Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) this week committed to making its entire portfolio of offerings available as a service by 2022.
HPE as of a late has been enjoying considerable success selling a managed service, dubbed HPE GreenLake, that is based on instances of VMware or Nutanix software running on hyperconverged infrastructure from HPE.
At the HPE Discover 2019 conference, HPE CEO Antonio Neri made it clear a cloud-centric services approach will be applied to every platform the company sells.
“The cloud is not a destination, it’s an experience,” says Neri. “HPE will be a consumption-driven company.”
Neri also revealed that HPE also has $2.8 billion in GreenLake services revenue under contract.
Managed services provided by HPE can, of course, be resold by partners. However, the control plane for those managed services currently resides in data centers managed by HPE. The company doesn’t make it possible for managed service providers to leverage that control plane to create their own managed service for HPE infrastructure. It’s not clear to what degree the prospect of competing directly with HPE may be pushing MSPs away from HPE infrastructure in favor of rival platforms from Dell Technologies, Lenovo, or white boxes they either build or acquire from a distributor.
What is certain is that as IT continues to become more complex there are more organizations than ever willing to consume IT as a managed service. The challenge many traditional MSPs now face is that as demand for managed services increases they are competing directly with much larger entities such as HPE that have both considerably larger sales and marketing budgets.
HPE is, of course, still committed to channel partners. At the HPE Discover conference, the company launched a HPE Sales Pro Community and the expanded the HPE Tech Pro Community and HPE Marketing Pro Academy to provide a uniform set of tools, training, resources and support mechanisms for partners along with committing to provide partners with access the same learning and collaboration opportunities as HPE employees.
But the irony of HPE’s commitment to managed services remains. Many MSPs have been waiting decades for managed services to finally be broadly embraced only to now find themselves potentially overwhelmed by vendors that historically have spent most of their time and efforts trying to get organizations to buy and manage IT on their own versus consuming it as a service.