Showing posts with label HPE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HPE. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

HPE Accelerates its Sustainability Goals While Improving the Impact of IT on the Environment and Society

Transcript of a discussion on how Hewlett Packard Enterprise has newly accelerated its many programs and initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, conserve energy, and reduce waste. 

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the BriefingsDirect podcast series. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing discussion on the impact of information technology (IT) on the environment and society.

As businesses worldwide seek to maximize their value to their customers and communities, the total value equation has expanded to now include the impact on sustainability for the environment.

The ways that companies, along with their partners, suppliers, and employees best manage and govern their resources and assets speaks volumes about their place among peers. And it allows them to take a leadership position as stewards and protectors of the future. The sooner the world’s industries develop a commitment to reach a net-zero carbon emissions posture, for example, the better for everyone in gaining environmental sustainability.

Stay with us now as we examine how Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has newly accelerated its many programs and initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, conserve energy, and reduce waste -- including far earlier net-zero dates and more impactful emission-reduction milestones. We’ll now learn how HPE’s newest living progress report provides a blueprint for other organizations in and outside of the HPE orbit to also hasten and improve their sustainability efforts.

Here to share the latest on HPE’s plans and goals for broad and lasting sustainability is John Frey, Chief Technologist, Sustainable Transformation at HPE. Welcome to BriefingsDirect, John.

John Frey: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Gardner: How does HPE define ESG and how long has it been working toward improving its impacts across these goals?

Frey: To make sure everyone knows what we mean when we say ESG, that’s actually an acronym for environmental, social, and corporate governance. This is language that was first used by investors in the financial community, and now it’s used much more broadly to emphasize that when we discuss sustainability. We mean more than just the environmental aspects. We mean the social aspects as well.

From HPE’s perspective, we’ve named our ESG programs Living Progress, and that’s really our business strategy for creating sustainable and equitable technology solutions for a data-first world. These efforts are tied to our corporate strategy and our purpose, which is to advance the way people live and work.

Our programs go back many, many years. In fact, back in 1957 when our program started, the program was called Corporate Citizenship and it was based around how HPE would grow beyond the borders of the United States. We have a long history of leadership as Hewlett Packard. When Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise became two separate companies, we adapted the best practices at that point in time and then built our LivingProgress programs around that.

Our programs today have three main elements -- driving a low carbon economy, investing in people, and operating with integrity. We have goals across that entire spectrum of sustainability and throughout the lifecycle of our products.

Gardner: It’s very impressive that you have been doing this for going on 65 years. How has the world changed more recently that has prompted you to accelerate, to even dig in deeper on your commitments here? 

Frey: Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our common future. We recognize that we have limited resources and lots of impacts that are complex societal and environmental challenges. At HPE, we believe that addressing climate change is not only a moral imperative; it is also a business opportunity as we innovate technology to help our customers thrive in this carbon-constrained world.

Years ago, we set our goal to be net-zero by 2050, and it was backed up by science-based targets throughout our entire value chain. When we set this goal, it was clear leadership. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s most recent reports indicate that going to net-zero by 2050 is not fast enough. We have to accelerate our goals.

HPE has committed to becoming a net-zero enterprise across our entire value chain by 2040. Our commitment is backed by our roadmap to net-zero, which consists of a science-based targets.

Therefore, HPE has committed to becoming a net-zero enterprise across our entire value chain by 2040. Our commitment is backed by our roadmap to net-zero, which consists of a new suite of science-based targets that are consistent with that one-and-a-half-degree pathway and approved by the Science Based Target Initiative.

We set those interim targets and longer-term targets. Our interim targets for 2030 include reducing our scope-one and scope-two emissions by 70 percent and reducing our absolute scope-three emissions by 42 percent, both off of a 2020 baseline. And that scope-three target includes the use of our products by our customers, upstream transportation and distribution, and scopes one and two supplier emissions. Our longer-term target for 2040 is to reduce the absolute scopes one, two and three emissions by 90 percent off of that 2020 baseline as well.

Getting to these targets will require a fundamental transformation in everything we do. Our leaders need to be accountable for driving this and we’ve tied key climate metrics to executive compensation. We will need to ‘walk the talk’ and procure 100 percent renewable energy for our own operations while at the same time helping our customers and suppliers bring new renewables to the grid where they operate.

And most importantly, we’ll enable our customers to meet their own net-zero ambitions. This is important, because about two-thirds of our climate impact on the globe occurs when our customers use our technology solutions. So HPE is putting our innovation engine into action to develop more sustainable IT solutions while working closely with our customers to help optimize their IT infrastructure so that they can meet their own net-zero goals.

Gardner: That’s very interesting when you say nearly two-thirds of the climate impacts happen in your customer base from the use of your solutions. Can you expand on that? What does that mean?

Sustainability demands change

Frey: When we think about our footprint across the company, a small single-digit percentage is because of our own operations, our buildings and our employees and employee travel and those sorts of things. Around a third of it then is our supply chain – when we bring products to the market and when we take those products back from customers at their end of life. But the bulk, nearly two-thirds of our climate impact on the globe is when our customers use our technology products.

Learn More About

HPE's Living Progress Initiatives.

For us to help our customers get to net-zero and for HPE to lower our own carbon emissions across our entire portfolio means that we really must help our customers use their technology more efficiently. So that really gets to things such as helping them right-size the amount of technology they have, increasing the performance they get from the technology for each watt. We have to help them continue to optimize in real time their technology so that it uses the lowest amount of energy and does the most work at the same time.

Gardner: It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s technology that’s going to come to our aid, but it’s technology that we need to, in a sense, solve.

Absolutely. In fact, we think of technology as a force multiplier for solving climate challenges. Technology really enables a lot of these solutions, and it also facilitates a lot of clean energy innovation as well.

Gardner: What are some of the major hurdles that need to be overcome to achieve this? It’s quite a bit to bite off and chew.

