HPE Switches IoT Focus To Enterprise
While not as critical as analyst Rob Enderle (i.e. Whitman Throws Trump and HPE Under The Bus) when it comes to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, I’ve done my share of HPE mud-slinging, but it looks like the shrinking company — which just got smaller (again) — is making some solid advances in critical markets, including IoT. Sandwiched between the sale of most of its OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets to Linux provider SUSE, and Monday’s unveiling of a micro data center (on wheels), the company made a number of announcements at HPE Discover London (November 29-December 1), including: HPE Mobile Virtual Network Enabler; HPE Universal IoT Platform; Aruba ClearPass Universal Profiler; and, Aruba 2540 Series Switches.
A few months ago the company uncorked IoT in a Box, an all-in-one appliance designed to address IoT-at-the-edge applications. IoT is part of the IoE, Internet of Everything, that will deliver up to $19 trillion in value over the next decade.
That’s a lot of devices/data to be connected, manipulated and value to be extracted, and doing it at the edge can enable organizations to become digital disrupters within their industries, said Dr. Tom Bradicich, VP&GM, Servers and IoT Systems, HPE. “It’s really a good time to be us.”
IT Trends & Analysis spoke with HPE about the IoT announcements. “Iot is one of the top things customers are asking about,” said HPE’s Christian Gilby, Director of Product Marketing, Aruba. He was joined by Jeff Edlund, CTO Communications & Media Solutions, who added “I would want our customers to walk away saying to themselves wow, HPE has the partner system and ecosystem… I can start generating revenues in IoT right now.”
The company said it is addressing the biggest barriers to IoT adoption, ‘cost-prohibitive economics’ and the ‘lack of a holistic solution’. By approaching IoT with a growing framework built on edge infrastructure solutions, software platforms and technology ecosystem partners, HPE is addressing the cost, complexity and security concerns of organizations looking to enable a new class of services that will transform workplace and operational experiences, it stated.
In addition to its IoT additions, the company announced: the 3PAR Flash Now initiative, which gives customers a way to acquire all-flash technology on-premises starting at $0.03 per usable gigabyte per month; and, an expansion of its composable initiative with the addition of a new hybrid cloud offering and technology extensions to HPE hyper-converged systems.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead, Moor Insights & Strategy, gave the company a passing grade for its efforts across the pond. ‘Overall, HPE did what it needed to do at Discover London and it’ll be good when the company churn stops and we get to a stasis point.’
He said customers wanted to know if they can look to HPE for the future with compute, storage, networking, hybrid cloud and IoT edge? ‘For the most part I can say “yes” but the company will need to partner in a few areas to get there, which isn’t bad.’
HPE has had a lot going on with the services software spin-merges which has to take time and focus and it’ll be good to get these behind them, he said. ‘I do like their moves to get skinnier and do see them speeding up, but do believe they need to consider acquisitions either to drive even more scale in current areas, or go bigger in software platforms below applications.’
For the first two years, HPE primarily targeted — and were moderately successful with — carriers with its IoT platform, said Edlund. “Now what we’re finding really is the enterprise wants to move a lot faster than the traditional carrier.”
He added that the company is “morphing” to meet that need. “We’ve built this very large capability… our learning over the last two years is there are even bigger opportunites for HPE at the edge.”
DISCLAIMER: I hold HPE (& HP) shares in my portfolio.
PS: Expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, the SUSE deal is ‘complicated by the fact that SUSE’s parent company Micro Focus International plc is currently in the process of merging with HPE’s Software Division, following an $8.8 billion deal announced back in September’. Meanwhile, the micro DC-on-wheels appliance, announced at this week’s Gartner Data Center Conference, is geared toward distributed applications and other IT functions, including so-called ‘edge computing’, which is the concept of moving processing power toward the network edge in order to analyze data as it’s created.