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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.

Well, it really focuses around the four transformation areas that we outlined late last year. The strategy for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is in many ways the same. We want to help people transition to what we call the new style of IT and we're organizing ourselves around four transformation areas that customers basically told us were their biggest pain points.

I'll recap briefly for you. How do we help IT leaders transform to a hybrid [cloud] infrastructure? How do you decide what apps you want locked down in your data center and touched only by your employees? What are you willing to have in an on-prem private cloud, a virtual private cloud and managed by the cloud and in the public cloud? And then how do you orchestrate all of that for the best asset utilization, the most flexibility and the lowest cost?

The second area, of course, is how do you secure your digital assets? We have both a services practice and a software practice there.

Then, how do you empower a data-driven organization? And we have a slightly different take on this because, remember, we have a very big high-performance compute business. We're practically the last man standing in high-performance computing -- only us, Cray and SGI. As the data multiplies, someone has to crunch that data and so we're really focused on the high-performance compute market. We have products like Vertica and IDOL that help gain insights from all that data.

And, finally, empowering a mobile and generationally different workforce. I don't know about your company, but our 50-somethings have a very different point of view on what they want at work than our 20-somethings. And that was of course why we bought Aruba, for great wired, wireless, LAN capability at the campus, branch and edge.

That investment really seems to be paying off.

It was such a great acquisition for us. It was really just like 3PAR, just like 3Com, it was complementary technology that leveraged our go-to-market, and frankly gave us legitimacy in the switch market. Obviously now everyone understands that we're committed to networking and a great alternative to Cisco in many, many instances.

Meg, I want to get into some of those specific product areas in a moment, but I want to explore more of the context here. Let's say I'm a customer that's committed to HP. If I'm concerned about the company no longer being the one-stop shop that it once was, or I'm worried about losing long-time contacts at the company or changes with my service and support, what are you telling customers like me?

Our TS [Technology Services] organization -- which is break/fix -- used to be one organization. But 4-1/2 years ago we actually split TS to support printing and PCs, and then the other half to support our server/storage/networking/cloud initiative. What we found was the skills to service printers and PCs are actually quite different than the skills to service Superdome Integrity X servers running SQL. So that has not been a big change for customers. If they bought our PCs and printers they got one set of TS execs and workforce, and if they bought our data center products they had another.

 

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