Frey: Yes, absolutely. Experts estimate that about half of the carbon reductions that the world needs to achieve net-zero emissions in the coming decade will come from technologies that don’t even exist yet. So that’s challenging. And in fact, if we look at just the companies that have made net-zero commitments already, we don’t have enough capability in terms of renewable energy and carbon offsets and things to even cover those commitments.

Technology can be an enabler here. HPE is spending a tremendous amount of effort innovating with solutions such as HPC technologies that are used by climate scientists and clean energy researchers.

So that is a huge challenge, but technology can be such an enabler there. HPE is spending a tremendous amount of effort innovating with solutions such as our high performance computing technologies that are used by climate scientists and by clean-energy researchers who are trying to find better ways to bring those solutions to market. With our customers, who are using our professional services and our technology services, instead of buying assets, we help them right-size the technology they need, we help them manage their technology from the edge to the cloud and optimize all the way through that.

Lots of opportunity. I prefer to think in terms of the positive, rather than the hurdles, which I think of as business opportunities. But what I can say from my experience working with our customers around the globe is many of our customers are really fixated on trying to help solve these challenges, many of our customers see great business opportunities in trying to help fix these challenges, and they’re all turning to technology as the enabler of that innovation.

Gardner: Yes. I’ve heard it said elsewhere. You can do quite well as a business by doing good for sustainability in the economy.

Frey: Absolutely. We fully agree with that.

Gardner: It seems like HPE has taken quite a lead here, but it involves more than just you the company. It affects your supply chains, as you’ve mentioned, your customers, your partners. So how do you characterize HPE’s role in that larger community?  Are you an example to follow, maybe a facilitator, an educator accelerating growth of potential, or all of the above?

Our example: Fail fast, then innovate again

Frey: We really play all of those roles. In some cases, we are an example that others point to and say, “Hey, we’re not going down this path alone. HPE has gone down this path.” In many cases, we’re an educator and will share with customers this long sustainability journey that we’ve been on, the lessons we learned. Often, it’s better to learn from what someone who has been down the path said they would never do again, or what they learned from their journey. We so often focus as a sustainability community on the things that went well. Yet, there’s a lot of lessons learned, and we really try from an HPE perspective to take a ‘fail fast and then innovate again’ approach. We’re constantly learning, and that education has great value.

In many cases, there’s a need for a facilitator. We know that these challenges exist across many industries, but there isn’t a central body pulling together multiple stakeholders and multiple customers to help solve that challenge. A couple of examples of that are organizations such as the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).That’s an organization that HPE helped found years ago. We realized when we were auditing factories in our supply chain that these factories were building products for other technology companies as well. So, the factories were following our expectations in the lines building HPE products but may not have been protecting workers adequately in some of the other lines. When we took a step back and said, “Well, why is that?” We were told, well, that other vendor doesn’t make us do these things, and we said, “Well, wait a minute. That’s actually not the right answer.”

If we’re really trying to make sure that workers in our supply chain are being treated fairly, paid a living wage, have their health and safety protected, and are protecting the environment that’s a non-competitive issue. So, we took a step back and formed what was then called the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and invited companies in our industry to come together to have a common set of expectations for our suppliers and then put in place assurance programs. Well, that was so successful, other industries came to us and said, “Could we adopt that same practice for our industry?”  Today, the organization that does all of that is called the Responsible Business Alliance. And so, it’s having a huge impact on supply chains around the world, but all started because there was that need for a facilitator to bring companies together.

Another great example of that is the Clean Energy Buyers Alliance (CEBA). As more and more companies started making renewable energy commitments, we realized that to get the scale we needed in the pricing for renewable energy, we could do so much together as an alliance, have common procurement expectations and get better pricing.

Learn More About

HPE's Living Progress Initiatives.

One of the ways I talk about it is catalytic collaboration. How do we bring voices to the table that may not have been heard before?  How do we think from an innovation and an accelerator perspective much broader than just for example, publicly traded companies coming together?  How do we bring in the voice of stakeholders and customers and governments?  So, in all of these ways, HPE plays a variety of roles trying to accelerate the world’s progress to solve these big challenges.

Gardner: John, it seems no matter where you live, you’re getting a steady stream of reminders about why this is important. It could be wildfires, hurricanes, permafrost melting, rising sea levels. But on the other hand, this has been a challenge for many of the rates of increase to be met or reduced. So, what are the risks for businesses if they don’t make sustainability a priority?

Ignore environmental impacts at your own risk

Frey: Well, there’s a variety of risks, but let’s start with the business risk. The missed market opportunities. Businesses cost more and they can lose customers. One of the things we know about sustainability is that in many cases it’s about preventing waste, and waste has a cost associated with it. At the same time, we find customers increasingly saying that they want to do business with companies who have strong reputations, who have strong social and environmental programs, and companies that have a purpose and assist in making the world a better place.

In all those ways from a business perspective, customers are watching what companies do, and they’re making purchase decisions based on the attributes of the companies that they want to do business with. Frankly, if you’re not being a sustainability leader or at least keeping up with your industry, you’re going to start missing many of those market opportunities.

Customers are watching what companies do, and they're making purchase decisions based on the attributes of the companies that they want to do business with. If you're not a sustainability leader, you're going to miss market opportunities.

Another one could be, and we hear this from many of our customers, in this increasingly difficult time that we live in, finding employees is very challenging. Employees want to work for a company where they can see how what they’re doing contributes to the company’s purpose. And so that’s another opportunity that they miss.

I’ll just give you a sense. We had International Data Corporation (IDC) do a survey for us last year. We asked technology executives across several countries why they were investing in and participating in sustainable IT and sustainability programs in their technology operations, and what they told us was really interesting. The digital leaders, those companies that are the innovators and the fast movers said that they were investing in sustainability programs to attract and retain institutional investors.

