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How did the HPE Discover Virtual Experience stack up?

How did the HPE Discover Virtual Experience stack up?


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HPE Discover 2020 Roundup

While in-person conferences are out of the realms of possibility right now, many organisations have shifted their sessions to online, and HPE are no exception, with their Discover Virtual Experience which launched in late June as a blend of live and on-demand sessions.

Whereas some online talks and conferences have seemed a little rushed together, HPE very much set the bar with high quality production and platforms, studio interviews, and an impressive range of speakers. ‘Business of Sports’ and ‘Performance under Pressure’ gave an interesting insight into the minds and experience of global sports starts such as Lewis Hamilton and Simone Biles, and proudly interspersed the technology focused sessions. ‘Women Leaders in Technology’ provided valuable and inspirational discussion around challenges, resilience and the opportunity to facilitate great diversity as our work places shift into the new normal. With more events predicted to move online in the long term, it is promising to see HPE commit to offering a great experience to attendees.

Many of the headline statements were covered in the keynote from CEO Antonio Neri, with a declaration to continue moving HPE into the world of ‘edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven’. HPE have made significant investments in their ‘Intelligent Edge’ portfolio, and are doubling down, predicting continued momentum towards a distributed, cloud-on-edge world as new use cases and technology models come to the fore. Markedly, the keynote didn’t mention specific technologies, but instead focused on how lives are impacted and improved by the advancements being made.

In addition to this, Neri underlined HPE’s commitment to ‘Everything-as-a-Service’ by 2022, announcing improvements to the Greenlake portfolio, a business unit headed by former Microsoft Cloud bigwig Keith White. Opening up the Greenlake Central platform to partners is a potential game changer, not only will access provide a detailed view of a customer environment and key performance indicators but give prominence to a more modular and repeatable approach to future consumption spend and upgrades. The Greenlake model was also highlighted as part of wider efforts that HPE have made to support their partners and customers through difficult times with innovative financial and consumption models.

HPE very much see themselves as a company offering a platform for digital transformation, empowering organisations to move to the ‘Age of Insight’ and take advantage of data to drive outcomes. This was not only featured in HPE technologies, but in a range of partner technologies showcases at Discover. Whether brand new names like Nebulon, or established HPE partners like Qumulo, HPE are continuing to evolve their ecosystem play to allow for innovation at speed and scale. This model of simplified procurement, integration and consumption offers greater choice and flexibility to customers while minimising risk.

Finally, we have a new name - HPE Ezmeral. Ezmeral is the new brand for HPE’s software portfolio, that ‘helps organisations speed up innovation, modernise applications, unlock the value of data, and automate operations - from edge to cloud’. The portfolio contains a combination of acquisition and in-house developed technologies, and dovetails into the GreenLake cloud delivery platform. Although a new brand, Ezmeral was given plenty of airtime at Discover, and is expected to form a cornerstone of HPE’s platform-as-a-service strategy moving forward.

Notably, none of the keynote announcements led with a hardware product update or release, as HPE takes strides to further position itself as a multifaceted edge-to-cloud and services organisation of the future. That said, there’s plenty going on with their wide-ranging Hybrid IT portfolio, and recent months have seen the long-awaited release of Primera OS 4.2, upgrades to the Synergy, SimpliVity, Nimble and dHCI product set furthering innovation at the core of their enterprise business.

Overall, the Discover Virtual Experience had a strong blend of in-depth content for today, as well as keynote sessions that set out HPE’s strategy to respond to the demands of the future. We’re excited to see how this strategy rolls down into the product portfolio, and what solutions HPE and Softcat can assist our customers with moving forward.