Harnessing emerging opportunities key for HPE’s Chris Weber

Harnessing emerging opportunities key for HPE’s Chris Weber

Ensuring data strategies are in order to embrace emerging technologies a top priority.

Chris Weber (HPE)

Chris Weber (HPE)

Credit: HPE

Embracing emerging technologies and getting ahead of approaches to sales in its partner ecosystem are key for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in New Zealand.

Weber was promoted in January to the leadership role following Stephen Bovis' departure last year, officially stepping into the role on 1 February.

“The business performance has been strong across the board. The team has really lent in and made the most of some pretty challenging economic issues across both Australia and New Zealand, but we’ve come through it very well,” Weber told Reseller News. 

“In New Zealand, public sector and telecommunications have been going strong. Our partner ecosystem, particularly in New Zealand is really strong. We see competition here a little different to what we see in Australia – there’s a different style of engagement here.”

Weber also said that discussions with local partners have largely centred around embracing around new and emerging technologies.

At its Discover conference in Las Vegas, HPE unveiled in June a suite of announcements including entering the artificial intelligence (AI) cloud market with the introduction of HPE GreenLake for Large Language Models (LLMs), touted the “first in a series” of industry and domain-specific AI applications. 

However, Weber explained that HPE’s current focus takes a step back to focus on “getting your house in order” to implement new technologies on top of a solid data strategy. 

“A lot of organisations have many data silos that are very difficult to run … It’s really getting your house in order, getting the data together and then mining and harvesting the data using AI and machine learning [ML] technologies. 

“We’ve got all the tools and technology to do it, but our approach is more about getting your data strategy sorted first."

Along with uncertainty around emerging technologies and economic pressures, Weber said one challenge the vendor is facing is “protracted sales cycles” as edge-to-cloud migrations ramp up. 

“A lot of organisations are thinking about ‘what do I do with the workload?’ It’s not just a simple ‘I’m going to go refresh’, it’s where do I refresh to, how do I transform these applications, how do I transform these platforms, rather than just buying something more or just moving it to AWS or Microsoft or whatever it’s going to be,” he said.

As well as the decision process taking longer, Weber said the typical profile of the buyer within a company has shifted, necessitating a change in approach to sales. 

“The buyer could now be marketing, the buyer might be the CEO, rather than traditionally being the IT manager or CIO,” he said. 

“So, we’re now adapting with our partners to understand how the sales cycle is changing and who we’re selling to.”

While emphasising the strong local partner ecosystem, Weber identified the cyber security space as one area of opportunity for HPE.   

“Where I think we have an opportunity, or an opportunity gap at the moment is we’re not really in the space of working with partners who have strong cyber security skills,” he said. 

“We are assessing ‘is that an opportunity for HPE to get closer into that marketplace?’ We’re got some great technology that can underpin some of the key ISVs in that space.”

The cyber security opportunity also parallels with a significant challenge as an industry as a whole, Weber said, in attracting skilled people into security roles.  

“We have gone through that churn period of the past of COVID, and our customers are struggling to find good people. 

“Both Australia and New Zealand are struggling with filling critical roles. Our customers are also struggling with the threats of cyber security and how do they balance their priorities when they need to invest a huge amount in cyber to protect themselves from a whole bunch of threats."

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Tags Hewlett Packard EnterpriseHPEHPE New Zealand



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