Now, the companies in the middle, the digital mainstream said they were doing it to attract and retain customers and the digital followers. Those companies that move a little slower are not quite as far in their own digital transformation said they were doing it to attract and retain employees. So, there’s a variety of business reasons to do this. Increasingly, there are regulatory reasons as governmental agencies start asking companies to talk about things that are either material from a financial perspective, such as we’re seeing here in the U.S. with the proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations or other places around the world where there are regulatory reporting reasons to make sure that you have strong sustainability programs because you have to disclose data to a regulatory agency.

Gardner: Do you have any examples or use cases for how sustainability leadership moves beyond reputation to be a driver of business growth, which, as you said is one of the chief reasons to embrace sustainability fully?

Frey: There are a variety of opportunities. We’ve seen it ourselves. For example, in the last year, we’ve had over 1,400 customer inquiries asking HPE about our own sustainability and social and environmental programs whether it relates to our products or whether it relates to our business. That’s just one example of the way customers are paying attention and they’re asking increasingly in-depth questions. It used to be questions such as, “Do you have your own sustainability program, yes or no?” Then it moved into “Are you using some of the various standards that show us that you’re managing this as a process and as a system across your business?” Now, they’re asking us questions all the way down to “Tell us the carbon footprint of this product or solution that HPE is bringing to the market.”

Now, what we know is when we have good answers to that and we share expertise with customers, we tend to do much better from a business perspective as well, and customers want to do business with us. We certainly see on our own that there are lots of opportunities for additional value by having the strong programs.

Gardner: All right. Are there any even more specific examples of how HPE has helped customers to improve their businesses while also accelerating sustainability improvements? Do we have some concrete examples of how this works in practice?

Win-win: Great business and ESG results

Frey: Yes, I’ll give you just a few. Wibmo is India’s leading digital payment provider, and they use a variety of HPE technologies, but they wanted to consider moving to a much more flexible technology we call HPE Synergy, which is a composable infrastructure. What that really means is that you have compute, storage, and networking in a common chassis that shares power supplies and gives you great scalability. It gives you a pool of resources that the customer can tap from, and what Wibmo really wanted to do was move from a blade infrastructure to that Synergy infrastructure to increase their capability to respond very quickly to changing customer requirements. As we did that for them, to give them the same capability, reduced their IT capital expenditures by 80 percent, reduced their creation and delivery of new accounts from weeks to hours and it lowered their carbon footprint by 50 percent. So, we observed great business outcomes and great environmental outcomes coming from the work with that provider.

Now, another one was Nokia Software, and they’re an HPE GreenLake customer, which is our as-a-service offering. Nokia has always been progressive around their environmental objectives, and they wanted to strive for a carbon-negative data-center operation, and one of the things they wanted to do to achieve that was using a renewable energy source. They wanted to take water from a nearby Finnish lake to cool the data center. They wanted to move to liquid cooling and using renewable energy sources to power that data center. HPE was able to help them do that. One of the great things about HPE GreenLake is that because it’s consumption-based, we help customers tailor the infrastructure to their needs without additional equipment that is sitting there and not doing any work. We enable them to reduce their capital expenses and reduce their environmental footprint at the same time.

Gardner: Let’s talk next about one or two examples of how technology accelerates environmental change, not just from the IT perspective, but perhaps other views that are more data driven and offer the capability to exercise more efficiency, and more ways when you’ve got a data driven organization from edge to Cloud.

Learn More About

HPE's Living Progress Initiatives.

Frey: I’ll give you two quick examples. Purdue University is one, and we’re really partnering with Purdue on sustainable agriculture. One of the challenges we have as a global population is that we’re swelling to about nine-billion people by 2050. And, so, the world is going to have to double our agricultural output or have starvation challenges around the world. Purdue’s College of Agriculture partnered with us to do a variety of research around sustainable agriculture, increasing agricultural output in using edge technologies to allow farmers to really be able to tailor things such as irrigation and fertilization only to the places in their fields that they are absolutely needed. The ultimate goal of this, of course, is to drive more effective ways to grow nutritious, healthy, and abundant food for this growing planet. So that’s one great example and that research continues.

Another great example is Carnegie Clean Energy, and they’re an Australian wave, solar, and battery energy company. But they’re really focused on making wave power a reality. They’ve developed a wave energy technology called CETO that uses the wave energy off Western Australia’s Garden Island to power the country’s largest naval base.

Now, you may not realize that one of the big advantages of wave power is predictability. The sun stops shining at times, the wind stops blowing, but the ocean’s waves don’t stop flowing in. Wave forecasts can look out about a week in the future to figure out how the wave energy is going to be, and they only have about a 20 percent margin of error, which allows CETO to predict how much power is going to be generated looking into the future. It even allows them to tailor the effectiveness of CETO, based on how big or small they predict those waves are going to be. They can generate precise knowledge about the shape and the timing of upcoming waves so that they can make sure they get the maximum amount of energy from each wave that comes in.

Those are two examples of the way we’re using technology for social and environmental good.

Gardner: John, you mentioned, of course, about the long period that HPE has been involved with looking for sustainability and improvement and the impact on its communities, and you’ve just said, “Okay, we were on track, but we’re going to accelerate that. We’re going to move it forward.” How can other companies who might want to decide to accelerate what they’re doing get started? What’s a good way to think about a methodological or comprehensive way to get faster, better, and more impactful when it comes to sustainability?

Partner up for possibility

Frey: The first way we suggest is do a materiality assessment, and that’s talking to your customers, your stakeholders, and your employees about the things that are most relevant to your business and the things that you have the greatest ability to impact. So, figure out what’s most material and publish plans to solve those challenges. In fact, HPE gives an example every year in our Living Progress Report. We publish our own materiality assessment and then show how the initiatives we’re taking are driven straight from that materiality assessment.

Another thing that we would recommend is to learn from leaders. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Companies like HPE freely share this knowledge with our customers, stakeholders, and others in the broader community because we feel that not everybody needs to go back and develop their programs from scratch. Learn from those that have been doing it, learn those lessons and then use that to accelerate your progress.

