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June 18, 2019 |

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Extends GreenLake Flex Capacity Program Deeper into Mid-Market

New offerings target businesses in need of consumption-priced infrastructure with a smaller footprint. They’re accompanied by the first network-as-a-service resources from HPE’s Aruba unit, as well as a forthcoming quoting tool and support chatbot.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise plans to expand its GreenLake Flex Capacity subscription service to accommodate midsize customers with mainstream capacity requirements.

The infrastructure vendor announced the changes to GreenLake, a consumption-priced managed infrastructure program that lets business buy on-premises products on a pay-per-use basis, at its 2019 Discover conference, which takes place this week in Las Vegas.

Introduced two years ago and available through the channel since last June, GreenLake offerings have been scaled until now to the needs of enterprises and midsize businesses with above-average capacity requirements. The new compute, database, private cloud, storage, and virtualization offerings announced today, however, are designed to meet the needs of a broader range of mid-market buyers.

“They really need a smaller footprint for the services,” notes Scott Ramsay, global vice president of HPE’s GreenLake group.

Mid-market end users that wish to house their GreenLake resources in a co-located data center can take advantage of new strategic alliances with CyrusOne and Equinix that HPE unveiled at Discover as well. Either vendor, HPE says, can switch on GreenLake services in as little as 24 hours.

HPE has also added services from its Aruba networking unit to GreenLake for the first time. The new offerings emphasize network as a service, but encompass Aruba’s ClearPass network access control, IntroSpect behavior and traffic analytics, and User Experience Insight remote troubleshooting solutions as well. There’s also a cloud-based network management console designed to provide centralized control over all of those systems. Built-in APIs let users integrate the management interface with third-party administration tools.

Like other GreenLake resources, according to Ramsay, the new Aruba services help businesses avoid upfront capital expenditures, scale quickly in response to increased requirements, and ease management burdens. “We give you more of a turnkey solution,” Ramsay says.

Coming later this year to GreenLake is a new tool designed to accelerate the customer quoting process. Called HPE GreenLake Quick Quote, the system automatically generates an official, binding price, statement of work, and business case for proposed deployments based on a customer’s workload, size, and performance requirements, among other topics. “It allows us to get to a customer proposal in around about five minutes,” Ramsay says. “The customer can sign that contract pretty much there and then.”

In pilot deployment now, HPE GreenLake Quick Quote is set to become generally available worldwide at the start of HPE’s 2020 fiscal year on November 1.

Also introduced today was a new HPE GreenLake Chatbot that partners can use to get answers to GreenLake-related queries. Equipped with artificial intelligence technology, the system is designed to provide increasingly accurate information more rapidly over time as it gains knowledge of what users most need to know and how they tend to ask for it. “As we get more and more users, it starts to get better at understanding the types of questions and answering those questions,” Ramsay says.

According to HPE, GreenLake has a 99% renewal rate. Citing figures assembled by Forrester in a commissioned study, the vendor says that subscribers experience a 30% reduction in capital expenditures on average, as well as 90% savings on support and professional service costs, a 40% boost in IT staff productivity, and a 65% cut in deployment times for new solutions.

At present, GreenLake is HPE’s fastest growing business, with over 600 customers and contracts totaling more than $2.8 billion. Partners have produced a roughly 300 percent increase in channel revenue for the program in the first half of HPE’s current fiscal year. There are currently about 400 GreenLake resellers.

“We’ve seen huge growth in the channel,” Ramsay says. “All the indications are that the acceleration that we’ve seen through the first half is likely to continue.”

The latest additions to GreenLake won’t be the last, he continues. “Our goal with GreenLake is to absolutely make it one of our primary routes to market as a company,” Ramsay says. “We’ll basically be looking at a number of ways to extend the reach of GreenLake into other markets.” Those will probably include the introduction of vertical industry solutions, he adds.

Resources targeted at small businesses, however, are not currently on the GreenLake roadmap. “At the moment, we don’t have a plan to go lower than what we’re announcing today,” Ramsay says. The company is open to reconsidering its intentions if demand for GreenLake at the lower end of the SMB spectrum exceeds expectations, but Ramsay considers that scenario unlikely.

“The challenge that we have is that once you get into consumed services with dedicated infrastructure, the economics for the customer and for us tend to be a bit more difficult,” he says. “There’s other offerings that we have that we think meet the needs of the ‘S’ of the SMB better.”

In particular, he notes HPE offers subscription programs that supply hardware, services, and technology upgrades at regular intervals for a flat monthly fee.

The vendor announced enhancements to its Tech Pro Community and Marketing Pro Academy yesterday, as well as the launch of an all-new Sales Pro Community.

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