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My thoughts on Hewlett Packard Enterprise

CalvinZito

Today is Day 1 of my new company.  Welcome to Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  I thought it would be a good time to share several thoughts I have about the HP separation.  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned something in passing to friends about the HP separation and they didn't know about it.  I'm guessing most of you are aware, but let me start with a brief background.

HP Split Basics

HP announced the split back in October of 2014 in a press release.  Here are a few key highlights from the press release:

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise will define the next generation of technology infrastructure, software and services for the New Style of IT
  • HP Inc. will be the leading personal systems and printing company delivering innovations that will empower people to create, interact and inspire like never before
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise will build upon HP’s leading position in servers, storage, networking, converged systems, services and software as well as its OpenStack Helion cloud platform
  • Meg Whitman to be President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Pat Russo to be Chairman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Board

What's In a Name?

I've noticed that there's a bit of confusion about the name of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  Saying "Hewlett Packard Enterprise" is a bit of a mouthful, when we all want to abbreviate down to the lowest common denominator.  I was talking to a few reporters at VeeamOn last week and "HP Enterprise" was how they referred to the new company.  While that's logical, it's not the name of the new company.  "HP" will only refer to the old company that is HP Inc. 

But folks recognized that in this day of 140 character communications and 6 second videos, we need some form of abbreviation for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  And what was settled on is HPE.  This is also the new ticker that will be used on the stock market.  

(Additional thoughts added after original post).  The Register Twitter account sent out an image that was an email from HPE public relations asking them to correct using HP Enterprise in an article they had written.  The email basically reiterated what I said above: use Hewlett Packard Enterprise or HPE but not HP Enterprise.  I replied saying "It makes sense, no?  Can't have two companies calling themselves HP."  One of the comments I heard back was "If HP/HPE didn't want confusion among customers, they should have thought about names better."  Trust me, people spent plenty of time thinking about the names.  Changing our company name to something completely different - say Joe's IT World or JITW - wouldn't make sense.  We wanted the name of the new company to reflect our history as HP but be different enough from HP Inc to not be confused as the same company.  The fact is that changing any name creates confusion.  I think our corporate people that decided on Hewlett Packard Enterprise nailed it and while HP Enterprise might seem "better", it would create confusion with HP Inc.

What's in a Logo?

I think the new HPE logo is an interesting topic.  You can see the logo at the very top of the web page.  Yes, the logo is the green rectangle. The new logo was revealed internally in the spring. In an employee discussion forum, folks went crazy questioning the simplicity of using a rectangle. I'm guessing over 90% of the comments were negative or questioning it. I was one of them. A rectangle? Really?  My thought was how much did we pay an agency to come up with that.

But over the summer, I was selected to attend a training for the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise brand.  And in that training, they showed us how the brand would come to life. Everyone in the room was pretty excited about it when we saw it used in print and video.  While the rectangle is core, how it is used is impressive. Here's a short video that will give you a good idea.

 

Me Distracted? Are You Kidding or Talking FUD?

One of the comments I've heard from bloggers, podcasters, and competitors is that HP has been distracted because of the split.  I have a two letter answer to that: BS.  Or for those that maybe don't know what the acronym is, another two letter answer would be NO.  Several things for my answer:

  • - The amount of distraction I've personally experienced with the split is almost zero.  I have to order new business cards, I had to pack my desk and move to a new building in Boise that is one of the HPE buildings, and I attended the brand training.  Have you noticed any distractions on ATSB?  No.  So to those who have been pushing that we've been distracted, please feel free to post comments with any specifics you have.
  • - When the HP split was announced last October, HP Storage was number 2 or 3 in mid-range SAN market share.  We are now number 1.  Last October, HP Storage was between number 5 and 10 in all-flash market share. We're now number 2 and have been the fastest growing all-flash vendor since announcing the separation.  I don't know of any "distracted" vendors that could execute like we have in HPE Storage. 

Anyone that knows me personally knows I'm easily distracted.  In fact, while writing this post, I went to my email to find an HPE brand image I could use. An hour later, I remembered the reason I went to email was to find an image.  I operate in a distracted state but the split has had no effect.  Sure, people in corporate and HP IT were spending close to full-time  managing the details of a split. It was no small feat.  But the businesses in HP that are serving customers and the people at the front lines of doing that, we aren't distracted one bit.

Final Thoughts

There is an element of sadness for me.  I've worked at "HP" for over 30 years.  For the first time since graduating college, I work for a different company. Sort of. Since joining HP in November 1983, I've always worked on the enterprise and SMB side of our business. So while my company name has changed, I essentially feel as though I work for the same company I have my entire career. 

My positive outlook on the future of HP Storage, now HPE Storage, hasn't changed one bit and if anything, I'm even more confident. I think the new company will be even more focused on business to business.  And with everything we do as a company focused on that group of customers (and partners), good things will result. Sure, in the changing world of IT, we have much work to do at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and no one is running a victory lap.  But I'm sure there are a few champagne corks popping and lots of very proud HPE colleagues on what we've accomplished and the future prospects we have.

While I don't plan to spend another 30+ years at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, I'm having a great time and enjoying the success we've seen in HPE Storage over the last several years.

Finding More!

Here are a few URLs to help you stay plugged into HPE Storage:

Note: We're still working out some kinks on the new blog site so please bear with us as we resolve those issues, mostly issues with formatting on the new blog instance. 

 

About the AuthorvExpert 5 years.png

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpg

I'm Calvin Zito, a 32 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for 25 years. I have been a VMware vExpert for 5 years. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 7 years. I started my "social persona" as HPStorageGuy but with the HP separation, you can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. You can also contact me via email.

 

About the Author

CalvinZito

I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.

Comments
Sara_Mariani

Great post, and your comments about the combination of sadness and excitement ring true.  Many of my team members were initially sad to be separated from colleagues with the company split. However, this was short-lived, and replaced by the pride of being part of such a historic moment, and excitement about all of the opportunities ahead.  

Zaktales

Hey. A very informative post that also helps some of us who were lost in this whole split thing. I believe the split is for the best as we will have even better storage systems & servers.

CalvinZito

Sara - totally agree! Exciting times.

Zaktales - I'm glad the post helped you better understand and I agree.  The focus that HPE has will benefit customers. 

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