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Meg Whitman tells IT leaders everything they need to know about HP Enterprise

John Gallant | April 7, 2016
In this installment of the IDG CEO Interview Series, we asked Whitman to talk directly to IT leaders about what the company split means for them as customers, and how HP Enterprise's new innovation agenda will help them transition to private and hybrid cloud.

I mean these are little components. This Edgeline server, we should like take a picture of one and send it to you. I mean it would fit in the trunk of a car. So whether it's in an airplane or in a medical institution or whatever happens, to me these Edgeline servers, I think, are pretty cool.

We talked about Dell/EMC, but let's look at another competitor, Cisco, for this next generation of infrastructure. Clearly strong in networking, strong in at least a portion of the server market, they have partnerships in storage and could make a bigger play there. They have all the elements. How do you view them as a competitor in that emerging IT architecture?

Obviously their core strength is data centers, switch and networking. And they've done a remarkable job over many years. What we see is there is an opportunity for us in the campus, branch and edge, because most CIOs want an alternative to Cisco. They would like to test out our networking operations in what they perceive to be a lower-risk environment, which is their campus, branch and edge, which I totally get. Right? If your campus goes down, it's okay. If your data center goes down, it's not okay.

But they get to know our data center switching and they get to know our data center capability via the Aruba acquisition, and that is actually working really well. What I say to customers is, "Listen, you need to inject competition into that market, you need to see what the latest and greatest capability is there, because you do not want to have vendor lock-in as you try to reduce your costs and improve your agility over the next number of years."

So I think we've got a real opening there. We're really the second largest, now, networking company in the world, at the tipping point I think -- certainly at campus, branch and edge, and perhaps even in the data center. From a converged infrastructure perspective, I think our HPE Synergy will now launch us ahead of Cisco, and so we've got to go earn that business back.

We're the only company with server, storage and networking under one roof, so we don't have to rely on partnerships, although we do have reference architectures, as you know. So we feel pretty well-positioned there. But they're a very strong competitor and we've just got to keep innovating and keep doing things that make customers' lives cheaper, better and faster.

So I want to ask about private cloud in terms of how long is this a stopgap? Do you see this as an ongoing market or how long is it before people move significantly more of their applications and workload to the public cloud?


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