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Discover 2012 attendees say HP is moving in the right direction

One of the greatest benefits of attending HP Discover 2012 is the opportunity to exchange notes and ideas with our customers and partners from all over the world. The just-concluded HP Discover 2012 in Frankfurt was no exception. HP CEO Meg Whitman during her opening plenary on Tuesday thanked HP customers for their support, loyalty and their commitment to helping us improve our products and services to fit your needs. She said: “Among our strengths are our partners and customers. I want to thank you for making us better.”   


HP Discover Insider sat down with three such attendees during the show and asked them what IT issues they’re grappling with and the answers to solutions  that they’re discovering at the event.


Luigi Tiano (left in the below picture) and Ernesto Pellegrino (right) are with HP partner CT Consultants, an IT consulting firm based in Québec, Canada. They also blog for 1CloudRoad, an online community for IT professionals and have been attending HP Discover for many years.


luigi_ernesto.jpgDiscover Insider: How have you seen HP Discover transition over the years?

Ernesto Pellegrino: There has been a slow transition from being hardware focused to a focus on software and solutions. This is a good thing. As IT professionals, we need to focus on key customer pain-points. At this HP Discover, HP is highlighting these pain-points and use cases at these conferences.


Luigi Tiano: HP Discover 2012 is different to other conferences. VMworld has technical content, but here, the content is aimed at business decision makers. The next step would be to bring lines-of-business people here. We’re selling business solutions to these people, so they are the ones who should be here. If I’m a business person and I’m working in HR, I want to know how that new storage array is going to help my business. I don’t particularly want to know about the technical aspects.


DI: What are the customer pain-points?

LT: Customers are confused as to where IT is going. They buy hardware without adopting a business process model. You have the hardware to run businesses but how to you make it better? How do you bring this together with the cost center. That’s why we need to begin speaking to the line-of-business owners.


Take telcos, for example. Their marketing departments have huge marketing campaigns for which they need business solutions, but they don’t understand what IT can do. That’s why they begin outsourcing the services. The cloud is not a result of a lack of technologies but a lack of knowledge by the lines of business.


DI: So how has attending HP Discover been useful to you?

EP: HP has a whole lot of solutions that allow me to enrich my knowledge of the solution stack and to talk intelligently to customers about the solutions available in the market


DI: What would you like to see in future HP Discovers?

LT: I’d like to see more cloud based offerings.  

EP: I’d like to see a continued move to showcasing customers at these conferences. [HP customers were a key feature in all the plenary sessions at HP Discover in Frankfurt.]


DI: What has stood out to you at HP Discover?

LT: The new HP StoreAll Storage Express Query featuring technology from HP Labs. (Read Luigi's blog post about this product.) I’d like to hear similar use-cases where HP is embedding solutions into technology. It’s using its IP to create solutions for customers.  



To get an HP customer perspective on attending HP Discover, we sat down with Houssain Maada, a sales representative for Interoute (English language site)—an HP CloudAgile provider. Based in Amsterdam, Interoute features three categories of cloud-based services, much of it hosted on HP hardware, to its customers:


  • Unified communications
  • Unified computing
  • Unified connectivity


DI: As a first-time attendee at HP Discover, what are you looking for at the show?

Houssain Maada: Because of our role as a CloudAgile partner, we need to interact with HP. It was good to hear the cloud announcements and understand HP’s cloud development roadmap.


I’m also looking for opportunities to network and generate sales leads, get in touch with more end customers, and get the latest info on HP’s service portfolio and products.


DI: What has stood out to you as you’re attending the show?

HM: There seems to be a concerted effort on HP’s part to talk about customers and users. I’ve seen that in the keynotes and various sessions, as well as my interactions on the show floor.


DI: What do you think about your fellow HP Discover attendees?

HM: It seems to be quite a mixed group of attendees. There are lots of business representatives, but also a lot of techies running around. I think it’s a good mix. The venue is big enough to accommodate everyone and there seems to be a lot to offer at the show for everyone.


DI: What stands out to you the most about HP Discover?

HM: I’ve been really impressed with the set-up and the level of professionalism on display. It’s a very large show, but it seems well organized.


DI: As you talk to other conference attendees, what are the key messages about Interoute that you want them to take away?

HM: I want them to just know something about the company and on a high level understand what it is that we offer. Our strongest differentiator is that we own our own network in Europe (that’s where the HP equipment comes in), which means that customers get the network and the cloud services from one vendor. It allows them to more easily build up cloud services while maintaining flexibility and agility.


DI: As a cloud services provider, where do you see cloud going in the future?

HM: I think that cloud will become a commodity, similar to how energy is consumed. In a few decades, people won’t even think about what’s under the hood of their enterprise compute power. And with that will come a change in mindset in terms of how companies will approach their business models.


Ernesto, Luigi, and Houssain, and to all our attendees—onsite and virtual--thank you so much for attending HP Discover and for helping to make it another informative event.



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