HPE Expands public sector portfolio
Following the split of HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise is now bringing more focus to the public sector in the region and introducing new services and technologies for government
Hewlett Packard is one of the longest established names in ICT, but with the split of its business and the launch of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) the company is refocusing efforts on the public sector in the Middle East, and in particular to become a major partner for smart government programs for the region.
The company is part of the consortium, led by telecom operator du, which has won the contract to provide the Dubai Smart City Platform, with HPE taking the systems integrator role in the project. In this capacity, HPE will be responsible for integrating best-of-breed technologies from a number of vendors, and working closely with those vendors and du to create the platform and dashboards which will run Smart Dubai.
Mohammed Khodr, director of sales, HPE, said that the company is putting considerable resources into place to support the Smart Dubai project: “We are working closely with du to ensure the successful delivery of the project. It is a big worldwide project, and it would be great to see this being a reference as the smartest and happiest city in the world. It is a great honour,” he added.
HPE is engaged in similar government projects in the UK and the US for smart cities, Khodr said, one of the reasons why it was selected for Smart Dubai.
The company has concentrated this refined enterprise focus into a strategy focused around the ‘New Style of Business’, digital transformation and the Idea Economy. This new strategy plays to HPE’s various strengths, and encompasses the transformation to hybrid infrastructure, mixing cloud and on premise; empowering organisations to make sense of all their data and using it to drive their business; enabling productivity through technologies such as mobility; and protecting the whole enterprise with comprehensive cyber security solutions.
The public sector is a particular focus for HPE, Khodr said: “We have a three- to five-year roadmap for the public sector, looking at how we bring in best practices, and government industry expertise to the region, aligning to the government strategies and focus areas. From HPE’s perspective, we are talking about the Idea Economy and our New Style of Business, how we help our customers take an idea and bring it to market very quickly.”
These new services are catering to changing demands of the public sector in the region, both in technology and accompanying services. Government organisations are looking to new methods of delivery, Khodr explained, to help them to tackle issues of lack of skills and to make technology more affordable. Managed services, where HPE already has many government customers in Europe and the US, is an increasing focus.
“There seems to be now an appetite for managed services. Everybody acknowledges that technology providers are the ones that know how to run the technology. Some government entities are quite open to the idea of getting experts to come and run IT for them while they focus on their business -this is an area where we can bring that expertise into this region,” he said.
Government organisations are now more interested in cloud to give them the flexibility to deploy services, and to access services on a pay-per-use model, which enables them to launch new services without major CAPEX investment and to provision capacity as and when they need it, Khodr added. Along with pay-per-use models, public sector organisations are also engaging HPE Financial Services, to give them more options in how to pay for projects.
“Many government entities have already embraced HPE Financial Services, and we are seeing, especially today in the economic climate, that customers are more careful on how they want to spend their money,” Khodr said.
“Sometimes they also have multiple projects that they want to run, so if we break this up for them, as an OPEX model, or even a CAPEX model over a period of time, it means they have the flexibility to embark on two or three projects at the same time. The government has become very smart in this area, they really understand how to leverage the financial services in a very effective manner.”
Along with HPE’s long history in the region and its consulting expertise, the company’s commitment to open source and open standards is also important to the public sector. HPE is a significant contributor to the OpenStack open source cloud computing community and also contributes to open source data platforms in areas such as big data, with its HPE Vertica SQL analytics portfolio. The vendor is also committed to ensuring its own solutions are compatible with open standards and interoperable with other vendor’s solutions.
“This is one of the key things that governments today are looking for, they don’t want to be locked into proprietary technologies, to a vendor; they want to have the flexibility and freedom of choice, and we can play an important role in this space,” Khodr said.
HPE is also investing in R&D in new areas, such as network functional virtualisation, photonic/optical computing, smart cars and the IoT, with its HPE Universal IoT Platform, which is intended to offer a flexible, open and scalable platform for internet of things programs, across all verticals and industries.
With all these elements in place and HPE’s new focus, Khodr is confident that the company will play an increasingly important role with government customers in the region: “We have a clear vision right from the top, we have a clear go-to-market, for us the public sector is core — it is at the heart of our strategy.”