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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.

But it's interesting, we're now watching some of these young companies that started out completely in the cloud, and now you see the cost escalating dramatically. For example, Dropbox, you probably know, built their infrastructure on AWS, and now have moved to a more traditional environment. Not a traditional environment, but they moved to a private cloud, because the cost was high. I think there's going to be an interception here as some of these new companies get to be big companies, global companies, with all the data privacy issues and data storage issues in Europe.

I think you're going to see cloud adoption in Europe, public cloud adoption in Europe, be slower because of data privacy regulations around keeping the data in country. And by the way, we now have to certify that that data is in country.

The ability for an HP-scale company is I think still super-important here. But you raised a good point. The world is changing fast and we've got to make sure that we can help our customers change to the IT infrastructure that's going to be best for them.

HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman
HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. Credit: HP

And I'll tell you a little story, which I think you probably know. About two years ago we started a program called Pathfinder, where we are taking advantage of our position in the middle of the greatest renaissance in B2B infrastructure and security and big data that's happening anywhere in the world. It's right here in Silicon Valley. We basically said, "For those four transformation areas, we've got to partner with some of these young companies and integrate them into our solution so we can offer the newest technology best-of-breed." We just led the financing round for Mesosphere, and so our job now is to help companies understand what DCOS {Mesosphere's Datacenter Operating System}represents and then integrate it into their environment as they transition to a hybrid world.

We are increasingly forming partnerships and making investments in these small companies that we then curate for enterprise scale. A lot of CIOs tell me, "This is all great. There's a new security company being born in Silicon Valley once a week. What am I supposed to do with all these companies? Am I supposed to integrate them all into my environment? How do I know they scale? How do I know if someone will be able to service them?"

So we're going to try to be a curator, if you will, because if we integrate a young company into our solutions, we have to be able to support them globally. We have to be able to break/fix globally. By the way, I think that will make us very relevant to customers. Someone asked me the other day, "But Meg, when you integrate these young companies into the go-to-market powerhouse that is Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, these companies could go from $4 million to $40 million to $150 million to a billion dollars relatively fast and you will only own a small percentage of the company." That is correct. And, by the way, if that's true, we will have increased our relevancy to the CIO and I'm sure they will buy a lot more of the more traditional Hewlett-Packard Enterprise offerings.


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