In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Mark Peters and reports from HPE Discover 2017 in Las Vegas. Also interviewed is Milan Shetti, CTO of HPE's Data Center Infrastructure Group.
Announcer: The following is an ESG on-location video.
Mark: Welcome to Vegas. It's springtime. To my left here, to your right, are lots of green rectangles, which would suggest, very strongly and quite correctly, that we're at HPE Discover. I'm here to find out, to discover, if you like, what is consistent about the company and what's changing about this organization, over the last year or so.
Talking of change and consistency, I guess what's front-and-center for many vendor organizations right now is what's behind me. It's hybrid IT. That is really the story. But before I comment a little more about what I see in terms of what's consistent and what's changing, I managed to get some time with Milan Shetti. Now Milan is the CTO of what's called DCIG, Data Center Infrastructure Group. But I asked him to tell me, if you like, the top two or three takeaways across the whole company, not just for DCIG.
Milan: This was a main-stage launch for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise's flagship product, the server platforms and Gen10 server launch. Security and malware and firmware-related issues are something which people are seeing in the press, and HPE is the first to deliver what we're calling the industry's most secure platform.
Mark: You'd put that front-and-center, just because it's what so many people are talking about.
Milan: Absolutely. Absolutely. It is something which even folks who are not in the data center industry would relate to, the malware and the firmware constantly getting into the press. They absolutely relate to the fact that how important it is to have a trusted supply chain, trusted infrastructure, and with the...That was the big premier announcement for us.
HPE PointNext services. This has been also a highlight of this discover, as HPE has and company has gone into server transformations from the spin mergers of various businesses and concentrating on HPE as the infrastructure provider. Service is a key component to it.
Mark: I keep talking about consistency and change. What's consistent? We're still at an event where you see a world where everything computes, the look and feel, obviously, with the logos and the nature of the company. Of course, those things do change and have changed over time. There was a raft of product introductions, as you would always imagine, everything from Aruba and One View, to stuff about IOT and, of course, the Gen10 that Milan already mentioned.
What starts to indicate some of the change, at least to me, is the three key phrases that were used over and over again: making hybrid IT simple, the abilities that HPE has at the intelligent edge, and then, obviously, the introduction again, as Milan's already mentioned, of PointNext. Huge emphasis on flexible consumption. In talking to a number of customers, that's something that's beginning to get people's attention and interest.
Obviously you've got the acquisitions. You've got SGI. You've got SimpliVity. Now you have Nimble. You see new things happening, like New Stack. You see security in Gen10. So all these things both expand capabilities, but also expand not just product capabilities, but capabilities for HPE to start to provide more sophisticated services wrapped around IT.
Another interesting example of that expansion of capabilities that I mentioned is just to my left here, the Pathfinder program, where HP's actually investing in a whole bunch of these organizations and, ultimately, capabilities, again, to expand what it's able to offer to its customers.
So what do I see? There was a lot of consistency, and that's not a bad thing. But in terms of change, what I really see is not necessarily change in direction for HPE, but potentially a change in destination. Now I do think it needs to make that clearer, but what this really means is I see it not wanting to be just a better IT company, but being a different sort of IT company, that's far more aligned with business, and I really don't want to say outcomes. I just want to say business. Period.