Learn from the leaders, Don't reinvent the wheel. Companies like HPE freely share their knowledge with our customers, stakeholders, and others in the broader community because we feel that not everybody needs to go back and develop their own programs from scratch.

And finally, partner for success. You don’t have to go it alone. Leverage the expertise throughout your value chain. In HPE’s case, for example, we share our sustainable IT strategy, our white papers and our workbook that helps customers implement a sustainable IT strategy freely, and we put them out on the Internet so that anybody can have access to them and tap into those resources. So, look up and down your value chain and see where there are others that already have that expertise and learn from them. 

Gardner: Before we close out, let’s take advantage of the fact that we must look to current and new technologies to solve these problems. What are some of the future opportunities? Even if we don’t know the how, perhaps we have a sense of the what. What is it that we can be doing in the future to bring these carbon net-zero realities right into our backyards?

Frey: We’ve talked a little bit previously about the fact that we don’t have all the low-carbon solutions we need. And one of the things that HPE did to help with that effort is we co-launched the Low Carbon Patent Pledge. HPE gathered with partners Meta, formerly Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, and Microsoft.

By putting those patents out there, making them freely available, we hope to accelerate the innovation opportunities out there. Perhaps it will be for things that we could have never imagined patents being used for, but some innovator will see a connection and be able to accelerate some new low-carbon solutions. I think there are other ways as well and that we’re seeing a shift from moving in technology from the general compute world to workload specific hardware and software solutions. We’re seeing advances in liquid cooling that are necessary as densities go up, and I think there’s a huge opportunity around software efficiency as well. This is a great untapped opportunity. Yet, some studies say that using a more effective software programming language, such as, for example, Rust, could reduce power consumption by the technology industry by up to 50 percent.

Learn More About

HPE's Living Progress Initiatives.

I think there are opportunities to have common platforms from the edge of the cloud so that we can all see across our technology operations, look at things such as utilization rates, power consumption, carbon emissions, and see those in a common way across that value chain and by being transparent, it highlights opportunities for improvement.

And finally, I think there’s a lot of opportunity that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) bring to optimization.

But we have to do that while paying attention to ethical AI principles as well, because these types of technologies can be misused if we’re not paying attention to the ethical implications. I feel that we have a strong need to not only use the ethical AI principles that are in place today but to continue to advance that thinking as well as more and more AI and ML solutions are brought to market.

It’s been a fascinating discussion, but I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. We’ve been exploring how companies along with their partners, suppliers, and employees can best manage and govern the resources and assets for sustainability. And we’ve learned how HPE has newly accelerated its many programs and initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, conserve energy, and reduce waste far earlier than its earlier net-zero days. So please join me now in thanking our guests. We’ve been here with John Frey, chief technologist, sustainable transformation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Thanks so much, John.

Frey: My pleasure. It was a delight to be with you today.

Gardner: And a big thank you as well to our audience for joining us for this sponsored BriefingsDirect discussion on the impact of information technology on the environment and society. I’m Dana Gardner, principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series of HPE-supported discussions. Thanks again for listening. Please pass this along to your community and do come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Transcript of a discussion on how Hewlett Packard Enterprise has newly accelerated its many programs and initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, conserve energy, and reduce waste. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2022. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

How HPE Pointnext Complete Care Transforms Edge-to-Cloud Support to Enable Business-Wide Outcomes

Transcript of a discussion on how complexity and fast-changing dynamics of digital businesses are pushing enterprises to seek a complete and holistic way to support all their technology.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Pointnext Services.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the BriefingsDirect Voice of Tech Services Innovation podcast series. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing discussion on how IT services and support have entered a new era.

Today’s diversity of hybrid IT models and environments demands that IT services and support accommodate more digital variables than ever. Nonetheless, the burgeoning complexity and fast-changing dynamics of digital businesses are pushing enterprises to seek a complete and holistic way to support all their technology -- from every edge to every cloud -- in one bold stroke.

That’s the market driver behind a new pan-IT services offering from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Pointnext Services called HPE Pointnext Complete Care. The all-inclusive approach moves past product-based experiences of support to an all-IT-environment-wide experience. It both reaches back to provide legacy and product support and extends to the intelligence-driven and proactive optimization of all digital business services.

Stay with us now as we examine how HPE Pointnext Services has developed solutions to satisfy this broad new definition of complete IT tech support.

To learn more about bringing what amounts to a warm blanket of support across the entire IT environment we’re joined by Gerry Nolan, Director of Operational Services Portfolio at HPE Pointnext Services. Welcome back, Gerry.

Gerry Nolan: Hi, Dana. Great to be with you.

Gardner: Gerry, how has the world changed since HPE Datacenter Care arrived back in 2012? I guess we can no longer define IT by a datacenter metric -- it’s now gone much broader and wider.

Nolan: You said it, Dana. I feel a bit old thinking that 2012 was just yesterday. But back then the momentum was all around IT consolidation, the move to virtualization, and customers moving to x86 platforms.

IT’s not 2012 anymore


At the time, studies showed that average downtime was about 97 minutes per year, with the average cost at $8,000 a minute. The most common cited reason for failure was the hardware, along with people making mistakes. At the time, about 50 percent of the downtime was caused by hardware failure and 50 percent by human error.

Today, studies show that the world is a totally different place. Now it’s all about hyper converged infrastructure (HCI), hybrid IT, and cloud computing in all its various forms. The move to edge is a significant trend. And, of course, the move to digital transformation has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And that means it’s all about IT as an experience and bringing differentiated experiences to the market.

Look at areas outside of IT. If you think about buying a car and how Tesla has transformed that experience or going on a vacation and how web sites such as Airbnb or have totally transformed that. The experiences define those use cases -- and IT is no different.

