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The new partner program, Partner Ready Vantage, and these updates, point to CEO Antonio Neri’s big channel moves.
June 28, 2022
HPE PARTNER GROWTH SUMMIT — HPE on Monday rolled out a new program to help its partners sell as-a-service solutions. The company used its HPE Discover Partner Growth Summit to unveil several key updates and new programs, all aimed at partner growth. The ecosystem program, Partner Ready Vantage, is to enable partners to stay involved throughout the customer life cycle.
In light of this announcement, partners offered Channel Futures their thoughts on the program.
MSP Growth Coalition Juan Fernandez
“I believe this is a step in the right direction,” Juan Fernandez, co-founder and CEO, MSP Growth Coalition, told Channel Futures. “The mentorship, workshops, and educational aspects of the program pique my interest as there are so many partners that can take advantage of these services. It’s often forgotten that we are not only in the tech business but also in the employee success business. The more educated we [are], the better suited tech employees are at supporting customers needs.”
Fernandez says that the hardest part about as-a-service is packaging and pricing. That’s not to mention if you’re doing this in-house: the financing.
“If we simplify that process, then I 100% agree this will be a home run,” continued Fernandez. “But, if we add layers of complexity, it may be a tough start. Regardless, this is progress, and I feel that over time it will empower the modern solution provider and will become the way of the future.”
Techsperts’ Joe Cannata
“HPE seems to be jumping on the subscription model approach,” Joe Cannata, CEO, Techsperts, told Channel Futures. “While I’m not sure they will compete directly with the Microsofts and Amazons, I can imagine a more packaged and user friendly approach to selling services that could be appealing to partners. I’m interested to see how it plays out and how HPE differentiates [itself] in the market.”
Interesting mention, as we touched on the same phenomenon in our initial coverage of the announcement. Indeed, in recent years, HPE has switched its partner focus from transactional to subscription. This was/has been in an effort to stay ahead of the competition in terms of the growing cloud-computing competition.
For several years, the big vendors, HPE included, have been placing a heavy emphasis on subscription partners as they move away from the old-fashioned transactional model. These vendors have to realize that traditional transactional partners need a little help moving to the as-a-service model, and that partners need those extra service dollars in order to really make significant margin.
“[This is] HPE recognizing that new reality and trying to give partners what they want,” said Kris Blackmon, chief channel officer with channel consultancy JS Group. “Easier said than done. I’ll be paying close attention to see how partners react, and if they’re actually getting those services multiples they’re looking for.”
Other partners cite HPE’s vigorous objective to keep the company relevant in a significantly and constantly changing IT market.
3Nines’ Terry Suellentrop
“I’m glad to see that HPE is trying to get out in front of this instead of lagging behind,” said Terry Suellentrop, CEO, 3Nines Technologies. “The MSP business model is fairly well developed, but hardware manufacturers have been reluctant to get on board. So, this is a welcome change. I’m guessing that this will take a year or so to play out how this works, and whether SMB customers will embrace the as-a service model for hardware.”
SOS Support’s Jason Kidman
“I have heard recently that Microsoft has, or will be, releasing a managed service solution,” Jason Kidman, president, SOS Support, told Channel Futures. “At first, it was a bit intimidating. But then I realized that our clients don’t want Microsoft to be their MSP. The only other solution I would commit to for our clients would be HPE. I do feel strongly that HPE is great quality. I also think everybody wants to get into recurring revenue models.”
During Monday’s general session at HPE Partner Growth Summit, George Hope, worldwide head of partner sales, addressed the shifting landscape and partner/customer expectations.
“As partners evolve their business models to meet the demands of customers today, they need a flexible program that is designed to help them deliver no matter how their customers are choosing to buy or what their priorities are,” said Hope. “HPE Partner Ready Vantage enables partners to participate more fully across the entire customer life cycle and is optimized for our partners’ evolving business needs to accelerate their growth and enable their success.”
We asked partners how HPE’s initiatives apply to their businesses and to their customers’.
“The more we have tried to offer HaaS, or even leasing options via third parties to our clients, the more I see our clients not wanting to do them,” added Kidman. “Is this because they want to capitalize their investments for tax purposes? Do they feel like they get a better deal buying up front? Either way, the adoption on our end has been minimal — but we haven’t pushed it hard either.”
Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.
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