ITWeb TV: HPE pivots to as-a-service business

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 29 Sept 2023

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE’s) traditional business remains an important part of the company, despite the decision to pivot towards an as-a-service firm, says Sandile Dube, country manager of HPE South Africa.

Dube was speaking to ITWeb TV on a range of issues, including the HPE business within the South African context, as well as navigating challenges such as load-shedding.

Commenting on the importance of HPE’s traditional business, Dube says a number of HPE clients still prefer to consume IT services in a traditional form. “Although we work with those customers in achieving their mandates, it helps us to remain relevant, particularly in terms of giving customers the ability to consume ICT services in a way that makes sense to them.”

US-headquartered HPE’s traditional business focused on servers, storage, networking, containerisation software, and consulting and support.

According to Dube, following HPE’s 2019 announced intention to pivot towards becoming an as-a-service business by 2022, it has made strides in executing this vision over the years.

An as-a-service business means offering the entire HPE portfolio of solutions and services in a consumption-based or pay-per-use model, he explains, adding this has materialised in the local market.

“We were ahead of the curve in terms of becoming an as-a-service business. We’ve seen quite a significant uptake from a number of our clients across a number of industries.”

However, organisations can continue to consume ICT services in a traditional model amid technology advancements, he notes. “It will also depend on some of the business outcomes that motivate spend and investment in ICT solutions. This is why our traditional business remains a key aspect within our organisation.”

Sandile Dube, country manager of HPE South Africa. (Photograph by Lesley Moyo)
Sandile Dube, country manager of HPE South Africa. (Photograph by Lesley Moyo)

At the time of the ITWeb TV interview, load-shedding had reached stage six, as a result of breakdowns at embattled power utility Eskom’s power stations. Stage six allows for up to 6 000MW to be removed from the power grid, leading to power supply cuts in the impacted area 18 times over a four-day period, for four hours at a time.

While load-shedding has since eased, switching between stages two and three, Dube notes power cuts have a significant impact on businesses at large, as well as the local economy.

“From an operational standpoint, we understand the risks and concerns around load-shedding. In a country like ours that’s already seeing high levels of unemployment, particularly among the youth, I think we stand the risk of elevating an already high unemployment rate if load-shedding persists.

“In terms of what we’re doing, we work with quite a number of other organisations in ensuring we address load-shedding challenges within the controls that we have within our business.

“Companies have been forced, to a certain degree, to look at alternate sources of energy and that comes down to what needs to be done to sustain the operations of the business and protect our economy.

“Therefore, it’s incumbent on all of us to ensure we mitigate the risks that are brought by load-shedding, particularly in an effort to support the growth of our economy.”