In 2020, studies showed that downtime is even more scary -- with the average cost of a minute of downtime up from $8,000 to $17,000. With the move to digital, any downtime or impact to your digital platform has massive implications not just with the direct revenue and orders impact, but they can seriously damage your reputation and brand for years.

With the move to digital, any downtime or impact to your digital platform has massive implications not just with the direct revenue and orders impact, but they can seriously damage your reputation and brand for years.

An IDC study that jumped out at me last year, for example, says having a support experience around IT shouldn’t be viewed like it was back in 2012, as an insurance policy. Today it’s more important to think about partnership agreements that drive better service-level agreement (SLAs) and overall performance. It’s about driving the business forward and enabling the business.

IDC found the enterprises that had these types of agreements saved an average of 634 hours of unplanned downtime. And 200 hours of that were the benefit of the proactive nature of using artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools, as well as having access to smart people who help mitigate against the bad things from happening.

So, yes, the world really has changed a lot since we first introduced HPE Datacenter Care back in 2012.

Gardner: Sure, so we’ve seen the change of vendor and support relationships to more of a partnership in supporting the full business. But there’s been a progression to getting to what we now call HPE Pointnext Complete Care. And one of those big steps was with HPE Pointnext Tech Care. How did that fit into the progression? How should we think about this as an evolution?

Nolan: Yes, we are transforming the overall support experience for our customers. The first step out of the gate was differentiating the experience with our HPE products by crafting a new, totally transformed support experience called HPE Pointnext Tech Care. We launched that in April on our HPE Server product line. It will be fully available across all products by August.

Time to transform how we work

It transforms and uplifts the user experience when dealing with HPE products by bringing to bear a whole range of new aspects, including a new digital platform, to allow customers much easier access to both the knowledge they need as well as multiple ways of accessing our experts around the world. They can do that through video, chat, moderated forums, and live conversations. It also embeds AI, so the telemetry built into our products feeds back to the mothership and then delivers a wide array of dashboards, alerts, insights, and recommendations back to the customers.

As a result, the users have a beautiful, rounded, broader suite of capabilities that allows them to gain more information to more easily self-solve and self-serve. But, of course, they also have broad access to knowledge and expertise when and how they need it. That’s what HPE Pointnext Tech Care, which replaces HPE Foundation Care and HPE Proactive Care, is all about.

For those familiar with those services, which have been around for many years, HPE Pointnext Tech Care is the new, single product support experience for all HPE products. We’re very proud of it and we’re getting great feedback from our initial customers. They love that they can go to a single portal and see these dashboards. They now have many ways of accessing our experts, and, of course, everyone’s different. Some people like to talk live to experts, while others like to watch videos or go to moderated forums to talk with peers and other customers. Our experts are also in those forums responding and providing links to various articles.

It’s a very rich -- and we believe -- transformative experience that takes support to the next level. And, with HPE Pointnext Complete Care, we’re going to elevate that even more by taking support beyond the products and looking at the entire environment.

Gardner: Another big differentiator for HPE Pointnext Services is that this not just for HPE support -- this is pan-vendor support. You’ve been agnostic in supporting -- with one throat to choke, if you will -- a vast universe of technology. How does HPE Pointnext Complete Care advance that concept of all under the same support umbrella?

Nolan: Yes, we’ve been doing that for years, adding significant multivendor capabilities. With HPE Pointnext Complete Care, it focuses further on providing a complete support experience for the customer. That includes whatever capabilities exist -- both from inside of HPE or some of our partners – and brings all of that into a complete, single framework for the client. That means covering the customers’ complete IT environment, however they define it, by acting as their single point of contact for whatever they define as their IT. In these days, of course, that can be quite a wide and varied scope.

For example, a casino I recently talked to is actively acquiring new companies in different parts of the world. They’re bringing onboard those companies, all with their own IT setups. The chief information officer (CIO) is looking to bring all of that together under a single framework with a single partner to work with them. They want to evolve to control what they have, as well as take it all to a more standard framework.

Another company that jumps to mind is a large international bank looking to move to an increasingly hybrid IT structure, with some on-premises cloud services to support their legacy IT. They’re migrating from that legacy to an x86, container-based, heavily automated private cloud. They need a single partner to help them through that digital transformation and through that evolution. The goal is to help them operate and manage their old, while also taking care of all of that new technology.

HPE Pointnext Complete Care brings it all under one umbrella to give the customer a single team and a single point of contact. Whatever IT they have, they can work with that single partner to optimize the entire environment.

There are many aspects to HPE Pointnext Complete Care in terms of helping a customer in those different use cases. It’s not just HPE products. It’s many different IT technologies. Today that includes things such as hyper-converged, edge, and Internet of Things (IoT). There’s a lot of open source use, and a plethora of other software including some of the new automation tools.

HPE Pointnext Complete Care brings all of that under one umbrella to give the customer a single team and a single point of contact. So whatever they have in their IT -- wherever their IT is -- they can work with that single partner to operate and optimize that entire environment.

Gardner: The timing seems perfect because, as you mentioned, there’s so much more complexity to providing a business service that ultimately reaches back into multiple service providers, using multiple technologies.

Nolan: Exactly.

Gardner: We need those services to be robust. If there are issues, there’s no time to point fingers but instead to find the root causes and assign responsibility for fixing it. You need to look at the whole picture, and the speed element is something here that strikes me as essential.

Nolan: Absolutely.

Gardner: It seems to me that we’re looking at an awfully complex undertaking. How do you mitigate the complexity?

Comprehend complexity and manage it

Nolan: Yes, customers are challenged. We’re still in the pandemic. We’ve learned a lot from our customers as they have worked through all the various implications. The response has elevated the whole move to digital, as I mentioned. It’s really important that customers have a strong handle on the digital aspects of their businesses.

Whether you’re ordering coffee, buying a car, or doing some banking, you’re working with some level of digital platforms these days. Therefore, that becomes a critical aspect of enabling the business. We want to make sure we can help customers set up, run, and optimize their digital platforms – and that’s something HPE Pointnext Complete Care is set up to do.

