For the first time, the HPE Partner Ready Vantage program unites both HPE and Aruba portfolios in an end-to-end edge-to-cloud channel program.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Monday launched its first Everything-as-a-Service channel program as part of an aggressive GreenLake on-premises cloud services ecosystems build-out.

The new unified Everything-as-a-Service program includes the full range of GreenLake partners from influencers that do not want to sell hardware to born-in-the-cloud providers to ISVs and even to traditional partners that evolve to provide their own powered by GreenLake services.

The HPE Partner Ready Vantage program for the first time unites both HPE and Aruba portfolios in an end-to-end edge-to-cloud channel program.

In fact, the new Partner Ready Vantage portal features HPE GreenLake and Aruba offerings. What’s more, the first Centers of Expertise are based on Aruba’s customer success, managed services and professional services offerings for HPE GreenLake Network as a Service.

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“We are the edge-to-cloud Platform-as-a-Service company, and we are now introducing an edge-to-cloud partner program,” said HPE Vice President of Worldwide Partner Programs and Operations Jesse Chavez.

Partner Ready Vantage does not yet include new incentives but is rather the starting point of a three-year “North Star” vision and framework for the GreenLake ecosystem. The program will be rolled out in phases, HPE said, with the first details coming at the start of HPE’s new fiscal year on Nov. 1.

In the meantime, HPE is maintaining its Partner Ready program for the foreseeable future with traditional robust GreenLake incentives like the 17 percent up-front rebate on GreenLake deals.

The ecosystem drive is designed to spark partners to offer their own intellectual property and branded services on the GreenLake cloud platform, said Chavez. “We are going to reward partners for the customer life cycle whether it is land, adopt, expand or renew,’ said Chavez.

The ecosystem program is aimed at enabling and promoting partners to stay involved in the entire customer life cycle from landing the customer to implementing services to expanding and adding additional cloud services and then renewing the cloud services relationship.

“At the end of the day, a partner wants to acquire the customer but they want to have a relationship for life,” said Chavez. “I think that you’ll also see that our program recognizes that a partner participates in the entire life cycle—unlike other programs that you have seen in the marketplace.”

The program is aimed at partners that are “evolving to as-a-service and developing their own services” around the GreenLake edge-to-cloud services platform, said Chavez. “Having the partners delivering their own branded services on top of GreenLake is going to be the key as we go forward,” he said.

The GreenLake ecosystem channel program is centered on building, embedding and providing services and business outcomes with GreenLake rather than selling hardware, said Chavez.

A Sharp Break From Tradition

In fact, the ecosystem program is a sharp break from traditional medallion-based programs that put partners into narrow boxes based on partner type such as reseller, systems integrator or managed services provider, he said. In the ecosystem era, partners will have multiple personas from influencer or adviser to reseller to systems integrator and even ISV, said Chavez.

“Partners are going to have multiple personas as we go forward and multiple business models to support that,” said Chavez. “That is going to be a critical piece that we need to start recognizing. It is not about what they are called but what they do: They either embed, build, provide services they are selling, they integrate. It is more the verbs that we are moving to versus the classifications we give partners.”

The unified program for the first time recognizes influencers and advisers that are playing a role in the Everything-as-a-Service market, said Chavez. That is an area in which some vendors have struggled as they have built out cloud services ecosystem programs, he said. Partner Ready Vantage opens up the GreenLake opportunity to born-in-the-cloud providers and ISVs that do not want to resell hardware.

“We know there are a lot of influencers,” said Chavez. “When it comes to as-a-service there are people that are born in the cloud and don’t want anything to do with the hardware transaction. … There is going to be an advisory component that we have to actually recognize.”

The new Partner Ready Vantage program—which is designed to address all business models—features three primary tracks: build, sell and service.

Each of those tracks features Centers of Expertise that will provide enablement, training, sales tools and go-to-market initiatives. The Centers of Expertise model is based on Aruba Network-as-a-Service offerings that reward partners for investing in services around areas like customer experience, life-cycle management and ongoing design optimization.

“We are working with partners to really help them build out their practices around these areas, so we’re providing much more deep enablement that is more practice-building-focused versus just product- and solutions-based training,” said Beth Jensen, director of worldwide channel partner programs at Aruba.

HPE Or Aruba? Partners Can Decide

Partners can choose whether to deliver their services under their own brand or under the HPE GreenLake or Aruba brand going forward, said Jensen. “We’re really enabling them to drive their own services business moving forward,” she said.

The build track is designed for partners that integrate with HPE technology, leveraging “tested and prepackaged solutions” from HPE and HPE partners including ISVs. It even includes partners developing their own applications using HPE open platforms.

The sell track is designed for partners to grow their as-a-service business by offering value-added solutions across the full HPE portfolio.

The service track is designed for partners to sell services across the full customer life cycle including consulting, assessment, design, integration, deployment, migration, support and management.

The Centers of Expertise for the build and sell tracks along with new Hybrid Cloud Service Centers of Expertise will become available to partners over the next year.

HPE is “doubling down” on partners that are evolving quickly to deliver consumption-based cloud services to customers while at the same time maintaining the core Partner Ready channel program for those that are not ready to make the big GreenLake cloud services bet, said HPE Worldwide Channel Chief and Head of Partner Sales George Hope.

“We want to make sure that we are leading the charge in helping the ones that are ready to evolve today and we also have a home for those that still have customers that are focused more on our core offerings,” he told CRN. “So we are trying to double down on the ones that are ready today without leaving the rest behind.”

Hope said the ecosystem program is aimed at encouraging more partners to lead with their own intellectual property centered around GreenLake. “We want to encourage partners to lead with their IP, to create solutions based on our technology, not necessarily just sell our technology,” he said.

In fact, some partners are adopting a powered by GreenLake sales model in which the GreenLake cloud services platform is embedded into managed services offerings. “They sell their offering,” he said. “Our offering just happens to be embedded in their offering.”

Partners Are Key To Build-Out

The ability for partners to add their own value-added services to GreenLake and to participate in a vibrant and engaging GreenLake partner community are key to the HPE ecosystem build-out, said Hope. “Everybody is becoming a service provider,” he said. “Everybody is creating managed [services] offerings in some way, shape or form, whether they are managing something owned by somebody else or they are owning it and managing it. There are a lot of different managed offerings in their portfolio. We give the partners choice.”

Hope said the framework encourages a broad and deep HPE GreenLake ecosystem and includes a wide range of ecosystem services offerings layered into the GreenLake sales model. “We want partners to build a business around GreenLake,” said Hope.

HPE is investing channel dollars in helping partners move beyond public cloud into the 70 percent to 80 percent of workloads still on-premises, said Hope. “We have a way for you go to after that,” he said. “We are investing dollars specifically in helping partners build out and drive [GreenLake] practices [around those on- premises workloads].”

HPE is designing the ecosystem program to provide customers a simplified and consistent experience no matter how they want to consume HPE as-a-service offerings, said Chavez. “At the end of the day, we want the customer to consume it any way they want to and we want the partner to be able to deliver it any way they need to,” he said. “So the program needs to be able to have the partner offer the customer choice, whether it is a traditional model, a subscription model or a consumption model.”

Hope, for his part, said he sees the new program as an opportunity for the channel to continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of customers. “This is giving partners the ability to evolve with the customers and to be able to take advantage of where the customers are heading and offer them what they need: to focus on outcomes, to build the services and the capabilities and the solutions powered by GreenLake,” he said. “We are giving partners the platform, the foundation to create their own destiny.”LEARN MORE: Cloud Software Cloud Channel Programs 

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