Among several significant announcements at Discover London 2016, HPE announced the expansion of Cloud28+, a program that links customers with a global, open partner ecosystem of cloud service providers.
The program launched about two and a half years ago in Europe, as a community of commercial and public sector organizations with the common goal of eliminating barriers to cloud adoption. As the community grew, so did its scope. Today, Cloud28+ features more than 330 HPE partners – including Service Providers, ISVs, Value Added Resellers, Distributors and Systems Integrators – uniting to help customers find resources and services that correspond to their ideal mix of cloud solutions. The Cloud28+ catalog contains more than 1,300 services, spanning Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.
Cloud28+ connects partners and customers – much like a matching service. It enables customers to search for solution providers that meet their individual workload and regulatory requirements, including price, SLA, certification level, security requirements and geographic location.
Based on the initiative’s growing momentum, HPE is now opening Cloud28+ to partners around the world. Partners from all regions can either participate in the existing community or join forces with HPE and other organizations in their geographic regions to create sister communities tied to the same cloud services catalog.
“The idea behind Cloud28+ is to bring together all the components of a hybrid cloud strategy and the ecosystem that supports it,” says Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, Vice President of Worldwide Indirect Digital Services at HPE.
“This would help customers, the consumers of computing services, to more effectively benefit from the expertise of these various parties,” Poisson says. “That includes getting advice on how and when to move to the cloud, which cloud services to leverage, and for which types of applications and workloads.”
“The community helps guide customers in how they can best consume cloud services,” Poisson says. “At the same time, it is providing a way to connect the reseller, the service provider, the systems integrator and the software vendors, all of whom play important roles as companies move to a hybrid cloud environment.”
One example of how Cloud28+ is working comes from the Helix Nebula project in Europe to build a large global network for high-performance computing. It involves data centers in multiple countries.
“They needed a new architecture around high-performance computing in the cloud,” Poisson says. “This would have been very difficult for HPE to deliver on its own. Through the community, we got partners to take part in the consortium and were able to submit a tailored answer to the customer within a month.”
“Cloud28+ operates essentially as a large service center, a platform for organizations to leverage cloud services. But it also functions as a promotion center for the vendors and service providers that are members, providing opportunities for participants to promote their offerings to customers,” Poisson says.
“We’re thrilled to be the first U.S. Service Provider to join Cloud28+,” says John Tomljanovic, Senior Vice President, Solutions Development & Cloud at DSM Technology Consultants. “Cloud28+ is the perfect fit for our goal of offering customers tailored, trusted cloud service choice, while expanding our own market reach.”
With the international expansion, HPE expects the community to grow to up to 700 members and more than 6,000 services.
“With Cloud28+ we can expand our own cloud portfolio and form new partnerships, while offering customers tailored infrastructure and service offerings that match their workload requirements,” says Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of ALSO Holding AG. “We are excited to be part of the Cloud28+ community as it grows around the world, creating more opportunity for us to propel our customers forward and grow our own business.”
“One of the key reasons why Cloud28+ is growing so quickly,” Poisson says, “is that it truly operates as a community. There’s a lot of give and take among members, with frequent feedback and the sharing of best practices. That kind of collaboration helps grow the market, to the benefit of all those that are part of the open ecosystem.”
“An interesting outcome of creating such a community has been increased collaboration between its different members. IDC has long held the opinion that partner-to-partner collaboration can be a very effective means for partners to create new solutions, expand into new markets, and lead with a more solution-oriented portfolio,” says Margaret Adam, Program Director, European Channels and Alliances at IDC.
Among reasons for program expansion at this point is the growing interest in hybrid cloud across many parts of the world: Customers in different regions are requesting the same kind of advice and expertise. In addition, an increasing number of Solution Providers are offering cloud services to customers. Bringing these companies into the community is vital for the success of cloud deployments, as well as to the resellers themselves, who need to promote their services.