Risk mitigation is critical. We see customers challenged with just trying to get ahead of issues before those issues cause downstream impact to their businesses. They want access to expertise and best practices. They are obviously always looking to get the best bang for the buck because customers are still under tight cost constraints.

They also have struggles due to the finger-pointing that comes with managing multiple vendors and as they bring on more open source software and automation tools. There are more and more companies involved, and so more and more and different relationships to manage. All of this can be challenging.

If you’re struggling with bandwidth and budget while trying to mitigate risk -- all these factors build to create challenges across all of those dimensions. Having a single point of contact is something we see customers challenged with -- and something they value a lot.

We also see organizations aim to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve new corporate-wide sustainability goals. So, that’s something we’re also building into the HPE Pointnext Complete Care value. Working with our financial services organization within HPE allows customers to benefit from their programs. They can monetize old hardware, and we can buy that hardware back and give the customer a payment that they can then invest in newer technologies -- more carbon friendly and sustainable approaches. So, we’re excited about how we can help customers across all these different dimensions.

Gardner: As a recap from our earlier discussion when HPE Pointnext Tech Care came out back in the spring, one of the things that was very impressive to me was the use of technology to better manage – technology. At HPE Pointnext Services, you’re using technology to trace and discover IT assets and use that data to gain a complete view of what’s going on in an organization.

Working with our financial services organization within HPE allows customers to benefit, too. They can monetize old hardware. HPE will buy it back so they can invest in newer technologies -- more carbon friendly and sustainable approaches.

It’s allowing not just break-fix reactions but the capability to get out in front and to be proactive on maintenance, patching, and to quickly identify anomalies to head them off before they become breakdowns. So, the advent of the technology that you’re able to use to satisfy these problems is also very powerful, and HPE Pointnext Tech Care demonstrated that. 

Nolan: Absolutely, well said.

Gardner: All right, let’s go to HPE Pointnext Complete Care in more detail. This has just arrived. People are trying to wrap their heads around it. What’s the grand vision for HPE Pointnext Complete Care now that we’ve moved through this evolution from HPE Pointnext Tech Care and better understand the IT environment that we’re in?

A warm blanket of IT support

Nolan: I view the HPE Pointnext Complete Care experience as that “warm blanket” of support that we can put around the entire customer’s IT environment. The beauty of the framework is we’re going to be delivering and evolving this over the coming months to provide a modular approach. That means we can provide flexibility across an extensive and growing menu of capabilities. 

Whether it’s looking at your security, compliance, or performance – this includes all the different aspects of your IT. It means managing your assets, be it hardware or the software licenses. And then we provide the innovative solutioning tools to our partners as well as our own staff to enable personalization for each of those different customer use cases I mentioned.

Yet every customer is different. They’re all starting from a different point on their journey. We will wrap around all those requirements that the customer has a single framework, a single team, a single contract, and a single invoice.

Everything needs to be simpler for the customer, even as their use cases have gotten more complex. It requires the wealth of HPE’s capabilities across all the technology -- or in the multi-vendor space. We have a massive capability globally to fix and repair non-HPE products. So, whether it’s Dell servers, or IBM systems, or Brocade switches, or NetApp storage arrays -- customers are often surprised that we can provide the same level of support on their non-HPE technology as their HPE technology.

We will keep investing in the digital platforms to bring forward all the AI and telemetry and make it more broadly available, as well as enriching the dashboards, alerts, and insights provided to customers that have the HPE Pointnext Complete Care framework. We will constantly make it better and help customers manage the lifecycle -- not just provide support.

If customers need to look at their strategy plans, we can bring in our strategy consultants. If they have a need for flexibility around payment plans or to monetize their older assets, we can partner with our financial services colleagues and bring them to the table. All of this can be done through a single HPE Pointnext Complete Care framework. It delivers a complete, end-to-end suite of value to cover all needs. That’s what makes our vision quite exciting for me. 

Gardner: When I first learned about HPE Pointnext Complete Care, I said to myself, “Wow, this is pretty ambitious.” And one of the things I wondered is how you’re able to manage being all inclusive -- providing a single point of contact -- yet at the same time personalize and customize the support experience for every customer. How are you able to pull that off, Gerry, to be  all-inclusive and simplified, but also customized and tailored to each company?

Nolan: That’s one of the beautiful things about HPE Pointnext Complete Care. We have a big benefit in that we’ve been doing this for – and I’m embarrassed because I’ve been here most of these -- 40 years. We’ve been doing support of customer’s technology -- whether it’s HP, HPE, or non-HPE technologies -- for a very long time. We’ve built up amazing global capabilities, whether it’s supply chain or expert teams that specialize in different areas like SAP HANA or security or VMware or Linux or automation or containers -- name your tech topic. We built up deep teams of experts that we can draw upon.

HPE Pointnext Complete Care is a big toolbox of capabilities across the company. We have teams that can readily help customers regardless of where they are on their journey. We're able to do this due to the sheer breadth of capabilities available to us.

If you can imagine, HPE Pointnext Complete Care is this big toolbox of capabilities across the company, as well as working with our partners, and that helps speak to a customer. You can view that customer in their own unique scenario. It’s very helpful when you can turn around and talk to your consulting colleagues and bring in some strategy or help for the customer who has a desire to move to cloud. They may need some help figuring out, “How do I architect a good solution for all my various workloads?”

Because we know that not every workload is going to work in the cloud, we know that customers don’t typically throw out all their old technology. They want to keep their old technology but also get the most from it for as long as possible while they move to the newer models. And we have teams within our organization that can readily help customers regardless of where they are on that journey.

Again, we’re able to do this due to the sheer breadth and depth of the capabilities available to us. It allows us to turn up and develop what appears a custom-built solution for each customer. But, in fact, we’re leveraging capabilities that have been built up over 40-plus years. We’re putting them together uniquely for each client and we have the flexibility to do that. We are not tied to any one model, whether it’s on-premises, off-premises, hybrid cloud, IoT, edge, and containers.

