I’m very happy to be attending the first edition of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) Discover in London next week. I say the first edition because this is the first major event being held since the reaving of HP Inc from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. I’m hopeful for some great things to come from this.
It’s The Network (This Time)
One of the most exciting things for me is seeing how HPE is working on their networking department. With the recent news about OpenSwitch, HPE is trying to shift the way of thinking about a switch operating system in a big way. To quote my friend Chris Young:
Vendors today spend a lot of effort re-writing 80% of their code and focus on innovating on the 20% that makes them different. Imagine how much further we’d be if that 80% required no effort at all?
OpenSwitch has some great ideas, like pulling everything from Open vSwitch as a central system database. I would love to see more companies use this model going forward. It makes a lot of sense and can provide significant benefits. Time will tell if other vendors recognize this and start using portions of OpenSwitch in their projects. But for now it’s interesting to see what is possible when someone takes a leap of open-sourced faith.
I’m also excited to hear from Aruba, a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company (Aruba) and see what new additions they’ve made to their portfolio. The interplay between Aruba and the new HPE Networking will be interesting to follow. I have seen more engagement and discussion coming from HPE Networking now that Aruba has begun integrating themselves into the organization. It’s exciting to have conversations with people involved in the vendor space about what they’re working on. I hope this trend continues with HPE in all areas and not just networking.
Expected To Do Your Duty
HPE is sailing into some very interesting waters. Splitting off the consumer side of the brand does allow the smaller organization to focus on the important things that enterprises need. This isn’t a divestiture. It’s cell mitosis. The behemoth that was HP needed to divide to survive.
I said a couple of weeks ago:
To which it was quickly pointed out that HPE is doing just that. I agree that their effort is impressive. But this is the first time that HP has tried to cut itself to pieces. IBM has done it over and over again. I would amend my original statement to say that no company will be IBM again, including IBM. What you and I think of today as IBM isn’t what Tom Watson built. It’s the remnants of IBM Global Services with some cloud practice acquisitions. The server and PC business that made IBM a household name are gone now.
The lesson to HPE during as they try to find their identity in the new world post-cleaving is to remember what people liked about HP in the enterprise space and focus on keeping that goodwill going. Create a nucleus that allows the brand to continue to build and innovate in new and exciting ways without letting people forget what made you great in the first place.
I’m excited to see what HPE has in store for this Discover. There are no doubt going to be lots of product launches and other kinds of things to pique my interest about the direction the company is headed. I’m impressed so far with the changes and the focus back to what matters. I hope the momentum continues to grow into 2016 and the folks behind the wheel of the HPE ship know how to steer into the clear water of success. Here’s hoping for clear skies and calm seas ahead for the good ship Hewlett-Packard Enterprise!