Hewlett Packard Enterprise President Antonio Neri told CRN that the company is poised to ship its Nimble InfoSight predictive analytics offering on its high-end 3Par storage line within the next 90 days.
Partners said the move to bring the cloud-based predictive analytics platform to 3Par -- just months after closing the Nimble acquisition -- significantly alters the balance of power in the intensely competitive storage market.
Bringing InfoSight's artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to 3Par, they said, effectively marks the first time a major storage vendor has been able to predict storage failures and proactively resolve them across an end-to-end portfolio that spans the market from small/medium businesses to the enterprise.
Calling InfoSight the "crown jewels" of HPE's $1 billion acquisition of Nimble, Neri said the AI power of the platform provides HPE and its partners with a big competitive advantage against any and all competitors. "Nobody has this," he said.
"This is more proof we are delivering against our strategy to make hybrid IT simple," said Neri. "That is why we are doing this so quickly. The first thing partners are going to see is a consistent experience across Nimble and 3Par with AI, predictive analytics, and predictive maintenance across the entire storage footprint – all attached to our HPE Pointnext [services]."
The predictive analytics capabilities are sure to power dramatic reductions in storage total cost of ownership (TCO) for businesses of all sizes, said Neri."If I am a customer, what I am looking for is uptime and lower TCO," he said. "Nimble with InfoSight and 3Par enables that. It delivers the best performance with the best uptime and lowest TCO optimized for the specific workloads that run on the platform. The customer gets the best experience at the lowest cost."
Al Chien, chief sales officer of Dasher Technologies, a Campbell, Calif.-based HPE Platinum partner, No. 163 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, called the move to bring InfoSight to the end-to-end HPE storage portfolio a "game changer" for partners.
"To have InfoSight not only on the Nimble side but also on the 3Par side makes HPE storage incredibly relevant and powerful," Chien said. "This is the most robust product and solution portfolio HPE has had in a generation whether it's through their own innovation or through acquisition."
With InfoSight providing predictive analytics across the full storage portfolio, Chien is projecting Dasher will be able to drive HPE storage sales growth of 50 percent next year. "I believe HPE acquired Nimble specifically for InfoSight," he said. "It is the keys to the kingdom."
Specifically, InfoSight provides compelling insights and proactive problem resolution on workloads with a single seamless and homogenous storage analytics and management platform, said Chien.
Steve Tepedino, CEO of IT Partners, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and one of HPE's top enterprise partners, said InfoSight put HPE at the top of the next-generation infrastructure pyramid.
"I love the Nimble buy and what InfoSight brings to HPE," he said. "It's game-changing when you have this kind of predictive analytics on infrastructure that anticipates in advance the bottlenecks you are always trying to avoid in IT. Predictive analytics just keeps you ahead of the game. I don’t see anyone doing this but HPE."
Tepedino said it is hard to put a value on the "halo effect" HPE garners from the technology leadership it gets with InfoSight. "What is exciting is how you can combine the InfoSight predictive layer with the HPE OneView management physical infrastructure layer," he said. "You can really see the benefits of keeping server and storage together because you get ease of management with OneView and predictive analytics over time with InfoSight. You can really see why the HPE brand makes sense as the one company you would want to rely on for infrastructure."
Tepedino said he is also pumped up about the aggressive "hunter" mentality that the Nimble sales force has brought to HPE.
"Nimble was a born-in-the-channel-only company, and HPE has not touched that," said Tepedino. "This is an absolute boost to the channel. It is another whole play for the channel that is 100 percent channel. HPE has gotten an infusion of aggressive sellers with cool technologies. It's a win-win for HPE and the channel."
Mark Kelly, chief strategy officer for ePlus, the $1.3 billion solution provider behemoth, No. 35 on the 2017 CRN SP500, said InfoSight completely changes the rules in the IT market by proactively resolving storage issues. "Eighty five percent of the issues are automatically opened and resolved without any customer interaction," he said. "No matter what size customer you are you now have an easy button. You know you don't have to deal with a lot of these issues which are being proactively taken care of on your behalf. That is huge for customers."
Kelly said artificial intelligence and analytics products like InfoSight open the door for companies to spend more on applications that provide a competitive advantage. "Often times the best and brightest you have in an IT organization get muddled down with infrastructure issues," he said. "Leveraging predictive analytics and machine learning to do that on your behalf allows customers to focus on the initiatives that are important for the business rather than just the care and feeding of the data center."
Kelly praised HPE CEO Meg Whitman for the HPE turnaround and Neri for taking HPE's software defined strategy to new heights. "Meg hit it out of the park with the turnaround. Antonio, meanwhile, with his background and experience in engineering, understanding the customer and the channel has really been the perfect person to help take HPE to the next technology level."
Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., HPE partner, said InfoSight provides a much needed "shot in the arm" to 3Par which was getting long in the tooth. "This is phenomenal," he said. "This makes 3Par sexy again. I think we can grow our storage sales by 20 percent to 30 percent with InfoSight across the HPE storage portfolio."
Tuchman said InfoSight shifts the balance of power in the storage marketplace. "None of the competitors have this," he said. "This is like having a robot that watches your storage environment on a 7x24 basis. Customers no longer have to worry about uptime and can maybe even save costs by not having to hire storage admins."
Tuchman said customers using InfoSight have been blown away by its proactive storage problem resolution. "Customers love the fact that when something is wrong with their storage it is automatically fixed and they don't have to call us or HPE," he said.
Tuchman said he sees the InfoSight platform opening the door for Experis, which already provides a 3Par Health Check Service, to leverage the InfoSight analytics to provide even more compelling solutions that provide customers with a competitive advantage.
"Now both Experis and our customers can spend more time solving business issues," he said. "This is all about making customers more competitive."
Tuchman said he is anxious to see HPE marry InfoSight to both SimpliVity and Synergy raising the competitive bar even higher against storage competitors. "If I could get InfoSight with SimpliVity and Synergy that would be nirvana," he said."If I had all that married together we could run the house against the competition."
Ron Dupler, the CEO of GreenPages Technology Solutions, a national strategic service provider, No. 207 on the CRN 2017 SP500, said bringing Nimble to 3Par is a smart play by HPE.
"InfoSight has been a key feature of Nimble that our customers have liked and we have found very valuable," he said. "It's a great solution. It's really smart of HPE to extend it across its storage line. It adds advanced features and functionality into its storage pool."
Neri, for his part, said he expects Nimble InfoSight to accelerate HPE's all flash sales growth and momentum. "Customers want the automation and predictive analytics that InfoSight provides," he said. "Customers are voting with their dollars. Last quarter we had 30 percent growth in all flash. You can see the momentum we have with the two [Nimble and 3Par] platforms. This actually accelerates that momentum. It is a unique differentiation no other competitors have. From my perspective this is going to be an accelerator for both us and our partners."