Tech Prediction 2022

Powering Digital Transformation

Amer Warsi, Director Channel, SMB & Ecosystem, HPE India

While staying focused on data-driven technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and simulation modeling, HPE is empowering organizations to redefine their environments and better compete.

The Cloud industry has been gaining momentum over the last several years. But the Pandemic and the ensuing shift to online operations and massive adoption of work-from-home-culture and online learning gave it a much needed shot in the arm. As the India market remains in the eye of a major digital transformation buoyed by a tech-centred Union Budget, SME Channels embarks upon recording the voices of the who’s who of the Cloud scape.

As part of our effort to make the voices of major cloud players heard by the channel community, we have brought in this for you as first of a series of Cloud Predictions by major vendors.

Here, in a special interaction with SME Channels, Amer Warsi, Director Channel, SMB & Ecosystem, HPE India, reveals his organization’s strategy for growing the cloud industry, his predictions for the industry in 2022 and his vision and plans for the channel community. Edited excerpts…

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“We are seeing an accelerated trend of hybrid cloud adoption where the traditional resellers are moving to consumption business models.”

Amer Warsi,
Director Channel, SMB & Ecosystem,
HPE India

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The pandemic has forced businesses to take a giant leap to go online. As a leading cloud player, how do you plan to leverage the immense market opportunity created by the pandemic?  

The pandemic changed the way we work and live and many of those changes will be lasting for a long period of time. The shift to remote work has transformed businesses, accelerating technology initiatives from enhanced collaboration capabilities and security to automation via artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to IDC, by 2023 90% of organizations worldwide will be prioritizing investments in digital tools to augment physical spaces and assets, and by 2024 55% of all ICT investment will be linked to digital transformation. The enterprise of the future will be more edge-centric, cloud-enabled, and data-driven. HPE is focused on data-driven technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and simulation modelling to help organizations redefine their environments and better compete. In 2021, HPE announced a series of cloud services for the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, providing customers unmatched capabilities to power digital transformation for their applications and data. These innovations further accelerate HPE’s transition to a cloud services company and give customers greater choice and freedom for their business and IT strategy, with an open and modern platform that provides a cloud experience everywhere. These offerings for HPE GreenLake cloud services, allow customers to innovate with agility, and at lower costs.

As a major cloud player, what market trends do you foresee in 2022?  

As the world continues to evolve from pandemic-related impacts, here are the three market trends that will gain traction in 2022. Firstly, we believe that there will be continued explosion of data at the edge, driven by the proliferation of devices and things, which requires secure connectivity. Secondly, there will be a mandate for a cloud-everywhere experience that allows customers to manage data and workloads across a distributed enterprise and lastly there will be a growing need to quickly extract value from data to generate insights and build new business models. All these market trends, as well as increased customer demand for consuming IT as a service, represents a significant growth opportunity for HPE to drive predictable and consistent revenue streams or the future. We are very focused on various market opportunities and are actively investing in both organic and inorganic innovation to ensure we capitalize on these across all the market segments

Please shed some light on your cloud offerings.  

In 2019, we announced that we would make our offerings available as a service by the end of 2022, and we are delivering on our commitment by bringing the cloud experience with a flexible consumption model to HPE technology solutions across compute, storage, and networking. In 2021, We have significantly advanced our strategy to become the edge-to-cloud company offering everything as a service. We now deliver unique, open and intelligent technology solutions as a service – spanning Cloud Services, Compute, High Performance Computing & AI, Intelligent Edge, Software, and Storage – with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, designed to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. Our HPE GreenLake platform accelerates multi-gen IT transformation through a unified cloud services experience that enables customers to access, control and maximize the value of all their workloads and data. It is an open, secure, fully integrated platform that brings a unified experience across the edge, data center, colocation, and cloud. It is automated and easy to consume with capacity available to scale up and down on demand. It offers true pay per use consumption so customers only pay for what they use, and they can have the entire hybrid cloud experience managed for them through our HPE GreenLake managed services offering.

In 2021, HPE announced a series of new cloud services for the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, providing customers unmatched capabilities to power digital transformation for their applications and data. This represents HPE’s entry into two large, high-growth software markets – unified analytics and data protection. Together, these innovations further accelerate HPE’s transition to a cloud services company and give customers greater choice and freedom for their business and IT strategy, with an open and modern platform that provides a cloud experience everywhere. The new offerings, which add to a growing portfolio of HPE GreenLake cloud services, allow customers to innovate with agility, at lower costs, and include the following:

  • HPE GreenLake for analytics – open and unified analytics cloud services to modernize all data and applications everywhere – on-premises, at the edge, and in the cloud
  • HPE GreenLake for data protection – disaster recovery and backup cloud services to help customers take ransomware head-on and secure data from edge-to-cloud
  • HPE Edge-to-Cloud Adoption Framework and automation tools – a comprehensive, proven set of methodologies expertise, and automation tools to accelerate and de-risk the path to a cloud experience everywhere

What is the USP of your offerings? 

