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December 2, 2015

HPE Discover 2015: Hybrid IT draws Whitman’s focus

Analysis: A partnership with Microsoft and plenty of focus on delivering transformation.

By James Nunns

HPE’s first major conference since its split got underway at London’s Excel yesterday.

Plenty of focus has been on the company in the build up to the well documented HP split, which saw the creation of HP inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Today’s keynote was a chance for the leadership to assure customers and partners that all is well in addition to introducing some services.

Following a dramatic opening that included a cinematic experience and orchestra, Meg Whitman, CEO, HPE got the show underway.

With Whitman under the weather, her appearance would be brief but would detail the successful split of HP into HPE and HP inc.

Little would be said, hwever, about HP inc. the focus instead would be on HPE and its role in digital transformation.

Whitman said that she hoped that despite the new look and feel, that there would be some familiar things that customers notice.

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"Technology may change, business models may shift, but one thing that never changes for us is the importance of our relationship with you, our customers and partners," said Whitman.

On the split, she went on to say: "We got really good at this type of work, so we’ve created a service that will help." No further details were given on this, but the theme of the show that HPE is in a good position to handle your needs was reiterated.

"I’m convinced that no one has done this kind of work at this type of scale," said Whitman.

The overriding message is that the company can take the lessons it has learnt from its own transformation and apply it to customers who are going through similar transitions.

In terms of products, the company revealed its plans to be a Cloud Service Broker, with plans to allow businesses to provision and access cloud services from a single place. The service will include multiple cloud providers and workloads.

Sticking with cloud, the four execs who took over from Whitman on the stage, ran through the company’s aims in the market, namely hybrid cloud. Although no mention was made regarding the decision to end its public cloud.

Its hybrid cloud strategy is boosted by its partnership with Microsoft, with the two working together as preferred partners to each other. The relationship between the two companies is clearly important, highlighted by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella making an appearance via video link.

Nadella’s appearance delivered the message of ‘together – we mean business’, but apart from reiterating the strength of the relationship, little else was added.

The release of Synergy, a single composable hybrid infrastructure is another element of the company’s hybrid drive, Antonio Neri, GM, HPE, said: "Infrastructure innovation is alive and well in HPE."

Having attended the HP Discover event in Las Vegas earlier in the year, my view is that little has changed for the company since the split.

The relationship with Microsoft could put them in quite a strong position, while its Cloud Broker Service feels similar to Cloud 28+.

The hybrid IT strategy is clearer, and you can see a path forward for the company as it looks to take advantage of on-going business transformation, increasing workplace productivity and empowering the data-driven organisation.




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