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HPE Driving Partner Sales of GreenLake with Updates

HPE says indirect sales of GreenLake are now outpacing direct – but it wants to drive the figure higher.

Christine Horton

March 10, 2021

4 Min Read
Sales growth
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HPE has updated its GreenLake offering to make it more channel-friendly.

First launched in 2018, HPE designed GreenLake to help customers manage and optimize their on- and off-premises clouds. This latest version is intended to be more “channel-centered,” said HPE’s worldwide channel chief, George Hope.

“We’ve always tried to make it attractive to customers, but we want it to be more attractive to partners. We want partners to lead with this as one of their main options,” said Hope.

As such, HPE has updated the offering “with the channel in mind.”

For the first time, HPE is offering GreenLake directly in the cloud marketplaces of several distributors. These are ALSO Group, Arrow Electronics, Ingram Micro, Synnex, and Tech Data.

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HPE’s George Hope

“We’re starting with our big five distributors … which are roughly 70% of our overall distribution business,” said Hope. “I was in one of their marketplaces the other day and I clicked on infrastructure. GreenLake was listed there with the hyperscalers. We’re making some huge strides from that perspective.”

More than 100,000 partners will be able to access “simple quoting, ordering and … at preconfigured and pre-priced offers.” But while partners today can get a configuration and a price, they can’t yet provision or bill within those marketplaces.

“We’re phasing into the marketplaces from a crawl, walk, run perspective,” said Hope.

The goal, he said is to enable partners to transact as they would anywhere else.

Increase in Indirect Sales

Hope said partner take-up of GreenLake has already increased from “mid-single digits” and is now at 30%.

“From a penetration perspective, the growth of indirect is outpacing the overall growth of the direct side. In this past quarter we were up 116% indirect around GreenLake, which is a huge quarter for us.”

Hope said HPE wants to continue to drive the indirect number higher.

“It’s at 30% now; the next milestone in my mind is 50%. But our overall business as a company — we’re in the mid to high-60s channel [sales]. As the indirect guy, my target is to see the mix be the same.”

To achieve that, HPE is making offerings more accessible for smaller partners. It announced three new modular GreenLake cloud services that provide customers with lower-cost, smaller entry points. Customers can start small and have the flexibility to scale out to meet future requirements.

“We have platinum, gold, silver and business partners,” said Hope. “In the beginning there was a high percentage of platinum and gold partners on GreenLake. Now, the silver and business partners are starting to creep up through working with our distributors. They’re now 35% of the overall business. So as GreenLake becomes more scalable, more consumable downmarket, it’s an opportunity to go big.”

HPE also wants partners to take on more services responsibility. This potentially includes some of the offerings the vendor provides directly from its Pointnext services organization.

“As partners build their IP around GreenLake, they’re more inclined to be stickier and more strategic with their customers,” said Hope.

‘Cloud Experience on Premises’

The exec said GreenLake was benefitting from greater market awareness than it had previously. He added despite being “10 years into public cloud,” most workloads are still in the data center “for various reasons.”

“GreenLake gives you that cloud experience on prem, but it lets you consume it like it’s in the cloud. You don’t have any data sovereignty issues, you don’t have any privacy issues, you don’t have the latency issues.”

For customers who prefer a colocation model, HPE is extending its partnerships with CyrusOne and Equinix. Customers can now run HPE GreenLake on CyrusOne or Equinix through one agreement and one invoice. This, said the vendor, simplifies and accelerates the procurement process.

HPE has also updated GreenLake Central, the tool that manages the customer’s hybrid and multicloud estate. The enhancements aid partners in selling, billing and capacity planning, it said.

“GreenLake Central lets you see your entire cloud ecosystem, inclusive of public, so that you can run metrics on how each is performing. It gives you financial and usage metrics across all your clouds. Now, with the customer’s permission, we’re allowing the partners visibility into GreenLake Central,” said Hope.

Elsewhere, Aruba has introduced updates to the GreenLake for its offering within the HPE Partner Ready for Networking Program, drawing closer alignment with HPE GreenLake. GreenLake for Aruba is available through authorized HPE distributors, features higher rebate levels and gives partners an opportunity to generate incremental revenue over the life of the engagement.

The HPE GreenLake Cloud Services business now has more than $4.5 billion in total contract value, and in the first quarter HPE grew its annualized revenue run rate (ARR) by 27% year-over-year.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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