Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced extensions to the HPE Partner Ready Program intended to increase the adoption of a managed HPE Greenlake service among small-to-medium businesses (SMBs).
HPE has been enjoying notable success selling a managed instance of its servers to enterprise customers. Now HPE wants to extend the scope of that effort into the SMB space by rewarding partners with relationships in that sector for reselling a service provider by HPE rather than reselling servers and associated storage systems, says Jesse Chavez, vice president for worldwide channel sales and partner program at HPE.
HPE Greenlake comes in two forms. Customers can sign up for a subscription model, or they can pay for how much capacity they use based on metering software that HPE has baked into the Greenlake platform.
In contrast to an enterprise-class instance of the Greenlake service that in terms of pricing starts at about $400,000, Chavez says entry level pricing for an SMB instance of HPE Greenlake will start somewhere between $200,000 to $300,000.
Chavez says HPE already has about 500 partners reselling the enterprise edition of HPE Greenlake, which shows the model for employing the channel to resell a managed service provided by a vendor has already been proven. Thus far, HPE has 740 HPE Greenlake customers worldwide with revenues for the platform growing 300% on an annual basis. HPE is looking to increase the number of partners reselling Greenlake by providing access to an instance designed specifically for SMB customers, says Chavez.
To make it simpler for partners to resell HPE Greenlake, HPE also announced today it has developed an HPE GreenLake Quick Quote tool to cut the time to generate a proposal to just a few minutes. The Quick Quote tool keeps track of previously approved requests for special pricing to enable similar requests to be approved faster, says Chavez. HPE intends to make that capability across its entire portfolio, adds Chavez.
HPE is all ensuring partners will receive special pricing from the day of onboarding and is providing additional incentives to partners that either land new customers or sell innovative solutions to existing customers.
Finally, HPE is making the HPE Tech Pro Community open to all partners and is making demos of HPE Greenlake more accessible along with e-learning tools to enable partners to become certified. HPE is also created additional hybrid cloud certifications that it will reward partners with additional margins for achieving.
Over time, Chavez adds HPE will extend the appeal of Greenlake by also moving to make available managed instances of application software from providers such as SAP. HPE has also already committed to making instances of Kubernetes available on Greenlake as part of a previously announced alliance with Google, adds Chavez.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Greenlake service is there is no such thing as a refresh cycle that channel partners need to monitor for each customer, says Chavez. IT infrastructure is continuously upgraded as part of the service provided by HPE, which Chavez notes is one of the things that make HPE Greenlake as a service so “sticky” within a customer’s IT environment. Customers are also given the option of running either HPE Simplivity software or alternative software stacks from VMware or Nutanix.
The biggest challenge partners face when transitioning to that model is, of course, the impact transitioning to a recurring revenue stream has on the partner’s business model. As HPE continues to transition to an Everything as a Service model, Sanchez says HPE is committed to working with partners to help them make a similar transition.
Despite all the hype surrounding public clouds, Chavez notes IT modernization initiatives within on-premises IT environments are expanding. Many customers have discovered that running certain classes of workloads in the public cloud is considerably more expensive, which Chavez says is resulting in many customers starting to repatriate workloads from the cloud to on-premises IT environments. HPE has also begun to infuse the HPE Greenlake platform with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that make the platform simpler to deploy and manage.
With 70 to 80% of all workloads still running in on-premises environments, it’s clear that local data centers will still be relevant to channel partners all through the next decade. The only question is to what degree will that opportunity manifest itself as a managed service versus a platform that continues to be managed by an internal IT team.