The key USPs of our offerings include the ability of the customer to retain control and exercise choice around the IT Infrastructure and other solution components. Our customers can flexibly choose the way they can consume IT services and also the quantum of services to be consumed. Using our cloud platform, they can also monitor the consumption of various IT elements, derive insights from the same and use these data driven methodologies to intelligently deploy workloads across various cloud platforms within the organisation thereby driving a lower IT cost envelope.

What major channel trends for cloud would you forecast for the year 2022?  

We are seeing an accelerated trend of hybrid cloud adoption where the traditional resellers are moving to consumption business models. As a result of that they are looking at upskilling themselves, acquiring new skill sets/capabilities around workloads, managed services capabilities, service delivery capabilities. A partner who is more skilled in these areas will be more qualified to work on the evolving cloud requirements in the market.

There are a lot of third-party applications – software/hardware available where HPE/OEMs like us may not have the expertise, hence going forward we foresee the resellers to have that expertise and deliver all those services.

We will also see partners getting involved in co-delivering and co-selling along with the OEMS, we will see this trend emerge as we progress. We will also see partners delivering part of the services along with OEMS and co selling the same.

The partners will be required to act as a Systems Integrator (SI) and not as a simple reseller for providing end to end solution to the customers. That means they will have to stitch all the components whether it is OEM/services part/selling part of it or delivery part of it and be one single point of contact.

The partners are also seen investing significantly, a lot of them who have funds are acquiring small players in both public as well as private cloud space.

What all a channel partner needs to have to adopt cloud business and what are the steps to start cloud practice? 

The most important & the first step for a channel partner or reseller to adopt cloud business is the conviction to transform from a traditional business model to a recurring revenue business model and that’s the biggest risk that the partners see today. But it is also the biggest opportunity as the recurring revenue models provide partners / resellers visibility to their future revenue streams. Hence the partners need to acquire skill sets to stay relevant and align to the market requirement and continuously look out for what customers are asking for in order to be future ready.

Enablement and training is key to transformation from traditional selling style to cloud adoption. The channel partners need to go through 360-degree training when it comes to technology/infrastructure, platform, and applications respectively. They will be required to develop subject matter expertise around frequently moving workloads for example SAP, VDI, AI/ML Ops as a service, HPC as a service etc. The discussion around cloud will also require end to end understanding of integration with the other OEMs/software vendors/third parties which will be solution requirement, such enablement’s are key for the partners to continue with the business momentum.

Another key element for partners to adopt to cloud business is to have managed services – sales and delivery capability.

Would you please brief us on the kind of service support you extend to your channel partners? What sort of pre as well as post-sales support do you offer to your partners?  

Partners form a core entity in the process of bringing to life an organization’s business strategy and help them reach their end customers. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has been at the forefront in making their partner experience a customized and a seamless one. With partners being a huge value add in terms of amplifying an organization’s reach with their targeted customers, HPE believes that they are an extension of their partner’s sales force and thrive on the concept of ‘Partner’s success is our success’.

HPE has a world class partner community enabling our customers to transform their businesses with new levels of speed and innovation. HPE’s partners play an essential role in both shaping and executing its strategy to become an edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company.

  • To help partners grow their business, we have the HPE Market Development Fund (MDF) Program – an industry leading program which helps boosts their marketing and sales initiatives with discretionary investments from HPE.  We make these funds available to select HPE partners for sales enablement and marketing activities that drive demand and pipeline for HPE products, solutions, and services. Through this program, we also prioritize MDF investments to support partners and activities that delivers mutual growth in HPE’s strategic areas for the channel.
  • We have the HPE Partner Ready Program which allows partners to capitalize on opportunities and innovation. We reward our partner’s investment in aligning with our strategy by them seize margin-rich opportunities through HPE Partner Ready compensation, that spans our portfolio from HPE GreenLake (17% rebate) to storage (accelerators) and Membership Acceleration.
  • The HPE GreenLake central is one of its kind platforms in the industry which helps give an integrated single pane view of the hybrid cloud at the end customer location using a single console. The partners get a view of complete consumption analytics and proactively can act on the customers requirements.
  • The Commercial tool like GreenLake Quick Quoting (GLQQ) helps partners to get a quick access to the commercial requirement of the end customer. Using this tool, a partner can generate quote for a requirement in a much-improved turnaround time. This finally results in overall customer satisfaction with the response time.

HPE has been consistently rated as being the most partner-oriented organization in the industry year after year. This is an outcome of having a very robust partner program that is mature and is continuously improvised to incorporate all the market shifts and trends.

Since cloud is a tech-intensive product, it requires proper skilling. Please detail us on the training programs offered by you to upskill your partners.  

HPE Partner Ready is HPE’s program for partners globally. It provides enablement resources, incentives, and tools to drive revenue growth and partner investment. It offers a unique, personalized approach to learning that helps partners differentiate themselves in increasingly competitive markets, grow their business and drive joint success with HPE.

We also have online tools like Seismic that provides a lot of information around GreenLake capabilities and around workload requirements for the partners.

We do periodic monthly enablement sessions for partners for taking them through the commercial tools, in terms of right positioning, training them on new updates and new bundles that we are launching in the market.

We also organize a two-day transformation workshop which is driven from worldwide. This training program is designed for few select large partners who are willing to go through transformation.

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