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HPE's New Institute Aims To Educate Partners On Edge Computing Market Opportunity

The CEI aims to educate partners to help them take advantage of the explosive edge computing market opportunity.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is launching the Channel to Edge Institute (CEI), which aims to educate partners to help them take advantage of the explosive edge computing market opportunity.

“This is what every partner needs to know to get into the edge business,” said Hewlett Packard Enterprise Vice President Dr. Tom Bradicich, HPE Fellow and global head of IoT and Edge Center of Excellence and Labs. “Partners that get into this early will make two to three times more margin than they are getting today in the data center and cloud.”

The CEI will focus on real-world intelligent edge, Internet of Things and operational technology (OT) solution scenarios with concrete examples of the return on investment for the customer and profitability for partners. It will include use cases, business cases, and go-to-market sales and marketing training, including first-hand accounts from top customers. “This is an institute of advanced learning on how to capture the edge opportunity,” said Bradicich. “This is going to be very prescriptive.”

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The CEI—which will conduct once-a-quarter meetings—will rely heavily on HPE’s Global IoT Innovation Labs in Houston, Singapore and Geneva. The goal for the first year will be to bring a couple of dozen partners through the CEI training classes, said Bradicich.

The CEI is just one part of a $4 billion investment HPE is making to accelerate the $26 billion intelligent edge market opportunity for the company and its partners. HPE’s big intelligent edge bet has given it at least a two-year lead in the edge market battle, said Bradicich.

“We were a pioneer in the idea of doing deep high-performance computing at the edge when everyone was advocating a sensor-to-cloud architecture,” said Bradicich. “We pioneered the convergence of enterprise-class IT with OT in the same box.”

Key to capturing this opportunity is being a “first-mover” in the market, he said. “The most beautiful conversation you can have with a customer or partner is, ‘Would you like to hear about a solution that we invented that you cannot buy from a competitor?’”

The CEI hands-on sessions will include a focus on IoT and OT, including control systems, data acquisition systems and industrial networks, said Bradicich. “Those [OT solutions] are the products that can have as high as 70 percent gross margin,” he said. “It is a totally different world.”

Kathleen Kinka, vice president of marketing for Ramsey, N.J.-based Comport Consulting, an HPE Platinum partner, said the CEI is another example of HPE’s intelligent edge innovation and market leadership.

“This is the kind of partner enablement that proves that HPE is the most partner-friendly vendor,” she said. “HPE is working closely with partners to drive sales growth at the edge. We invested heavily in Aruba, [a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company] a number of years ago. It is the right technology at the right time. It is a growing market and it spans so many different areas from security to wireless to the core to the Internet of Things. This is a market that is growing and where HPE is really pushing the innovation envelope.”

COMING SOON: A NEXT-GEN EDGE/IOT NETWORK ARCHITECTURE

Mobile-first, cloud-first wireless network pioneer Aruba is hard at work evolving its network for the edge and Internet of Things.

“These are things that we will have in the market pretty soon that are very, very specific to IoT,” said Vishal Lall, COO of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, in an interview with CRN. “If you think about it, devices are different than users. They behave differently. Today’s networks were built for users, not for devices. As we go forward, we will be building out very, very specific edge and IoT-specific networks that are purpose- built for [IoT] and have the security capabilities prebuilt into them around authentication, zero trust security, etc.”

In fact, HPE Aruba is already working with customers and partners on the next-generation edge network, said Lall. “We are actually talking with a whole bunch of customers, partnering with them as we design the next-generation network,” he said.

HPE Aruba’s mobile-first, cloud-first strategy gives HPE a big advantage in the emerging edge and IoT market, said Lall. “That’s huge,” he said. “We know how devices work, how to on-board devices, how to secure devices, what are the issues you see in the network when devices connect.”

Lall said it is vital that customers look at the edge as a completely new architecture. “The risk is that customers don’t look at this as a completely new architecture, but instead as an extension of the existing architecture and then try to make it work with existing tools and technologies,” he said. “I just don’t think they will get the performance, capabilities or the security profile they need if they do it that way.”

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