Transcript for HP, a Microsoft Lync Partner, Discusses Enterprise Mobility
Jim Burton: Welcome to UCStrategies executive insights. This is Jim Burton and I have been following mobility for a very long time and my colleague Michael Finneran, a UC expert who is also on this call, continually talks about how nobody has really completely nailed the mobility solutions yet. A lot of tries, a lot of attempts, and if you look over the years some start-ups who’ve ended up either going out of business or being acquired trying to reach that solution.
Well, we may have the solution with us today and obviously it’s a very, very broad solution but it takes a big company to be able to address that and the company is HP. Joining us from HP is Craig Partridge, Worldwide Strategist HP Technologies Services Networking.
I’m going to have Michael join in and ask some of the smart questions. I’m going to start off with a basic comment and a question. We know that HP is placing big bets on cloud, security, big data and mobility. And so we’re here to talk about the mobility piece, but I’d like some clarification from you, Craig, in your terms, as the difference between mobile and mobility? It seems like those are two completely different words that just get blended together and it might help to separate them and I’m interested in your opinions on how you would define those.
Craig Partridge: Thanks for the question; it’s a huge bug there for me. I continually talk to customers, talk to the analysts, talk to the industry about the impact of mobile technologies and mobile innovation, as it was a huge focus on what that innovation means both to me outside of work and my persona inside working. And clearly mobile has been part of the revolution of the last couple of years; it’s certainly been the headline of the last couple of years.
And if you look at from an IT organizations point of view when they explain to HP that they have a problem in the space, the problem tends to be focused on that mobile innovation; and it tends to be classed as, “I don’t know how to respond to BYOD,” or, “I don’t know how to respond to consumerization.” And they see consumerization, they see the device. The problem statement is located down at that mobile end of the conversation. And I think if we’re going to get mature about how to respond to that, we need to understand that the innovation at mobile is just the beginning of the story and actually it’s the ecosystem that sits behind that experience, so it’s not just a compelling device, it’s not just a compelling app, but it’s compelling in the way I connect, so it’s certainly a shift towards being able to access services ubiquitously. So if I’m IP connected, if I’m on the internet whether it’s cellular, whether it’s Wi-Fi, I need to be connected to my services; that’s what I expect of it. But then behind that connectivity layer through those edge services, how do I then connect into the cloud fabric which is driving that experience?
I always use the example of something like a DropBox. DropBox is an app, and that’s a relatively simple end of it, and actually arguably the mobile end of it. But think about what DropBox is; as a company what they run is a cloud architected storage platform, and it’s that cloud architected storage platform which is really the compelling service, which DropBox is running. And so mobile is the DropBox the app end, but mobility is the experience of connecting that DropBox app, through a ubiquitous IP based network, the internet, into that cloud architected storage platform. And so you’ve got to think about mobility as being all of those layers. The mobility ecosystem extends from the data center, through the connectivity layer, into that mobile app device experience. And I think if you can think of mobility as being that full stack and mobile as being kind of the front end consumption piece, then I think it can give you a clue as to how you can respond appropriately to the problem. So from my perspective, that mobile mobility thing is about consumption and provision. I think it’s about understanding that full impact.
Jim Burton: Thanks – I think that’s helpful. I also think that something else that helps clarify it is a little bit of a conversation you and I had earlier about BYO cloud, bring your own cloud. And I think that helps define what mobility is because it’s a lot more than the device itself. It’s that broad solution.
Craig Partridge: I think that term BYOD is misleading in itself because it focuses on the device and most enterprise IT organizations today when they are reacting to BYOD, actually the device is the red herring in the room. It’s that mobility cloud stack, it’s the connection from the device and app experience into a consumer-based cloud service which is really the compelling challenge. If I’m an enterprise IT organization I want to provide my employees with universal access to their productivity tools. But what happens when those productivity tools are now being sourced from a consumer cloud service. The impact to consumerization extends across the consumerization of back end services as much as it extends across the consumerization of certain devices.
Michael Finneran: One of the real challenges customers have in looking at HP as a mobility provider is just the breath of offerings that you have. You have so many different things and so many different areas when dealing with customers, how do you break that whole thing down into an understandable structure? How do you parse it out?
Craig Partridge: If we think about that ecosystem I was just talking about, that mobility ecosystem from device through to app experience through to the connectivity layer through to the back end cloud architected services, I think that’s not a bad way of looking at HP as well, it helps an organization to navigate the HP breadth and depth. So as you take it from the mobile device, our PPS group is making some fantastic mobile devices at a much broader operating ecosystem than Windows, we’ve got Android, we’ve got Chrome as well in that ecosystem – so, some compelling mobile devices. If you think about the app layer, the mobile app layer, we have mobile app development platforms for the enterprise, mobile app security, mobile app testing, a whole roster of software solutions that help companies on that journey around mobile apps. Then you move up into the connectivity layer and of course HP is number two in the networking market. We have some very good enterprise products that help seamlessly connect and intelligently connect those devices into the enterprise ecosystem. And then think about those back end cloud architecture solutions and again from our enterprise group, the server storage and networking group, the power. In fact, HP powers the cloud so we have an enormous amount of intellect to bring to that conversation. So just think about that mobility ecosystem and then think about how HP has end-to-end capability across all of it. I think that’s an easier way for customers to try to understand the HP value proposition.
