the reality that many, if not all, partners deal with all of these HPE BGs
  2. It was structured using a two-team model with one focusing on Systems Integrators (SIs) and the other on Independent Software Vendors (ISV) with different leadership for each group, but reporting to one Executive VP. This reflected the fact that in most aspects - solutions, operations, target customers/go-to-market – these two partner types were different,  

Our plan and strategic intent were to establish a set of identified key strategic goals across partners so that all alliances-related operations and activities would be better coordinated and executed. We also were determined to create simplified relationships that would fully support our alliance partners’ ability to succeed and do business with HPE.

Excellent results to date
Since the start of the HPE fiscal year on November 1, a number of people have had the opportunity to see and evaluate our new HPE Strategic Alliances organization. The results have been universally positive. The recent article titled Hewlett Packard Enterprise Overhauled Its Strategic Alliances Approach, And That's A Good Thing, by Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy is an excellent case in point. He stated that the new approach/organization is:

  • Good for partners:  “HPE now has a single, integrated organization at the pan-HPE corporate level with responsibilities spanning HPE business groups…These strategic alliances extend HPE’s sales reach and provide those partners’ clients more choices which in turn help those companies sell better and offer more products to their clients.”
  • Good for business – ours and partners’: “HPE Strategic Alliances team is differentiated in the marketplace by being true go-to-market business creators and accelerators, not just the standard ‘partner management’ organization.”
  • Ultimately and most importantly, good for customers:  “HPE is recognizing … that no vendor can be all things to all customers.  HPE is planning to both incubate and expand strategic partnerships with ISVs and SIs to best serve their customers through the four key transformational areas … These transformation areas are parts of the biggest trends happening in the enterprise space today that are driving enterprise spending and overall industry thinking.”

Mr. Moorhead concludes, “HPE’s Strategic Alliances has a best-in-class approach to partnership.”    

How HPE Strategic Alliances changes the landscape for YOU
Take a look at the new HPE Strategic Alliances organization for yourself and experience the power it can bring to you. All of the impressive solutions we offer are there to see on the Hewlett Packard Enterprise & Alliance Partner Solutions page on the HPE site.   

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