2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
The HPE Corner
HPE is on the move; looks like it knows the way to San Jose!
For anyone facing a big move situation, there are far more questions than ever are answers. Having moved home and office in 2017, it’s not an action I am contemplating repeating any time soon. Apart from the knocks and scratches and missing files – where are those business receipts we need for taxes? – unpacking boxes is always a chore that is more often than not, never fully completed. There’s always something you don’t quite get around to and I am just waiting for the first anniversary of our move to check boxes not opened over that year so I can simply throw them away.
When it comes to moving a large corporation, I can only expect that there are similar concerns. Assuming of course, you have a firm timeline and you know where you are going, things can fall into place and when it comes to Silicon Valley, there are many companies to choose from that specialize in moving offices. Companies simply come and go in Silicon Valley and for every one growth business there are a dozen or more who simply fade from the scene. The growing trend of course is to bulk-up the campus setting – bigger is clearly better and if you can provide parking space for a thousand cars, site you entry gate across the street from a railway station and yes, perhaps have a few oversize parking spaces for the occasional RV / Command Center, all the better.
HPE have lived through a successful split with HPQ as well as two spin merge actions that have seen a once $130+billion company become an enterprise-focused business pursuing a strategy centered on the high margins and greater profitability that comes with hybrid IT and software-defined everything, but it is still a very large corporation. A corporation that following the successful split with HPQ really needs its own space, shared with no other entity or worse, a space not tucked behind a warehouse or strip mall. With all the attention the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook are getting with the campuses they have established many of us can’t get over the sight of Spaceship Apple sitting where Tandem Computers had its HQ not that long ago.
When news first broke that HPE was moving out of the Palo Alto campus it shared with HPQ and that the very buildings so long associated with the origins of HP would no longer be home to HPE, I was on board. Yes, you need more than a handful of partitions and a couple of new card-key entry doors to signal the presence of a new corporation – you needed something more tangible. However, when the news first broke that HPE would be heading to Santa Clara to take up residence in the recently completed Aruba campus my enthusiasm waned just a tad. Not because Aruba wasn’t a good business – it was wholly owned HPE entity these days – but driving up to a building site flashing Aruba and then looking for the HPE entrance didn’t sit well with me.
When it comes to messaging and branding, there has to be neon lights flashing, unless, of course, you are one of those three-letter acronyms we all associate with the US federal government. There are so many really good people working at HPE its’ time to give them a home that they can be proud of and be happy to invite guests over for coffee and a chat. It’s time to give them a site that is at the intersection of multiple trunk routes and wouldn’t it be nice if was just a little closer to the home field of the San Francisco 49ers football team?
Well as March came to a close news began filtering down that HPE wasn’t going to be heading to the Aruba site but to a site just a little north of Aruba – just follow the signs to Great America Parkway and head across to the other side of Hwy 101 and you will find a new site being developed that will become home to HPE. It’s called the America Center and HPE is planning to move in as 2018 draws to a close – sure hope they throw a party and celebrate in style. Sure hope too that HPE paints really big green rectangles on the roof, mind you, so we can all readily identify the buildings from the air as our flights climb out of San Jose Airport!
While it isn’t quite the low-rise campus setting that I prefer, a residence that is just six stories high isn’t all that bad. According to the site’s promotional material:
The project features two 6-story buildings of approximately 220,761 sf, plus a 16,477 sf amenity building. The 13 acre site has unobstructed San Francisco Bay and Valley views and is surrounded by an open space preserve, with access to jogging and bike trails.
Outdoor amenities include: sports court with basketball, volleyball, ping pong, fuse ball; large open grass and picnic areas; fire pit and barbeque area; presentation theatre and numerous collaborative meeting areas.
And probably best of all for anyone who has spent time in Palo Alto:
Convenient to numerous restaurants, hotels and other amenities. A Starwood Aloft Hotel is immediately adjacent to the property and a dual hotel concept by Marriott is under construction next door.
Close proximity to VTA Light Rail and CalTrain (there is a dedicated CalTrain shuttle on site) and future BART stations
As for this last point, HPE points out that it is located near a forthcoming Berryessa BART station.
On site will be two six story buildings, each over 200,000 square feet and it looks like HPE will occupy one entire building. According to a report in the San Jose Mercury local government officials seem pretty chuffed by this decision of HPE to move to San Jose and not Santa Clara:
“We’re thrilled to see a global brand like HP come to San Jose, especially one that has played such an instrumental role in the formation of Silicon Valley,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a great thing.”
“It’s another step in realizing our vision for transit-oriented development that will improve our mobility at a time when our freeways are masquerading as parking lots,” Liccardo said.
Of interest to those who see so many cities throwing money around willy-nilly trying to attract prominent corporations to relocate to their cities, it was surprising to read how:
… city offered no financial incentives to HP Enterprise, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 2015 as a server and storage-focused company.
“I think,” (Liccardo) said, “it reflects the southward migration of Silicon Valley’s center of gravity.”
A campus bar – now that brings back a sense of community for many in the NonStop community. I wonder how popular it will become as Friday afternoons come around. All we need is a donut shop supplying donuts each payday and “the circle is complete” – HPE and Tandem; who knows? Bringing Availability Level 4 (AL4) to HPE’s initiative to simply the transformation to hybrid IT and being promoted by HPE executives as THE differentiator for business, it could yet prove to be the beginning of yet one more golden age for NonStop!