Michael Finneran: I know one of the real value adds that HP brings to a client engagement is your mobility transformation workshop. It sounds like a very interesting and fruitful exercise. Can you describe a bit how that works and what sort of results you typically see coming out of that?
Craig Partridge: Yes I can. I’m lucky enough to be able to deliver these around the world, and we always get a tremendous amount of feedback from the customers about just what they got out of it. Let me try and describe very quickly what a transformation experience workshop is from HP. So the key is the giveaway, we’re clearly dealing with something transformational going on in the industry and that’s specifically in this case around mobility. So we’re dealing with the impact of every piece of that layer being transformed in some way from the mobile devices – the way I want to consume IT, that device experience, that app experience is completely changing through to the way I connect ubiquitously onto these services to their back en systems. So we’re dealing with something quite translational from back end through to front end so that’s the transformation piece.
The experience piece is HP being able to work with customers in a workshop, and that’s what TEW is, it’s a one-day workshop in which we impart our experience of working with other customers and working within the industry so we’re able to add a tremendous amount of experience. And then the workshop piece is really where a customer gets to sit down across from the main team and start to think about what the future looks like and aligning around that future. And I ask how many customers get the chance to call key stakeholders from across the different disciplines within their business and actually get them into a room for a day and say, “Look, something’s fundamentally changing here guys. The world is changing around us, how are we going to respond as a team to that, how does the network respond to it, how do the devices that we align to and support change, how does the back end systems change, how does our support model change, how do our security governments models change?” And think about getting all of those different domains into a room and spending a day with HP’s experience to try and help them figure out how they describe their problem statement today. So what is it that they’re sitting on today, what’s their legacy state, if you like? Describe those problems. Describe an aligned future, what does this cross-domain team really see as the future of end user productivity and the impact of mobile technologies? And then actually build an actionable roadmap so we take that where they are today, where they want to get to tomorrow; we create the building blocks which link those two pieces. And then we help a customer put those onto an implementable roadmap.
So in one day, literally six-to-eight hours, we can work with a cross-domain team, we can explain what’s going on, they can consolidate their view around it, and always the response I get back Michael, is not only “we’ve got a vision of what the future means, but we’ve got a joint vision and so we can align our network strategy, we can align our device strategy, we can align our UC strategy,” and all of these different pieces come together to create a consolidated outcome. So yeah, the TEW is a really impactful, one day, steamier IT decision makers workshop and that really helps the customer to try and figure it out across the different domain disciplines.
Jim Burton: We’ll go ahead and post the links to information about the workshops that we’ve been discussing (links available above). But I have a question for you. If I were an enterprise customer, how would I get engaged to be able to attend and participate in one of these workshops?
Craig Partridge: That’s a great question. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of making sure our field selling force is well aware of the mobility transformation experience workshop. If any of our customers want to get in touch, get in touch with your technology services sales rep and they’ll make sure that you’re funneled through to the right guys that can help you deliver that one day strategic workshop.
Jim Burton: Great thanks for that. Michael I’m going to turn it back to you.
Michael Finneran: Big question. The idea of getting everyone together in a room has always been a key tool in moving things forward in IT. Now with this, is it exclusively IT personnel that are engaged or do we have the line of business people as well, and what sort of dynamics do you typically see coming about?
Craig Partridge: Yeah, that’s a great question because we always see in a customer when it comes to the use of mobile technologies, and I’ll make the distinction now, is that the business is off doing their things, so they’re innovating, they’re commissioning around the use of mobile technologies. And they’re doing it department by department and then IT are left out in the cold or IT is seen as this legacy call center. And so we see these random acts of mobility going on in most enterprises and that’s as much driven by the business as it is about IT being, trying to get IT to re-engage on that new agenda.
So here’s how it works Michael, so first of all our primary focus as we run these workshops is to try to get across the cross domain teams within IT to first of all have their version of where they think they can get their IT service provisioning model aligned to this new way of consuming IT, aligned to the impact of mobility and remember, that extends from the mobile innovation all the way through to the activity layer through to the way that we develop IT services to be architected. So we want to do that with the IT guys, but equally we want the business to have their opportunity to have their say as well. So in most typical engagements after we’ve run that with IT, IT then want to go out and promote that and many times we’ll run multiple iterations of these workshops introducing the business stakeholders to the vision, introducing the business requirements into the vision so that there is this alignment that happens between what IT can do and what the business can do. Now the reason we don’t run them together initially is because as you can imagine this is the supply and demand question. If we ran them together initially what we end up getting is the business saying, “You know what IT, you’re behind the times. Here’s where we’re at, we’ve moved to cloud, we’ve moved to mobile, the mobile channel is the most important and here’s the innovation we want to see,” and IT doesn’t get the chance to take a breath and catch up and say, “Actually we have a vision that responds to that.” So it ends up, it can be quite confrontational if the initial engagement is just business and IT going at it together. What we’re trying to do is give IT the ability to create that vision and then interlock with the business an iteration of it so that the business and IT come together and actually the business can see IT as the real innovators that they are. So it’s pretty well constructed to avoid those kinds of complications.