We don’t have any specific bias to pushing a customer in one direction. We have so many tools in our toolkit, we do the best for that customer and give them the outcome that best satisfies their unique needs with HPE Pointnext Complete Care. That’s the value proposition and the beauty of the framework. We pick and choose the tools, assets, and capabilities and we map those to each individual client.

Gardner: Let’s chunk this out a bit. What are the major modules in HPE Pointnext Complete Care? How should we think about it in terms of how it’s constructed and architected?

Personalized, customer-centric care

Nolan: Because we’ve been doing this for a while, we carry forward into HPE Pointnext Complete Care all those proven key elements that customers love and are already delivering value. That includes key elements like having an assigned team with named individuals that work with the customer. That’s the first thing we will do with an HPE Pointnext Complete Care customer. 

While we’re onboarding them, we enhance that by adding new roles into that assigned team and providing new profiling capabilities. We get to know that customer’s business, their key objectives and priorities, and then we build that into the plan and make sure anyone interacting with that customer has full visibility to what’s important to that specific customer.

For example, say I’m working with you, the customer, and you have a big customer event next week. We’re going to make sure that the entire HPE team working with you is ready to support you in that big event. We are going to make sure we mitigate all possible risks, and we’re going to have extra staff on hand to support you during that event. It’s important to have that level of detail of profiling. So, that assigned team is the first critical element.

In the broader scope, with HPEPointnext Complete Care, we’re expanding the products and software that we can cover in the customer framework agreement. That helps to enhance the incident management capabilities. When bad things do happen – because, at the end of the day, hardware will at some point fail, or somebody will make a mistake -- we make sure we can mitigate that. Whenever bad things occur, we’re enhancing the way that we manage those incidents. It makes for the best possible experience.

And, of course, we’re expanding the menu of new support capabilities; things like, broader services for open-source assets. We see many customers challenged with deploying the different varieties of open source products. And the move to automation and containers is accelerating the push to use of open source. Many of our customers are saying, “Boy, this is hard. It’s more complex than we imagined. It sounded, easy, fast, and cheap, but it’s none of those things.”

There are many benefits to moving to open source, but it is quite challenging. So that’s an area we’re going to help customers with. We have a lot of open source expertise within our company. We’re going to ramp that up with the launch of HPE Pointnext Complete Care to offer customers a single point of contact for all their open source tools.

And then, aligned with that, is our big focus on software in general. We see customers -- especially coming out of COVID – who had companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and others open up access to free licenses. But now, coming out of the pandemic, those vendor companies rightfully are saying, “Well, gee, we need to monetize this now. We need to audit what software is being used by our customers.” And, of course, those customers in many cases are struggling to know what software is in their estate. They have huge estates, now with remote software to enable their global remote workforce, and in many cases that’s gotten out of control. We see customers who don’t know what software they have. Nor do they have a good handle on the associated costs, compliance issues, and security risks.

We help customers find all their software licenses. We show them via different dashboards what's being used. They can also see compliance risks, as well as where they're spending too much. They can even manage their software estate.

As a result, another HPE Pointnext Complete Care module we’re launching focuses on software asset management (SAM). We help customers find all their software licenses. We show them via different dashboards what’s being used. They can also see where they have security and compliance risks, as well as what they’re spending -- and perhaps where they’re spending too much. It shows how they could save money via recommendations in those dashboards. If they’d like, we can even do the management of their software estate thanks to the new SAM capabilities in HPE Pointnext Complete Care.

Those are some of the new exciting modules. It’s a long list, but those are a couple that jump to mind in terms of some of the new exciting capabilities we’re now introducing.

Gardner: As a global organization, HPE is helping each of these companies deal with these issues. That means what you learn in one part of world from one type of company can be applied to everybody else. There’s a vast amount of data gathered, and that can be applied and reapplied. It’s a very exciting time.

Gerry, let’s talk about your go-to-market strategy. This isn’t just an HPE-only entry point. What are you doing to make HPE Pointnext Complete Care available across a channel partner ecosystem?

Harness the power of partnerships

Nolan: HPE, like so many big companies, relies on our trusted partners around the world. We have an awesome network of partners, and we’re very excited with HPE Pointnext Complete Care to be opening that experience up to our channel partners.

Many partners have the desire to create an experience like HPE Pointnext Complete Care and deliver it to their end customers. But they may not have the full suite of capabilities. So, combining our capabilities with their capabilities, they all might be able to directly quote proposals to their end customers.

That would include HPE Pointnext Complete Care plus their own value. That’s a new capability available with HPE Pointnext Complete Care. We provide a new solutioning platform, which channel partners can directly access themselves. They can create proposals, basically on their own, and then bring in all the value of HPE plus their own value and be compensated to do that. So, it’s good for the customer, it’s good for the channel partner, and, of course, it’s jointly good for us as well. So, everybody wins.

Gardner: We’ve addressed the vast IT heterogeneity and how HPE Pointnext Complete Care will address that. But looking a little bit closer to home, within the HPE family of products, this has also given you an opportunity to unify around your HPE GreenLake as-a-service economics. You can put that umbrella over your product lines, such as Nimble storage, Cray for HPC, Ezmeral, and Aruba for networking and edge. So, tell us how HPE Pointnext Complete Care not only unifies a vendor ecosystem but unifies the HPE ecosystem and procurement models as well?

Nolan: One of the reasons we chose the name HPE Pointnext Complete Care is we are delivering that complete experience of bringing together a consistent, single point of support for the customer across all our products. I’m excited to say that, “Yes, we’re expanding the scope of HPE Pointnext Complete Care.”

So it includes all the products you just mentioned. Whether you have Nimble in your environment or HPE’s new container platform, called Ezmeral, or Cray, or even Aruba on the edge -- all of that can be included alongside your servers, storage, and the non-HPE everything you have under a single HPE Pointnext Complete Care contract.

