The Cloud Experience Everywhere

As-a-Service IT: 3 Reasons to Choose a Solution that’s Time-Tested, Tried and True

It’s been about ten years since HPE first developed a consumption-based model for IT, which has since grown into our HPE GreenLake family of as-a-service offerings for on-premises, cloud, and edge. I’m very familiar with the timeframe, because I led the effort to consolidate our initial offerings, mostly home-grown metering scripts and portals, into a single solution that we launched worldwide about eight years ago. That time has absolutely flown by, for me personally – but it’s an eternity in IT years.

In that time, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in as-a-Service IT across industries. We’ve also seen other vendors entering the market and claiming (with varying degrees of accuracy) to provide true consumption-based solutions. But I don’t think anybody has claimed, or can claim, that they can match the extensive experience that HPE has gained in this type of offering. That’s a vital point for any business to consider before moving to on-prem, as-a-Service IT, because it means that HPE can offer at least three decisive benefits:

Deep understanding of customer needs:

Most businesses these days have a cloud strategy. Companies vary quite a bit, from those that simply want to move some workloads to public cloud but are not sure what to do about it, to those with a very defined hybrid cloud approach. Most fall somewhere in-between. Nearly every organization that we work with understands that public cloud is not necessarily the answer for everything, and that a hybrid strategy is typically best. HPE has been a hybrid IT vendor for many years, but companies don't tend to talk with their trusted hardware sellers about their cloud strategy. So what we had to learn, over time, was how to engage customers properly in this type of discussion.

We learned that you can't lead with the hardware. At HPE, we realize that as-a-service IT calls for a different kind of conversation, on the customer’s side as well as the vendor’s. What are the business goals that are driving you to public cloud? Which workloads do you want to keep on-prem? How do you want to structure capacity? Once we understand those drivers, we can start getting a sense of the right mix of public versus private cloud deployment. We can demonstrate how HPE GreenLake gives customers the answer that's right for them.

With ten years of experience under our belt, working with customers of all sizes and various types of business models, HPE has developed a wealth of insights. We’ve acquired a kind of accumulated organizational wisdom that newcomers to the consumption market will find very difficult to replicate.

Broad, field-tested knowledge and expertise:

As we’ve learned more about what companies are looking for in pay-as-you-go IT, we’ve been working hard to extend our leadership in the sector. We’ve steadily developed our own IP and acquired several companies that brought differentiating technology and expertise to our HPE GreenLake offerings. We’ve learned how to design hardware, software and services tailored to specific workloads and use cases in the context of a consumption model: How do you switch correctly between on-demand capacity and reserved capacity? What's the right process to manage capacity as workload demands grow or shrink? What are the right architectures? What kind of metering tools do you need?

As far as metering, in particular, I think it’s fair to say that our competitors are lagging far behind HPE. For example, earlier this year one vendor announced an as-a-Service offering based on electricity consumption – the most rudimentary of rudimentary metering. As Paul Zinn pointed out in a recent post (How HPE metering technologies deliver a better way to consume IT), kilowatts-per-hour has very little relevance to the workloads or the business outcomes that businesses are trying to drive towards. HPE GreenLake, in contrast, provides fine-grained, fully transparent metrics that enable you to manage capacity easily, reduce over- and under-provisioning, and accurately align costs to usage.

Strong partner relationships.:

No single company can offer all of the workload solutions for a comprehensive consumption-based portfolio, so it’s crucial to select the right partners and nurture those relationships carefully. Which is something more easily said than done. It’s not just a question of designing the overall architecture of the solution. You also need to understand exactly what the partner brings to the table and how that translates into consumption units. Then you have to design the right commercial terms for the customer, the partner, and HPE.

You also have to figure out the division of responsibilities. For example, who's responsible for which professional services? If you have a complex software stack to be set up, is HPE going to handle that, or a third party? Or a blend between the two? You have to be crystal clear on the handoffs so that the experience for the customer is completely seamless.

It’s a specific set of skills, and one that takes time and experience to acquire. We’re proud of our partnerships with SAP HANA, EDB Postgres, and other industry-leading solution providers, and we believe this is one more area where HPE GreenLake can claim a substantial lead over competitors.

Start small and grow

As Don Randall noted in a recent blog (Defining the Next Chapter for the IT Industry), HPE GreenLake is rapidly gaining momentum in the marketplace, with over $3 billion in total contract value, more than 700 customers, and a 99 percent renewal rate. The IT leaders I talk to about on-prem, as-a-Service IT are sometimes understandably hesitant to adopt a relatively unfamiliar approach, but they feel a lot more comfortable when I share those statistics.

Still, and quite rightly, they want to know not just “does this work,” but “does this work for me?” My answer is that with HPE GreenLake, it’s easy to start small, with a relatively low-risk use case. What we find is that once a customer is comfortable with the results of that first initiative, at least 50% of them grow their HPE GreenLake footprint to build on that success. It’s just one more example of the value of experience.

Read more about how HPE GreenLake can help you mitigate risk, reduce costs, and simplify your IT environment.

Related posts:

5 important questions you should ask consumption IT vendors

Don’t Fence Me In: Why Breadth of Choice is Essential for Your Pay-as-You-Go IT Solution

Defining the Next Chapter for the IT Industry: On-Premises IT as a Service

How HPE Metering Technology Delivers a Better Way to Consume IT

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About the Author


Scott is the VP of Consumption & Managed Services. He has worked in a variety of strategy, supply chain and finance roles. He is based out of Scotland in the UK.