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Meg Whitman: "In the new style of business, speed really is what it's all about."

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By: Ronda Swaney.

Despite a failing voice due to bronchitis, Meg Whitman clearly outlined the common thread of HPE Discover 2015 London in the first general session: Speed.

"Success in the world favors companies that can invent and reinvent at warp speeds, companies where IT and the business are actually inseparable, fueling new customer experiences and new models to deliver and pay for products and services. That's why we decided to take on the enormous task of separating HP into two new companies, an undertaking that required not only massive scale but incredible speed. To help you get faster, we had to get faster ourselves...Because in the new style of business, speed really is what it's all about." 

Agile. Innovative. Fast. Those words were rarely used to describe the old HP. Things have changed. The new Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has embraced speed as the new order of business.

Whitman called on her management team to expand on this theme. First was Peter Ryan, managing director of HPE Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): "Time to value is still your biggest enemy and your greatest opportunity. You have to ask yourself, how quickly can I capitalize on a new idea? How fast can I respond to a new competitor that threatens my business? There's some good news here for established companies. The same technologies that make it easy for new companies to get started also enable enterprises to increase their speed, adapt quickly to changing business models, and achieve faster time to value...To help you accelerate your digital transformation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has refocused on delivering solutions to four critical transformation areas that address the most important issues facing you today."

John Hinshaw, chief customer officer at HPE, pinpointed the four critical areas of focus for the new style of business.

1. Transform to a hybrid infrastructure

Hinshaw reminded the crowd that until recently, "You bought all the servers that sat in your data center, you bought storage, you bought networking gear, you bought applications, you stood up applications in house."

That's no longer how IT is purchased or consumed. IT infrastructure now comprises a mix of private, managed, and public cloud, and on-premise hardware.

Tied to this critical area was the launch of HPE Synergy, a platform optimized for both traditional and cloud applications for enterprises that want the benefits of running a hybrid infrastructure. HPE Synergy uses fluid resource pools, software defined intelligence, and a unified API to help businesses find the right mix of traditional and cloud IT resources. (See Ric Lewis, SVP and GM, Converged Data Center Infrastructure, HPE, discuss HPE Synergy in more detail.)

2. Protect your digital enterprise

Security breaches make headlines almost daily. This makes security a top-of-mind worry for businesses of every size. Concerns used to center on protecting data and apps. Those concerns remain, but there's now the recognition that interactions, no matter where they happen, have to be protected as well.

Hinshaw says tapping into HPE's experience helps protect the enterprise: "Every single day we see thousands of customers and where they're vulnerable. We pull that knowledge to help you find where you're vulnerable...to help you remediate your vulnerabilities."

For more on this, see Sue Barsamian, SVP and GM of Enterprise Security Products Group, HPE, describe the HPE Enterprise Security products.

3. Empower the data-driven organization

Hinshaw explained, "Every single company has a massive amount of data...data that has to be processed to help us make better decisions."

So far for most businesses, big data has under-delivered, leaving benefits unrealized. HPE has a vision to insert analytics into the everyday problems that enterprises face.

Jeff Veis, VP of marketing, Big Data Platform Solutions, HPE Software was at HPE Discover 2015 London. He recognizes that the phrase "data-driven" isn't new—what is new is the kind of data now available, the scale and speed of its generation, and who is ultimately using big data.

4. Enable workplace productivity

The final focus is on enabling workplace productivity. Workplace productivity is about employees, but it's also about customer engagement.

Dominic Orr, president of Aruba, an HPE company, gave a short history lesson on work/life balance. Work and life used to be completely separate. Work was done in an office on specific equipment. Life occurred in another location and also used specific equipment. With Gen Mobile, work and life occur everywhere, simultaneously, and on the same equipment.

Engagements take place first on apps, and then may or may not move to in-person interactions. User experience dominates the conversation. Users have become unforgiving and will not accept a bad user experience—they'll simply move on. Customers and your employees want to engage when, where, and how they choose. Businesses have to recognize that workplace shift and support the technology that enables it.

Whitman has redirected HPE into a forward-thinking, fast-moving company. But she recognized a common thread that links HP of the past to HPE of the future: "Technologies may change, business models may shift, but one thing never changes for us and that is the importance of our relationships with you, our customers and partners. That was the foundation of HP more than 75 years ago, and it will remain the foundation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise far into the future."

Whether you attended the HPE Discover London event or not – you can catch video replays on all key sessions here.


  • New Style of Business
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