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Global Partner Summit 2017 - George Hope's take on GPS

george_hope

 

This was my first HPE Global Partner Summit in my new role as VP Global SMB.  Partners play a huge role in the success of HPE in the SMB market, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to talk to partners.  The HPE Global Partner Summit not only provided me with a great opportunity to introduce myself to partners, but it also enabled me to get a real feel for how we were addressing the needs of their SMB customers, understand how they felt about our recent acquisitions, including, of course, SimpliVity, and understand what HPE programs add value to their business.  Key to our discussions was how we can work together to grow our SMB business.

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I was impressed by partners that I met.  It was clear that there was a strong commitment to HPE and that they were excited about our joint future.  All were eager to find out more about our new acquisitions, delve deeper into our strategic focus areas, and share what they need from HPE to assure joint success.

Many of our SMB partners wanted to talk about our Hybrid IT strategy.  They recognized that all of the SMB customers were evaluating their IT environments – looking for ways to simplify, cut costs, close more business or deliver new services.   I was glad to hear that our Hybrid IT strategy was aligned to what their customers wanted, and I received positive feedback when I discussed our SMB solutions strategy.    Many SMBs share common workloads, and our focus on developing solutions, such as HPE FlexSolutions, for our partners to sell resonated really well.  My discussions with partners around  hyperconverged and SimpliVity;  how SimpliVity made hybrid IT simple and provided a higher functioning, lower cost option to the cloud made partners excited to get started selling.  It was good to hear that we were heading in the right direction and I have made a personal commitment to continue to develop solutions that address the needs of the SMB market.

When talking transformation, and Hybrid IT, it is obvious that consume plays a big role in SMB.   Our SMB customers want the flexibility that cloud models provide – they want pay-as-you go options, to leverage managed services, and as-a-service options.   Lucky for us, we offer a lot in this space - from Tech Refresh options that allows our customers to have flexible payment for their IT purchases, to multiple subscription options with Aruba Central Cloud and monthly HPE ProLiant Easy Connect, As a Service with HPE FlexCapacity and Aruba Campus Subscription.   What also became clear is that we need to do a better job of sharing the breadth of consume solutions we offer our customers.  Many partners knew of some, but not all.  I view evangelizing our consume strategy as an opportunity for HPE, since this is a definite growth area where we have excellent options.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of my conversations centered around the new acquisitions and the value of the disruptive technologies we have acquired.  There was definitely visible excitement from our partners when we talked about the opportunities that these technologies were going to bring to them.   I was pleased to see that the demo areas where crowded, with both partners and customers flocking to the demos highlighting the new technologies.  When I visited the SimpliVity booth, there was a lot of discussion around differentiation with the demo itself generating a lot of enthusiasm.

We are committed to enabling our partners to grow their business. In SMB, it is critical that we help our partners identify new opportunities, maintain a social presence, and develop collateral that is industry and workload specific.   In addition to our workloads and solutions focus, we are beefing up our customer reference database with a focus on key industries.  We are using analytic tools to help identify customers to jointly target.  The social media center announcement will make it easier for our partners to grow their social presence, a requirement in today’s sales environment.

I came back from the HPE Global Partner Summit energized, looking forward to meeting with more partners, and having a more focused view on how we can add value to their sales process.

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About the Author

george_hope

George Hope is Vice President, Worldwide Small and Medium Business. He brings to HPE over 20 years of technology experience, joining HPE as part of the SimpliVity acquisition, where he was VP, Global Channels. He was named one of the 50 most influential channel chiefs by CRN in 2015 and 2016. Prior to SimpliVity, George spent 17 years at EMC. He was Sr. Director of Global Channels for EMC’s Isilon Division, where he tripled the partner business in 3 years. George also led the US Field Channel team for all product lines from EMC, and has held other Sales, Sales Strategy and Channel Management positions. George holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.