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 …
NonStop Insider - HPEDan
HPE CEO Antonio Neri took the reins of the new HPE company back on February 1, 2018 and in his first blog post to LinkedIn, he closed with a couple of very telling observations:
“As HPE’s president and, now, CEO, I fervently believe that the right people presented with the right opportunities can thrive, personally and professionally.
“Our employees are the ones who enable us to go to market with more of the state-of-the-art innovations on which our stellar reputation has been built so they must always feel empowered to take risks, to seek novel and original ways to solve problems or capitalize on opportunities. All our employees must be strivers, not simply survivors. To go further, faster. To accelerate what’s next for our customers and partners. And to achieve their dreams. Just as I am doing.”
In a climate with business and government chiefs are communicating more today via tweets and posts, the immediacy of the dialogue is inescapable. Out there, for all to read, it attracts further commentary and even an active discussion as these tweets and posts are targeting an audience only too willing to talk back to the chief. When it comes to HPE and to Neri, he is an HPE person at heart (and I have heard him present on many occasions now), willing to listen to those individuals only too willing to share with him their experiences in dealing with HPE. As for the above quote, three remarks stand out:
“right people presented with the right opportunities can thrive”
“they must always feel empowered to take risks, to seek novel and original ways to solve problems or capitalize on opportunities”
“(they) must be strivers, not simply survivors”
In a matter of a few short phrases, Neri pretty much sums up what was really needed at HPE. No more hunkering down to merely survive and to stay out the remaining time to retirement. No more sitting back waiting for others to make the first move. And yes, people encouraged by senior management can indeed thrive. When it comes to NonStop, much the same could be said about the past couple of years – NonStop development has been given an opportunity to innovate on a scale that is unprecedented and they have delivered. Multuple families of traditional systems, a path to virtualization and the clouds, and a vision for NonStop as a Service! Who could have imagined all of this transpiring over as short a period as it has happened?
Neri’s post of February 1, 2018, marked a changed style of management and a fresh approach for how the HPE organization should operate. For many members of the NonStop community, the biggest concern has had to do with marketing and sales and who was going to take the lead in marketing NonStop. With little fanfare, former HPE CEO, Meg Whitman’s, choice for CMO, Henry Gomez, left the company in May and as of June 1, Jim Jackson took over as CMO. In making the announcement, Neri said, “Today, Jim and his team – in close collaboration with Sales and Product Development – are focused on establishing new growth opportunities for HPE in Hybrid IT, software-defined infrastructure, the intelligent edge, services and pay-per-consumption services; and on solidifying HPE’s leadership role in compute innovation in emerging markets such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Blockchain.”
It was only a short time later that another change happened within marketing as HPE announced its choice for chief communications officer, Jennifer Temple. In an internal memo, as reported by CRN.com, announcing Temple’s appointment, HPE CEO Antonio Neri called Temple a great “cultural fit” for HPE. “She understands the importance of partnership and is an advocate for building collaborative cultures,” said Neri. “She has an innovative spirit, and her track record proves that she has a bias for action.” In a LinkedIn message exchange with Temple, she said, “Sadly I will just miss HPE Discover. I am still at Wells Fargo through the end of next week transitioning my current job and then I start at HPE in July. But, I’ll be watching and reading and absorbing as much as I can from the event and can’t wait to get started!”
As the news about these changes was being absorbed, these past few days saw even more changes announced this time with sales the focus of the announcements. Neri announced the elevation of then Chief Sales Officer, Phil Davis to the post of President of Hybrid IT. According to Neri in the press release that followed:
“The Hybrid IT business group led by Phil consists of three business units – Hybrid IT Infrastructure, Software-Defined & Cloud, and HPE Pointnext – plus, Global Operations and Global Sales.”
Davis will continue in his role as head of Global Sales, Hybrid IT, even as Alain Andreoli will continue to lead Hybrid IT Infrastructure, Ric Lewis will continue to lead Software-Defined & Cloud, and Arun Chandra will continue to lead Global Operations.According to one source, what this means is that, for the very first time, “the full Hybrid IT business unit is essentially end to end: business units / product, supply chain & operations, services, and sales.”
For a very long time the NonStop community has been concerned about marketing and sales and it looks as though this has also been noted by incoming CEO, Neri. With all of these changes happening on his watch, it marks a dramatic break from the past and sends a very positive message inside and out of HPE. All that now has to happen is excellence in execution and from all I have heard from Neri, this is the expectation of the company and this is good news for everyone who has ties to NonStop. “(They) must be strivers, not simply survivors,” is unambiguous and as such, suggests that we will likely see a renewed focus on technologies, products, and use-case scenarios that will be far removed from the former high-level corporate messaging that had frustrated so many HPE evangelists for so many years!