And, of course, the other nice thing about HPE Pointnext Complete Care is HPE GreenLake, our as-a-service-offering model for those customers who want to buy their IT -- whether it’s on-premises or a colocation – and pay on an as-you-go basis, with a monthly bill for whatever they use. HPE GreenLake is the solution. In every HPE GreenLake engagement, at the heart of it, also has HPE Pointnext Complete Care. HPE Pointnext Complete Care carries the part that delivers the support and optimizes the performance of all that IT.

HPE GreenLake, we’re very excited to say, is called the “cloud that comes to you” because it delivers all the benefits of hybrid IT but with HPE Pointnext Complete Care in that expanded scope for support. We cover all the products you mentioned, all the elements of HPE GreenLake, and we’ll be adding to that as we learn and get more feedback from customers. We’re pretty excited.

Gardner: It’s near the end of summer 2021, and this is new to the market. But do you have any early adopters or beta customers that you can look to and say, “Yes, we’ve been describing this, but here’s how it’s working in practice?” Where is this being used first, and what are they getting for it?

A case in point takes flight

Nolan: A recent example comes to mind. A major aircraft manufacturer is struggling with a large, complex IT environment. By the nature of their business, it’s a very sensitive IT environment. They need to work with clusters and proven partners. We in 2021 signed a five-year engagement with that organization.

HPE is their sole IT support provider. We’re providing HPE Pointnext Complete Care coverage for their entire IT environment, including support for more than 20 different vendors. That means all types of hardware and software -- way beyond just the HPE products. It includes managing all their software licenses, a very large software estate across their environment. It includes helping them operate all the IT operations -- from planning through to support. We will take on the relationships with their other vendors, and we’ll provide that customer a single view, a single dashboard, and map to their key performance indicators (KPIs).

We're providing HPE Pointnext Complete Care coverage for their entire IT environment, including support for more than 20 different vendors. That means all types of hardware and software. It includes helping them operate all the IT -- from planning to support. We provide a single dashboard view and a map to the KPIs.

It’s an exciting engagement. And, of course, every customer will be measuring the value this way -- the idea of aligning with the customer on what KPIs are. Then we’ll constantly review and update those with the customer as we jointly make progress together.

This large deal is a good proof-point. It has most of the elements of HPE Pointnext Complete Care that I’ve been talking about. We are in discussions with many other customers in similar types of use case scenarios, where HPE Pointnext Complete Care provides that single point of contact across their complete IT estate. And, of course, we’re bringing to bear that complete suite of value.

Gardner: Is there a crawl, walk, run approach to HPE Pointnext Complete Care? How do you get started? How do you learn more?

Nolan: You can absolutely start with a small HPE Pointnext Complete Care contract, perhaps for one key part of your infrastructure or environment, and then grow from that over time. It’s totally flexible. I encourage anyone who believes that this might be an experience that would help them to engage through their authorized channel partner or directly with an HPE account manager representative.

There’s also a wealth of information on the website in the HPE Pointnext Services area. We would love to come in and just discuss what’s going on in the customer’s environment. What are some of their challenges? What are some of their desired IT estate goals? And then just figure out, how we can help. And if we can help them and put together something that works for them.

Gardner: Gerry, what comes next? It sounds to me when you combine HPE GreenLake and HPE Pointnext Complete Care that we’re reverse engineering from the business outcomes back to what the IT requirements as services are. We’re revolutionizing IT. Even the economics of IT shift.

How does the advent of HPE Pointnext Complete Care work with some of these other trends to reinvent IT? Are we really looking at something that’s substantially different?

The IT solution revolution

Nolan: As vendors, we really need to continually step-up the game. As we’re trying to do here, we need to bring more value to customers who in turn are having to do that with their end customers. This spans the entire IT lifecycle – from helping customers with strategy, all the way through to operating and managing the IT estate.

It’s no longer good enough to just provide support, the sort of break-fix support. Instead, we must provide an end-to-end lifecycle experience for all IT, where we’re bringing in advice, help, insights, recommendations, and, of course, best-in-class support. For us, that includes continued investment in scaling up our people and building new solutions, as well as extending our AI and machine learning (ML) to bring about entirely new types of insights.

We can stop the bad things from happening before they happen. And technologies like augmented reality (AR) will help elevate the experience, allowing us to better support remote sites and every type of computing and business edge. We already support customers on ships, on oil rigs, and on the tops of mountains. There’s nowhere our support can’t go.

We’re constantly innovating and coming up with new solutions, which is why we’re making these investments. We see these as critical as the customers do. Business doesn’t stop, innovation doesn’t stop, and we’re going to stay ahead. That’s what we’re trying to do with HPE Pointnext Complete Care.

Gardner: Yes, you’re changing the relationship with your customers. It’s truly a partnership. When they succeed, you succeed, and vice-versa -- and you’ll need to work together to make that continue. It’s an exciting opportunity.

I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. You’ve been exploring how today’s diversity of hybrid IT models and environments demand that IT services and support accommodate more digital variables than ever.

And we’ve learned how HPE Pointnext Services has developed solutions to satisfy this broad new definition of complete IT tech support. It’s a coverage that amounts to a “warm blanket” of support across the entire IT environment.

So, please join me in thanking our guest, Gerry Nolan, Director of Operational Services Portfolio at HPE Pointnext Services. Thank you so much, Gerry.

Nolan: Thank you, Dana. It’s been great.

Gardner: And a big thank you also to our audience for joining this sponsored BriefingsDirect Voice of Technology Services Innovation discussion. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series of HPE Pointnext-supported discussions.

Thanks again for listening. Please pass this along to your IT community, and do come back next time. 

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Pointnext Services.

Transcript of a discussion on how complexity and fast-changing dynamics of digital businesses are pushing enterprises to seek a complete and holistic way to support all their technology. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2021. All rights reserved.

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