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HPE Helion Stackato Evangelism: Part 2 Pioneering Cloud Native at HPE



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Guest Post by Tim Clayton, Marketing Business Services

“The CIOs of huge corporations are not naïve. They know their technology and they have companies like HPE, IBM and others pitching new concepts to them almost every day. Their inboxes are full of ideas that never materialize as actual solutions. That is why they have a ‘show us don’t tell us’ policy. The only way to pitch an idea to huge organizations is to make a workable version that shows the solution in action.”

 That was the challenge facing Maciej Piotrowski, Marcin Giebultowicz, and Lech Migdal almost two years ago when they came up with the idea of using a cloud native solution to improve analytic search results for a multi-national fast-moving–goods organization for whom HPE has already provided numerous services. It wasn’t enough to just make a fancy slide show and pitch the solution in the boardroom. What they needed was a working solution that would wow the company and show them the real-time benefits rather than the potential.

But that can be a hard sell when putting together the demo version means investment from your own company just to get to the pitch. ”Luckily we have very forward-thinking people leading our Global Delivery organization, Maciej Bocian in Poland and Mike De La Cruz on the global level. Our bosses are smart people with vision and they were all over cloud native long before it became part of the company’s wider Big Data and Cloud strategy. They gave us the budget to get the app off the ground and provided us with developers once the value of the project became evident,” says Lech Migdal.

What is interesting here is that the investment was not only to make a great app that could be sold. The simple aim of improving Cloud Native capabilities within HPE by having people work on such a project was seen as a good enough investment to justify the whole process.

This is the same story that we told in the first blog of this series. Sometimes the sharing of knowledge is enough. Whether the company makes money from a deal later on is a side note, because the real value is in giving people practical knowledge in the technologies that will shape the future.

What the team ended up with—thanks to Maciej’s original vision, Marcin’s developing skills, Lech’s cloud expertise, and the support of the Stackato Evangelism Team—was OCCO.

On the face of it, the concept is simple. It is an app that helps companies search their records to find the right data for analytics. However, this summary only scratches the surface. It is easy enough to find records when you have half a dozen databases, but what about when a company has multiple data warehouses, each with multiple databases, schemas, and tables? How do you create an app that stops the analytics team from wasting numerous hours digging around for one stat when the data is spread over so many locations and on so many levels?

The answer was to go Cloud Native and get to the root of the problem. To get a feeling of how efficient the final OCCO solution is, let us consider two production data sets that have been run on the app. They total to around 15 billion rows and over 15 TB of compressed data. To handle them the OCCO dictionary structures require only 5 GB of memory!

And so they had it… the first Cloud Native application created within HPE that had real business value and could be deployed on HPE’s own Stackato platform.

And so they succeeded… except the client didn’t bite. They loved the idea but the board didn’t sign off on it. No sale.

“So where is the success story?” I asked Lech. If you don’t sell the product, hasn’t it failed?

This is where Lech needed to spell out for me how being a pioneer works. The first solution may be brilliant but it is not always the big success story. Of course, there are other organizations looking at OCCO and seeing the potential, but the real success is where the first step on that journey takes the company and the people involved.

OCCO garnered a great amount of interest at TechCon and Lech and his colleagues have since been involved in numerous cloud native initiatives for customers around the globe. And developers from around HPE are now beginning to work on big Cloud Native applications and are coming to the Polish team for advice and lessons learnt. The interest and expertise is growing at such a rate that a company which had perhaps less than 50 true experts is now citing Cloud Native as one of the top priorities for the future. Cloud Native training Program lead by Allan De Jesus resulted in over 400 specialists trained in 6 months and ready to get engaged in Cloud Native application development projects.

Being the vanguard is not always easy. You have to fight for the budget, you have to convince people that there is value in your vision, and you may eventually not get the result you hoped for. No matter the struggle involved, what you leave behind is a legacy. Whatever HPE Cloud Native solutions come in the future, we can always say that OCCO was the first. That is the real success story of OCCO. 

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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media brand accounts promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds.I have put my toes in the ocean of cloud evangelism for the enterprise IT industry. But my expertise is in Social Media and Digital Marketing.

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