2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
HPE: News from the very top …
During the time many of us were celebrating the holidays and enjoying a few days away from our office whatever form it takes, the news coming from HPE executives was slim. However, in late December, HPE announced that it would be opening a new office in Manchester, UK. Normally, the opening of a branch office in a major city while newsworthy at some level doesn’t warrant being called-out in an update such as this, but this time it’s a little different and comes at a time when there are lot of discussions concerning what our future work environment will look like. Will having an office even be relevant in the coming decade?
According to the press release HPE has put out on the wire, with the depiction of what the environment might look like, there is some excitement within the UK over this move to new offices:
“As we continue to grow our business in the UK, we’re really pleased to build out an innovative work space for our people in the heart of Manchester. The intent of the Circle Square development is to build a collaborative community of leaders in technology, business, arts and science, which is compelling,” said Marc Waters, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, HPE. “Hewlett Packard Enterprise is excited to be a part of such a progressive project that is well aligned to our core values. Our connectivity and security solutions are embedded in the development which will itself be a showcase for edge technology in the workplace. We can’t wait to move in.”
For readers who have been following some recent exchanges on LinkedIn, the topic of office space attracts commentary from all sides – do you prefer an office? A cubicle? Open plan? No office at all? The needle has been swinging wildly but as the picture above suggests, the new offices of HPE Manchester look to be following the open plan school of thought. One comment that stood out for some for those of us familiar with the many different approaches taken within HPE and before that, Compaq and Tandem Computers, was from Catherine Shinners. A former Tandem Computers product manager (yes, we worked together for a number of years) and later, working for the likes of Cisco, Western Digital and Intuit, when it comes to those who continue to lobby for cubes, Shinners disagrees, noting that, “for those of us who spent many years in the ‘Land of Dilbert’ cubicle culture, open space is a wonderful option.”
However, the announcement is more than just an update on current thinking concerning office space and this is what is becoming a lot more important. From the outset it appears HPE is involved in the design and indeed construction of the space it plans to occupy:
HPE aims to complete the move into No. 1 Circle Square – occupying 20,000 square feet on the seventh floor – in summer 2020.
This new office will be custom fit to HPE’s specifications, including the use of networking technology from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
HPE will take up a 10-year lease for the managed office space, which includes over 200 permanent seats, and capacity for almost 100 more in secondary seating.
It will be 20,000 square feet (not all that big in this age of million square feet campuses), but it will include the use of Aruba networking and in a way whereby “Our connectivity and security solutions are embedded in the development which will itself be a showcase for edge technology in the workplace.” In other words, HPE is utilizing its own technology to better protect itself and its staff. It’s “eating its own dog food” as we so often are keen to say in situations like this!
There is one more aspect to the announcement we shouldn’t lose sight of. We have all read how HPE is moving its corporate offices out of Palo Alto and into a new campus located in San Jose. Back in March, 2018, it was announced that HPE had indeed made the decision to move south to a new facility in San Jose that will provide its employees with accommodation across six floors and – 220,000 square feet – where it will locate around 1,000 employees from across its Bay Area workforce. This move is under way right now according to sources close to HPE and will continue for some time. Furthermore, “the San Jose location will offer space to grow”, said Nick Gunn, HPE Senior VP of Global Corporate Services.
Perhaps this is the most important message of all – there is every indication that these moves are for the long term and they provide room to grow. At a time when there continues to be questions concerning the longevity of HPE and with it, NonStop, when you look at the “moves” HPE is making to better support its employees it is hard to argue that HPE is anything other than fully committed to all of us, the NonStop community, and to its employees and yes, even to Silicon Valley! And this is a good way to start any year and for all of us making plans for 2019, it looks as though HPE is going to be around to partner with us for 2019 and beyond!