New Hewlett Packard Enterprise Worldwide Vice President of GreenLake Partner and Service Provider Sales Ulrich Seibold is charting a course to drive GreenLake partner sales to 70 percent of total sales for the edge-to-cloud service.
Seibold told CRN that his goal over the next two years is to bring the GreenLake partner business to the same 70 percent worldwide channel sales ratio that has been a hallmark of HPE for many years.
“I know from a worldwide perspective we are in the range of 70 percent (of our business through partners) in the traditional business,” he said. “My goal is to achieve growth with HPE GreenLake to that indirect ratio. That is the message for partners. We are a partner company. I was working with partners for 10 years before I joined the GreenLake team.”
HPE’s worldwide partner sales currently amount to about 70 percent of HPE’s $28.5 billion in annual worldwide sales.
The GreenLake business was about 30 percent of HPE’s business in North America in the most recent quarter. “The expectation is the partner share [of total GreenLake sales] will basically be doubled,” said Seibold, a staunch channel advocate who has held many partner roles during his nearly 40-year career with HPE and HP.
Key to raising that GreenLake total channel sales mark, said Seibold, is driving more standardized subscription-based cloud services as HPE has recently done with its storage portfolio through the HPE Alletra platform with offerings like Backup as a Service.
“Standardization is key for me,” said Seibold. “We need to develop and deliver standardized services to partners. For our most mature partners they will be able to integrate with Amazon EKS or Azure Stack with an end-to-end platform on-prem or off-prem. If we achieve that, delivering services to the partner community from the edge to the data center or a colo or to a hyperscaler and implement that in a customer environment these partners will have the best life in the future. That is my personal goal to achieve something like this. It could be Backup as a Service, VM as a Service, Bare Metal as a Service, Container as a Service. But not customized. It needs to be standardized.”
In fact, Seibold, said the only way HPE can dramatically scale the business is through standardization of cloud services. “More and more will come to the platform as a standardized service,” he said. “By the way even today you can get from us Red Hat as a service standardized, VMware standardized, bare metal standardized or containers standardized. This is something we need to do from an enablement and education perspective.”
Seibold said his vision is to take partners into the GreenLake as-a-service world through subscription and then into consumption with more customized edge-to-cloud solutions.
Ultimately, HPE is aiming to help partners become business advisers that are “more and more business relevant” for their customers, said Seibold. That means not just talking about product “price or performance,” but focusing on how customers can drive insight from their data and even monetize it.
Advizex, a Fulcrum IT Partners company and one of the top everything as a service providers in the country, is already driving data insight discussions with 70 percent of its HPE business as GreenLake consumption based deals, said Advizex CEO C.R. Howdyshell.
“We are already there,” said Howdyshell. “I’m looking forward to meeting Ulrich and seeing how we can scale even faster in North America and even globally with our acquisition by Fulcrum IT Partners. We couldn’t be happier about our mix of GreenLake versus traditional HPE product.”
Howdyshell attributed Advizex’s GreenLake success to the company’s no holds barred IT consumption focus and a growing appetite from customers looking for consumption based solutions. “It’s because we know how to have the consumption conversation with customers,” he said.
Advizex just closed one of its biggest GreenLake deals with a Midwest retailer, said Howdyshell. “In today’s business environment the way customers want to consume and transact IT is way past the fulfillment stage,” he said. “There has to be significant value and differentiation or you are out of the game. That is what Advizex is providing with our everything as a service single bill consumption model.”
One of the biggest factors as partners move forward with HPE in a GreenLake as-a-service model versus competing offerings is HPE’s rich history of partner commitment, said Seibold. “You can trust us,” he said. “We believe in partners.”
Seibold’s long history at HPE and HP, in fact, is a testament to that partner commitment. “Since I came into this company [39 years ago] we have always worked with partners,” he said.
Seibold has a relationship with Bechtle AG, Germany’s largest independent IT systems integrator, that dates back to just two years after that company was founded in 1985. “We worked with them from a small five-employee company and they are now larger than us in Central Europe,” he said. “They did it with a very strong relationship with us.”
Seibold is flat out one of the “best channel leaders” that partners have ever had in central Europe, said Michael Guschlbauer, COO and a member of the executive board for Bechtle AG.
“The best thing about Uli is when he says something, it happens,” said Guschlbauer, who has known Seibold for nearly two decades. “He does not just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He makes things happen. For us it is very important that he is taking the lead of the GreenLake business because GreenLake from my perspective is not fully understood in the channel.”