HPE repositions in IoT to focus on Intelligent Edge

The spin-out of the HP Enterprise Services business means that HPE also needs to reposition in the IoT ecosystem. PAC recently caught up with the company's IoT leadership and discussed where their ambitions lie in the post-separation world.

Stripped of its system integrator capabilities, HPE is shifting its focus to sitting between the "Internet" and "Things," by fusing the IT and OT worlds and unlocking the cloud-like capabilities at the edge of the enterprise.

The major advantage of edge IoT processing is that it represents the front line of analytics with lower latency and near real-time decision making, as there is no need to send data to the cloud or datacentres, which is particularly useful in manufacturing SCADA environments that are latency sensitive. Another perk of going edge is that it brings the connectivity costs down thanks to local processing.

To get here HPE will leverage its Edgeline Converged Edge Systems and Universal IoT Platform which merges different systems and capabilities such as connectivity, OT systems like SCADA, cloud, enterprise applications and bring it to the edge. It is aimed at asset heavy enterprises operating large numbers of assets, machines or vehicles, and it comes with a range of advisory and support services from HPE Pointnext offering.

HPE looks for two types of clients, one being communication providers looking to enable or expand their IoT capabilities. HPE's is working with some of the largest telcos to help them with IoT. Indian telco giant Tata Communications has worked with HPE to develop India's first LoraWAN network that should serve 400 million people. AT&T is another giant working with HPE's Universal IoT platform.

The second big focus for HPE's IoT proposition are manufacturers, aiming to enable digital factories and smart shop floors, and also companies operating in transport and smart cities areas. HPE helps Auckland's transport authorities to improve the safety and operations of the transport network and urban areas by gathering, integrating and analyzing various sources of data coming from sensors and video cameras. PwC uses HPE Universal IoT Platform to unlock smart cities applications by connecting a range of endpoints from traffic junction equipment to smart bins.

Another important aspect and differentiator of HPE in the IoT race is its Aruba wireless networking portfolio containing solutions such as location services and asset tracking, which can be integrated into broader HPE IoT value propositions as connectivity is important piece of the IoT puzzle. However, to succeed, HPE will have to work on its partnership network to build an ecosystem around its product offering. It already works with the likes of GE, PTC, National Instruments, Microsoft and integration partners to leverage HPE products and partner solutions based on VR, AR, bluetooth and WiFi to provide guidance and make management of the machines on the shop floor easier.

It seems that the split from the services business allowed HPE to reposition itself in the IoT game and this new position will definitely allow it to be more agile and focused on the edge of IoT solutions. This is also a great opportunity to build up relationships with all the system integrators, which could be some of the major growth drivers.

However competition will be strong in both the hardware and software spaces. The likes of Dell and Cisco, as well as Huawei are addressing some of these segments aggressively. Also it seems that some of HPE’s peers are starting to differentiate as leaders in IoT platforms space, especially in areas such as manufacturing. However, HPE is very well positioned to build up its momentum in the telco space.

Succeeding in the edge business will largely depend on investments HPE is willing to make  both in hardware and platform to boost innovation such in the form of intelligence, automation and wider integration. Getting here will largely depend on its ability to team with innovators that could either be local heroes or global players, as well as its ability to collaborate or acquire them.