Vikram K, Senior Director, Data Center & Hybrid Cloud, HPE India, speaks to Amit Singh about the company’s leadership in server and storage, initiatives for channel and how is it leveraging on the hybrid cloud space
What are your performance highlights over the last 12-18 months?
Overall, we are on a growth trajectory across our business lines. Both our products and services businesses are finding new customers while we continue to grow long standing relationships and expanding our relevance to our customers.
In fact, HPE India witnessed a very encouraging Q2 2017 as it emerged as the leader in the x86 server, non-x86 server, and external storage markets with over 30 percent market share across all the three categories.
According to IDC’s Asia Pacific Quarterly Enterprise Server Tracker, Q2 2017 (Apr-Jun 2017), HPE India maintained its leadership position in x86 server market with a revenue of $85.5 million and a market share of 30.1 percent, while it emerged as the leader in the non-x86 server market with a revenue of $10.5 million and a market share of 39 percent.
Additionally, as per IDC’s Asia Pacific Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, Q2 2017 (Apr-Jun 2017), HPE India also led the external storage market with a revenue of $21.8 million and market share of 31 percent.
What is your focus area in the data center business in India?
From hyper converged to all-flash, some of the biggest data center transformations today are grounded in storage conversations. The transition to all-flash is in full swing with customers looking for partners to help facilitate the transition to the all-flash data center.
We are currently in the third wave of the all-flash transition. The first wave was driven by performance enhancements—adding SSDs to arrays to support nice workloads. The second wave was driven by economics—investing in larger SSDs and reducing data to drive cost to HDD levels. And now new apps and business models have made flash an IT requirement. This is the third wave—the new normal.
HPE is the right partner to provide businesses with expertise beyond the box to identify the right mix of on-premise and off-premise access, control and data mobility.
As the businesses are moving towards digital transformation, what are the trends you observe in technology adoption?
Today, businesses are under huge pressure to utilize new technologies that drive innovation and growth—while simultaneously reduce costs. Previously, public cloud was promoted as offering the right capabilities in terms of ease and agility, speed of access, scalability, and economics. But while it has its place, public cloud also has limitations in terms of compliance, latency, and security—resulting in almost two-thirds of enterprises scaling back or discontinuing use of public cloud services over the last two years as they shift workloads to on-premise private cloud environments.
As a result, many enterprises are choosing hybrid IT solutions where they manage some IT resources in-house but use cloud-based services for others. Hybrid IT has become the new normal, with on-site IaaS growing significantly in recent years.
Most of the enterprises are adopting multi-cloud strategy, which gives rise to challenges in cloud management and security. How is HPE geared to address this challenge?
Creating the right hybrid IT strategy allows enterprises to leverage the best of traditional IT, private cloud, and public cloud to accelerate their business as they transform to a digital enterprise. But as enterprises make the move to hybrid IT, they’re faced with a number of choices that need to be addressed for the benefits of hybrid IT to be realized.
To address concerns surrounding security, data privacy, and data sovereignty, Microsoft Azure Stack, a new hybrid cloud platform, enables businesses to deliver Azure-consistent services within their own data center. It provides the power and flexibility of public cloud services, but under the customer’s control to ensure the performance and security their business needs.
You recently introduced HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack for hybrid cloud. How does it differentiate from other hybrid cloud deployment solutions?
HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is co-engineered and validated by HPE and Microsoft to provide enterprises and service providers a simplified and integrated development, management and security experience consistent with Azure public cloud services that they can run on-premises.
The solution enables organizations to modernize application development, deploy applications to their preferred location, meet data sovereignty, security and compliance requirements and achieve superior performance from on-premise infrastructure.
How does your solution simplify and optimize customer’s hybrid IT environment? What are the operational and financial benefits it offers to customers?
The HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack integrates HPE OneView to simplify Azure Stack operations, making it easier to manage software and firmware updates and monitor system status.
Customers will also have access to a growing ecosystem of partner and third-party solutions and services that address specific business requirements. These partners include DXC Technology, Veeam Software, Sogeti, NTT Communications, PwC and Wipro.
On the financial front, HPE is the only provider to offer Azure Stack services and infrastructure in a single invoice on a consumption-basis. HPE ProLiant for Azure Stack can also be combined with HPE Flexible Capacity, which gives customers the ability to scale-up and -down capacity as needed, allowing them to pay only for what they consume above a minimum commitment, providing cloud speed and economics on-premises, on par with the cost of public clouds.
Please elaborate on your recent initiatives for channel partners in India.
Digital transformation is driving profound changes in today’s marketplace and creating new opportunities for HPE and its partners. To help partners better engage with customers and streamline sales processes more efficiently, we recently announced the following updates to our Partner Ready program:
Expanded Partner Ready Competencies to include a broader set of hybrid IT, data and analytics, and Intelligent Edge solutions built on HPE infrastructure. These pre-packaged solutions, based on proven HPE methodologies, help partners deliver new technologies faster and with reduced cost for customers.
New Silver Data Center Specialization reduces partner training time from nine days down to five days, while empowering sales teams to gain the skills they need to effectively sell across the HPE portfolios including Arista, Simplivity and Nimble.
Knowledge Credit Simplification, which is based on the same leading-edge curriculum used for HPE employee enablement to ensure partners are focused on content tied to business priorities, resulting in fewer administrative inefficiencies and more business outcomes.