By Lee Prior
So far 2017 has been a pretty interesting year for HPE. We’re only half way through March and already we’ve seen them extend their portfolio through the acquisition of enterprises like Simplivity, Niara and now most recently Nimble, with each of these additions being met with the slow head nod of general approval by the wider technology sector. That in itself is an achievement some would say, but when you consider the pace of change we are seeing, with Hybrid IT finally releasing the long promised potential of the Cloud and the reality of the Internet of Things cresting the horizon, to be able to navigate the turbulent waters of such rapid progress with a steady course, speaks volumes about the crew at the helm of the good ship HPE.
Once upon a time a story about a large IT company consuming one of their smaller rivals wasn’t really “Big News”, and had more to do with Darwinian natural selection, stock market roulette, Sabre Rattling or just plain good old fashioned billionaire vs billionaire ego than it did with a clear strategic vision or a drive for innovation - but things have changed.
As a lowly Marketing Manager, albeit for the biggest HPE Distributor in the UK, this type of corporate manoeuvring was an interesting side note that held my attention for as long as I was able to read without interruption, but ultimately news of a buyout had very little bearing on my day to day life. That is most decidedly not the case now, and rather than acquisition for acquisition’s sake these additions have the whiff of strategy about them, with each bringing their own particular part of the answer to a far larger question.
I suppose it really started with Aruba. Murmurings of an HPE buyout were rippling the still waters of the distribution pond for a few months before it actually happened, but when it did it was statement of intent from HPE, it was them saying in no uncertain terms to the IT world, “We’re in this for the long run and we know exactly where we’re going even if you don’t” and it was the precursor for an acceleration towards the world of Hybrid, Convergence and Mobility we see dawning around us today. Yes I’m close to HPE and yes of course I have a vested interest in what they do, but even if I didn’t I think I’d still be pretty impressed with the clarity of vision and the obvious drive being displayed to ensure it’s realised.
When I speak with our HPE team here, our partner community as well as anyone at HPE themselves I get the feeling that they are genuinely excited at the direction they are heading, and encouraged by the single-mindedness of those steering the ship. For an organisation such as HPE to have lofty ambitions is not unusual of course, history is replete with lofty ambitions driven by vision and passion, but these ambitions have often floundered on the rocks and shoals of commercial reality where the vision is left exposed and the passion is not enough to keep the them afloat. This feels somehow different though…HPE has that vital factor of momentum right now and more importantly they have a workforce and partner community that can see the course is true and are more than willing to tag along for the ride.
Don’t forget to join us on 27th April for the Westcoast Ignite Partner Symposium 2017 where you can find out more about HPE and their recent acquisitions.