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New HPE Global Channel Chief George Hope Outlines Top Priorities

Cloud, edge, storage and as a service top HPE's channel priorities.

Lynn Haber

October 5, 2020

4 Min Read
Priority Dial
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George Hope, HPE global channel chief, recently became worldwide head of partner sales position at the company. He replaces Paul Hunter, now managing director for North America. Hope has a good inside view of HPE’s channel partners as vice president, worldwide distribution at the company for the last three years.

Hope also worked with Hunter. In fact, HPE appointed Hope interim channel leader when Hunter moved into his new role. While filling in for Hunter, Hope prepared and participated in the HPE Distribution Partner Conference, which concluded earlier this month.

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HPE’s George Hope

The top focus at the conference was to get HPE channel partners selling as a service to SMB customers. Until HPE finds a new distribution executive, Hope is the lead for both positions.

Channel Futures questioned Hope about his leadership style and his priorities as HPE global channel chief.

Channel Futures: You start your job with good insight into HPE and the channel. Fill us in.

George Hope: I came over to HPE from SimpliVIty as the vice president, global channels. I got to build the company’s channel partner program from the ground up. SimpliVity was a fast growing, emerging company.

Prior to SimpliVity, I spent 17 years at EMC. I had several channel and sales roles, and run the gamut on channel experience.

CF: Talk about your leadership style.

GH: For starters, I wouldn’t call myself a new face to the partners because it’s a similar partner ecosystem I had at SimpliVity, and EMC prior to that. Certainly, I’ll be a new face to some partners, but I’ve been involved in several of the partner advisory boards with Paul and the team.

My leadership style — I’m very collaborative. I’ve been in several matrix-type roles and I’m good where you need to be able to influence people that don’t have to do what you say. That’s both internal and external. So I think I’m very collaborative internally to get the channel and sales team rallying around the partner message.

Also, I’m able to collaborate with the leaders in geographies from a channel perspective and make sure that we’re sharing best practices. At the same time, making sure that I understand respond to their uniqueness, and align the corporate strategy to the things that are going to be successful outside of the U.S.

Externally, the partners are on our team. We’re all trying to do the same thing. There’s a little bit of nuance to the way the channel role works. But it’s not managing the partners; it’s the customers through the partners that are the focus. We’re all trying to take the customers on this new digital transformation journey by bringing them solutions that are relevant, will help them with their business and generate the right business outcomes.

We’re all rowing in the same direction as the partners. That includes collaborating with partners, motivating partners, understanding what’s attractive to them. Then it’s getting partners aligned to and executing our message, as well as making sure that we are partner-first.

CF: What are your top priorities?

GH: I’ll start at a higher level first. Antonio’s [Neri] vision for the company is for us to be the edge-to-cloud platform as-a-service company. So we are evolving as company to make that vision a reality. And it’s being accelerated by COVID-19. It’s great that we got a …

… head start on this thing because [Neri’s strategy] became a reality faster than anyone expected.

Now we’re in it. We’re living remote work. We are focused on creating an experience for our customers based on wherever they live and work.

So my first priority is the cloud experience — getting partners to help take the customers along that journey. A lot of our partners are 20% along the way. They’re starting to move workloads to the public cloud but they’re hitting the wall. For various reasons, you can’t move every workload to the public cloud.

What they’re finding is that [public cloud] is a great story but it runs out of gas. We’re evangelizing that next step that will get them the other 70% of the way. That’s through our GreenLake offering. The priority is getting partners to deliver those outcomes to customers.

The second priority is the edge. That’s the other piece and largely what [HPE’s] Aruba focuses on. We’re doubling down on resources for the channel. The goal is to have specialty people focused on the edge. It’s a different conversation, with ESP [Edge Services Platform] and the Silver Peak acquisition around SD-WAN. So we’re focused on getting the channel aligned on that.

The third priority is around storage. We think that we can do a better job with storage attach. HPE has a significant share in our server business and we want to do more with that. We have a phenomenal portfolio now — from Primera down to transactional storage with everything in between. We want to leverage that to take some market share in that space.

Where partners can be a big help is that midmarket/SMB space. So we’ll be giving partners the tools to be successful in that space — making it easier to consume storage and compute, and even as a service.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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