Michael Finneran: Since we’re talking about vision, is it a single vision that you’re looking to put across or is it sort of a single philosophy that’s individualized for each specific organization?
Craig Partridge: I certainly would say that the outcomes that are created from the workshop are always an individual response. So the workshop is as applicable to retail as it is to manufacturing as it is in fact to government and defense and we have run it in those sectors as well. So the workshop is a very horizontal thing, because what the work shop deals with is the shift in technology innovation and the implications of those innovations. And so we don’t actually talk about product, I’m not in there talking about whether or not I think product X is better than product Y. It’s not about that at all; it’s about the implications of technology innovation and how that innovation can advance a business case or advance business requirement or unlock a business process. So it’s a technology agnostic workshop. And so although the work shop is horizontal, because we run it with the stakeholders, with the IT leaders, with the business leaders within that organization, the outcome becomes a very verticalizing, very unique outcome for that customer. So although the implications are the same, the implication is I’m shifting toward mobile first as my primary access mechanism. But that is a single implication, then it applied through those different companies, through the different teams that we work with to create what becomes their unique response for that problem. And so as you can imagine in a government/defense customer that is a completely different response then you might see for example in a retail organization that might want to embrace a new way of dealing with customers. So it’s a horizontal workshop but it’s a very much a specific and individual outcome that each customer builds.
Michael Finneran: That’s great; I mean certainly customers looking for mobility solution should be looking in HP’s direction. The scope you have across devices; the application leader tools, the connectivity, the back end with cloud storage. You really do seem to have that covered, Jim would you agree?
Jim Burton: Absolutely, and I think that kind of gets off into some of my opening comments. It seems like this challenge that we’ve had with mobility has been that there have been a lot of components that can help build on a mobile/mobility solution. But it takes a big company with a lot of breath and product and knowledge to really be able to have the complete solution and it certainly sounds like they’ve got it.
Michael Finneran: Craig, one last question. A lot of the talk we hear in the whole space today really seems to be focused more on the short term issues, the BYOD, have an MDM, the capability to secure mobile devices. What do you see we can do that’s really going to be net new, what is really in your view the big change that’s come about as a result of organizations really embracing mobility as a core metric?
Craig Partridge: Thanks for that question, Michael. I think that’s a great question because a lot of what we talked about with that mobility ecosystem from device through to connectivity through the back end is a lot of our discussion can simply be a table stakes discussion. It can be, how does HP continue to keep its foothold in being the incumbent service provider of productivity services into its employee, into its user base. And certainly it has to do something in that space, I mean it has to adapt to cloud, it has to adapt to wireless, it has to adapt to mobile endpoints being the primary access mechanism; so anything we do today that was purely geared around client server needs to shift into the mobile cloud era, absolutely get that. But still the customers are saying that’s not enough, how do we use mobile innovation to go further, to go beyond that? How do we deliver more business value, and I think the key here is to really understand that the innovation of mobile apps I think is really the critical piece, so the mobile apps focused on unlocking and delivering business processes and mobilizing business processes. So what is it that’s core to your business and if I was to mobilize those processes, how can it tap into either new markets, how can it make me act smarter or quicker in front of customers, how can it drive my revenue harder and quicker and faster and all that kind of stuff. Plus IT needs to get just the basic table stakes in place, they need to react to the impact of mobile and mobility. I also think they need to then also build an innovation center which connects into those business processes and enables the application of mobile apps and mobile device innovation to kind of unlock those businesses processes and that’s where they’ll really drive high end business value from the innovation in that particular space. So those can’t just be table stakes, we’ve got to be able to do much more than that.
Michael Finneran: Craig, I think you hit a key point with the link to business processes. And certainly institutionalizing with an innovation center; that’s the direction that enterprises need to be moving mobility today; Jim, wouldn’t you think so?
Jim Burton: Absolutely, and in fact what I think is fascinating about it, when we started UCStrategies we wanted to come up with a definition for UC that would fit the test of time and as new applications and new services were being offered, it fit. And our definition is “Communications integrated to optimize businesses processes,” and that’s exactly what you just said except you’re using mobility to do that. So yeah, I agree 100 percent.
Michael Finneran: Craig, that was a great rundown of what HP has, and really an eye opener for many. The fact that HP really covers from the devices to the back end to the application tools to the network infrastructure... and there are other vendors that have bits and pieces of this, but HP is from my view one of the few, if not the only that really covers every single base on the field. So thanks for bringing all this to our attention and I think you did a great job. Jim?
Jim Burton: I agree, Michael, I think this is fascinating and something that I know you’ll be following so that we can report back on a regular basis about the progress they’re making and the success stories that they have to go along with this, but it certainly sounds very compelling to me. I want to thank you both for participating. Michael, thanks for all the smart questions and Craig thanks for all the smart answers, I appreciate it very much. Thanks.
Craig Partridge: Thanks, Jim; thanks, Michael. I look forward to the next chance to have a discussion around the impact of mobility.