Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antoni Neri speaks at the HPE Discover 2018 conference in Las Vegas.

Jun 20 2018

HPE Discover 2018: CEO Neri Vows Massive Spending on 'Intelligent Edge' R&D

The company will invest $4 billion over four years developing new edge-based products and services.

Declaring that “the rise of the edge is the next big change coming in business,” Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri committed his company to spending $4 billion on “building the intelligent edge” over the next four years.

“The next evolution in enterprise technology will be in edge-to-cloud architecture,” Neri said in his keynote June 19 at HPE Discover 2018 in Las Vegas. “Enterprises will require millions of distributed clouds that enable real-time insights and personalized experiences exactly where the action is happening.”

He said the money would be spent principally on research and development so that HPE could “advance and innovate new products, services and consumption models.”

In an announcement following Neri’s remarks, the company said it will build out its portfolio of “transformational advisory and professional services for the edge;” continue to advance its development of so-called memory-driven computing, an emerging model of computing that allows for much faster processing of data; and “continue to invest in open standards and open source technologies, cultivate communities of software, AI, and network engineers, and further develop its ecosystem through new and expanded partnerships.”

Neri said the decision was driven by his belief that a turning point has arrived in the way businesses will use technology going forward. He described the “intelligent edge” as the intersection of “billions of people and trillions of things generating unimaginable amounts of data.” Harnessing data can change a business, or the world, but too much of it is thrown away because of the lack of capacity to extract, refine and exploit it, he argued.

“We are living in one of the most exciting times in business history,” he said. “The market is changing faster than ever. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, increasingly at the edge, and creating new opportunities in a hyperconnected world.”

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How HPE Aims to Help with Digital Transformation Journeys 

Neri told conference attendees that HPE is focused on helping its customers with three transformations: technology transformation, human transformation and the transformation of companies’ economic models. Companies engaged in digital transformations must execute in all three areas to compete in a changing market, he said.

On the technology front, Neri touted what he called “the industry’s most complete software-defined portfolio” to help businesses take off the shackles of legacy technologies and escape “the friction of yesterday’s operating models.” He said HPE’s service business, Pointnext, is prepared to help businesses manage through necessary human transformation that involves retraining IT and business staff and updating operating procedures.

Meanwhile, HPE is helping companies address their IT spending with its financial services division and an increasing portfolio of consumption-model IT offerings, in which businesses can pay as they go for data center, cloud and other IT products, reducing capital expenditures.

For example, this week HPE launched GreenLake Hybrid Cloud, a pay-per-use offering for the management of on- and off-premises cloud environments.