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Where will HPE’s Pointnext launch leave local partners?

Technology Services revamp sees HPE's narrow focus in the local market
Chris Weber - HPE’s South Pacific Enterprise Group general manager of Technology Services

Chris Weber - HPE’s South Pacific Enterprise Group general manager of Technology Services

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has launched its new Technology Services business, Pointnext, in a move that sees the company turn its focus solidly on the services needed to help companies accelerate their digital transformations.

The new business, which is essentially a re-launch of the company’s Technology Services unit, was announced on 2 March, with the aim of narrowing its focus on helping customers adopt emerging technologies.

It combines HPE's consulting and support organisations in one group under general manager, Ana Pinczuk, the former chief product officer at Veritas.

Ultimately, the idea behind the revamped business division is to draw upon the expertise of more than 25,000 specialists in 80 countries across a range of disciplines to collaborate with businesses in a bid to speed their adoption of emerging technologies.

These new and emerging technologies include cloud computing and hybrid IT, big data and analytics, the Intelligent Edge and Internet of Things (IoT).

Here’s what HPE said about the new business when it was first announced:

The Pointnext team helps customers harness the power of hybrid IT, real-time data and analytics, and mobile solutions to enhance customer experiences, create and deliver new digital product and services, and improve core operations at unprecedented speed and efficiency.

HPE said that Pointnext will provide three types of services in its fresh drive to narrow its focus on new and emerging technology: advisory and transformation, professional and operational.

"Pointnext services will be the front lines of our engagement with customers – to quickly and nimbly design, integrate and optimise digital solutions critical to the success of enterprises of all sizes,” said Pinczuk, who was brought on board to lead HPE’s Technology Services business in February.

While Pointnext’s strategy is currently focused on heavily on emerging tech and digital transformation, HPE’s South Pacific Enterprise Group general manager of Technology Services, Chris Weber, is clear that the goals of the business, under Pinczuk’s leadership, will remain dynamic and will likely change over time.

For now, however, one of Pointnext’s main focus areas is on helping customers that need support on core infrastructure, according to Weber, and on assisting them to remove some of their lower-end tasks, administrative tasks, so they can focus on growing their business.

Given that the business is turning its gaze on some of the areas habitually covered by providers within the HPE partner network, Weber is conscious of wanting to make sure that partners are not cut out of the picture when it comes to local projects.

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This had been a point of contention for HPE’s Enterprise Services division, which also covered many of the same areas handled by HPE partners.

However, with the Enterprise Services division set to come under the auspices of CSC when its so-called “spin-merger” with the business unit closes in April - resulting in a new entity named DXC Technology - it will see HPE focus solidly on channel-led engagements.

For his part, Weber stresses that although HPE is stepping up its focus on its Technology Services business with the launch of the Pointnex brand, it is not in order to fill the gap left by the spin-off merger of the Enterprise Services business – even if the merger with CSC is likely to free up resources for HPE to push its Technology Services portfolio.

According to Weber, the channel in Australia and New Zealand, and further afield, will remain a very large part of the Pointnext services portfolio moving forward.

“It [the channel] plays a very big role in the work that we do today,” Weber told ARN. “So, we have very close working relationships the bulk of [partners] and we have a dedicated services channel team inside HPE Pointnext, and even before it was Pointnext, helping to promote the services we have.

“One of HPE’s core values is ‘partner first’…enabling the partnership, so we’ll always take the focus to go with our partner community. The services and portfolio that we have will typically complement the skill-sets that our partners will have, rather than compete,” he said.

Although Weber conceded that are some new and emerging technologies that can only be obtained through HPE directly, the business will work with the partner to develop the skill-sets needed to take those products to market.

Additionally, Weber suggests that HPE’s revamped Partner Ready for Service Providers Program (PRSP) will help the business to avoid direct competition with partners.

“The PRSP is focused on making sure we don’t have that conflict moving forward, and there are a large number of partners that have already signed up to that platform…that is the key motivator behind the RSPS pledge, which is working very well,” he said.