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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.

In many interviews or stories about you, people will talk about the layoffs, the number of layoffs. What's the flip side of that; where are you hiring today? What customer-facing functions are being bolstered in particular?

In the last couple of years most of our reductions in force have been in Enterprise Services in complex European countries, which needed to happen. But as you know, it's very challenging to do that, so a lot of CEOs just don't. But we had to get the cost structure right for Enterprise Services. So a lot of engineering talent is being hired in offshore locations in SAP HANA, for example, our center of excellence for SAP HANA, for which we are I think among the best in the world. It's in the Philippines, in Manila. I mean if you ever have a chance to go to Manila and see our SAP HANA center of excellence, it's stunning. Big installations in Bangalore, Chennai [India], Sofia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica. So we're hiring a lot of very talented executives in these locations.

And you may say they're not customer facing. Actually they are customer facing in many ways because they're doing a lot of the work that the customers count on. We've invested in our go-to-market coverage model. A lot of the criticism of HP was we kept changing the people who were in front of customers, our AGMs or our AEs [account executives], which were the lead for both our services business and our infrastructure business. There's been a lot more stability now at the customers. We're doing a better job of covering the big companies. I remember when I went to the Research Board four years ago, three-quarters of the Research Board CIOs were like: "We haven't seen anyone from HP in three years." That has changed.

When you talk about improving go-to-market, what changes specifically for the customer?

So go-to-market is another word for sales effectiveness, and presales and the technology assistance that a customer gets. We have stability at these big customers, not everywhere, but most places. We also now have a CTO assigned to our biggest customers that can help them think through the underlying architecture that they want to deploy in their environments, whether it's on-prem as I said before or in a virtual or managed private cloud. What is the architectural roadmap that they want to deploy as they try to reduce costs and improve their ability to service business needs?

And then our presales organization, we have beefed that up as well. That is the arms and legs to can do a lot of the spadework with the CTO to help customers figure out what they'd like to do next.


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