Designing the future: HPE's approach to innovation

November 27, 2017 • Vishal Lall • Blog Post


  • Organic innovation is core to our DNA
  • Partnerships and Venture investments deliver cutting-edge innovation from startups
  • Acquisitions bolster our portfolio

A behind-the-scenes look at how we make capital allocation decisions to anticipate our customers' needs

Over the past three years, we have been on a journey to rapidly transform the company to better align with changing technology trends and evolving customer needs. A critical element of this transformation has been the re-ignition of our innovation engine.

Since we launched HPE, we have developed a comprehensive, industry-leading innovation approach that seamlessly bridges "build", "partner" and "buy" investments decisions. This approach is based on evaluating factors such as technology evolution, sector maturity, time horizon, internal capabilities, talent pool and capital allocation strategy.


Since we launched Hewlett Packard Enterprise two years ago, we have been focused on strengthening the company in three key areas:

  1. Organic innovation is core to our DNA

Building new and innovative products is the lifeblood of a technology company and is core to our DNA. We group our organic innovation efforts into three broad categories: Horizon 1: near-term products, Horizon 2: emerging opportunities and Horizon 3: Longer-term growth prospects.

Over the past few years, we have increased our R&D investments, surgically invested in the most pertinent areas and delivered leading products. Following are examples of a few recent organic innovation projects:


  • In June, we launched our Gen 10 servers _ the world's most secure industry-standard servers - a major point of differentiation over our competitors. This is an example of Horizon 1 innovation.

  • Another example is HPE Synergy which is our next-generation, software-defined offering. Synergy leads a brand-new category we created called composable infrastructure. Synergy enables companies to bring a public cloud economic model on premise, an option that many customers want today.

  • An example of a Horizon 2 project is HPE OneSphere. We announced HPE OneSphere at Discover Madrid, and it will serve as a new approach to help customers manage their hybrid estate.

  • Our research program -  The Machine - is an example of Horizon 3 longer-term investment. One of the foundation elements of The Machine is Memory-Driven Computing. We are excited about the progress we've made; in fact, Memory-Driven Computing will over time underpin our complete portfolio.


In addition to product innovations, we are also focused on business model innovations. Our recent additions of flexible capacity solutions (FCS) and HPE GreenLake are examples of innovation in which we bring cloud pioneered consumption models to our customers.

  1. Partnerships and venture investments deliver cutting-edge innovation from startups

In today's fast-changing technology marketplace, organic innovation is not enough, and most companies just can't build products fast enough to keep pace with customers' evolving needs. To harness the broader innovation ecosystem, we designed and launched Pathfinder, our venture investment and partnership program. We have allocated $100 million per year to this program. Through Pathfinder, we use our deep expertise to identify the best emerging startups, and then we curate their innovations within ours to deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers with results that they can't find anywhere else. We launched this program in 2015 and have invested in 17 companies that, when integrated with our products, are creating superior outcomes for our customers.

For instance, we're working with Chef and Platform9 to make Hybrid IT even simpler for our customers. Our integration with Mesosphere helps customers leverage Hybrid IT to more efficiently run, deploy and manage today's distributed enterprise environments. And our partnership with Cohesity enables us to provide an end-to-end secondary storage solution to our customers.

Our approach to venture investments and partnership is unique and differentiated. We believe our partner ecosystem is the best in the industry and absolutely critical to our future.

  1. Acquisitions bolster our portfolio

Acquisitions are the third pillar of our innovation strategy. Since the launch of HPE, we have made a number of acquisitions that are directly aligned with our strategy and bolster our portfolio.

In Hybrid IT, we acquired SimpliVity, a leading provider of software-defined, hyper converged infrastructure. With SimpliVity, we deliver the industry's only built-for-enterprise hyperconverged offering. To enhance our storage portfolio, we acquired Nimble Storage which expands our all-flash offerings. We are incorporating Nimble's Infosight solution across our entire storage portfolio. Infosight is Nimble's predictive analytics technology that uses machine learning to predict and resolve performance issues.

The Intelligent Edge is an important growth pillar of our strategy, and security remains a board-level issue for our customers, which is why we acquired Niara. With Niara, we're integrating behavioral analytics across Aruba's portfolio. We also acquired Rasa Networks, a network performance management and analytics startup.

To enhance HPE Pointnext's services capabilities, we acquired Cloud Technology Partners (CTP). CTP strengthens our Hybrid IT capabilities by helping customers innovate and operate across cloud environments.

I'm incredibly proud of all we've accomplished, and we will continue to evolve as an industry-leading company that is well positioned to win.

For those of you attending Discover Madrid, please visit the General Session to hear more about the exciting new products we are launching. Please also stop by the Pathfinder booth to hear directly from the Pathfinder team about curating startup innovation, then hear from our startup portfolio companies on our joint technology solutions.


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