While Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) only split into a separate business company at the end of 2015, the business is already proving that the massive decision was not only forward-thinking but was also financially and operationally sound. While retaining its already strong commitment to the quality of its staff and technology, not to mention its competitive operational strategy, HPE is looking to build on its position in the enterprise space to become a true global leader. We speak to Khaled Alsaleh, HPE’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa about how he is leveraging his knowledge of the local markets to aim the company in the completion of this goal regionally.
HPE’s innovative technology solutions and services can be found in some form or other in most if not all of the Fortune 100 companies across the globe, which is why such a wide variety of African and Middle Eastern industry leaders trust the company with handling their enterprise solutions. In the Middle East specifically, the company works with government, defence, telecommunications, oil and gas, hospitality, healthcare, finance, manufacturing and retail companies. With the capabilities to service a diverse range of industries, it is little wonder that HPE is being tipped to bring in $53 billion in revenues this year.
To summarise its offering to businesses must by necessity be an exercise in brevity – suffice to say that HPE covers everything from data protection, optimisation and analytics, to support, education and financing. Alongside an expansive range of software products, HPE also provides networks, servers, storage and integrated systems.
Alsaleh explains the rationale behind the separation: “By separating into two industry-leading companies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. will focus on the markets they serve while also being more agile, nimble and responsive to current and prospective customers. Both companies will build on HP’s 75-plus year legacy of adapting and innovating cutting-edge technologies to support the customers they serve and deliver maximum value to our shareholders.”
Being more agile as an independent company, HPE has even more room to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape and even has this embedded into its customer-facing strategy, as Alsaleh explains: “It is imperative that we adapt to the changing environment. As a business, our focus now is on helping companies make the most of technology to benefit their customers and employees by successfully navigating through what we see as the Idea Economy.
“In essence, the ability to turn an idea into a new product, business or industry has never been easier or more accessible and companies need to be well placed to take advantage of this. To help businesses achieve this, our strategy is focused on areas that we believe companies need to utilise in order to compete. These areas of the market represent an estimated total addressable market of more than $1 trillion, so there’s a lot of opportunity for us to grow and improve our business.
The right skills for the job
In order to fully realise both the regional and global visions for the development of the new company, Alsaleh and his management teams are working hard to ensure that HPE is made up of a satisfied, well-educated and well rewarded workforce, he says: “Certain roles in our business require very specialized skills and we’re competing for a limited pool of talent in certain markets. This makes retention absolutely critical.
“At HPE, career growth is an important retention tool. We follow a well-defined Career Development Model where the employee is the main driver in exploring and deciding what’s next, the manager supports and HPE enables the career growth within a very dynamic and changing business environment.”
Recognising the transformative power of technology, the company has created its own online learning resource known as Accelerating U, which is an all-in-one portal containing virtual colleges and a host of materials covering both hard and soft skills. HPE also has a network of physical training centres across the Middle East and Africa, so that a variety of learning styles can be seamlessly addressed.
Alsaleh’s own appointment was done in light of the positive difference he could make to the skillset and ethos of the company. His role as Regional Director covers managing everything from the entire portfolio of solutions and services, managing ICT businesses transformation, creating visions for the new style of business and building strategies with effective GTM approaches for sustainable revenue growth.
It was therefore essential that the right appointment had the experience and educational background honed over many years of execution in a variety of roles. Alsaleh has a proven track record of over 17 years working closely with public and private sectors across a variety of industries and territories.
He joined HP in 2013 as the Country Manager of HP Software in Saudi Arabia, and was promoted late 2014 to his current role. He has held leadership positions at multi-national companies such as Oracle, Computer Associates and others.
Responsible growth strategy
HPE occupies the unique position of having a long history of operations while simultaneously coming to the market as a new company. While a seemingly ambiguous position, the company has its eyes set firmly on the future as Alsaleh explains: “Over the next five years our aim is to generate growth and long-term value for our shareholders and customers. And we’re already making good progress with this having successfully delivered a second consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth in Q4 2015.
“We also hold the number one of two position in many of our key markets which demonstrates the strength of our business. We’re uniquely positioned to be the most trusted partner and deliver this for them and by doing that we can make sure we deliver value for our customers and create a better business.”
Underwriting the company’s long term commitment to its employees, customers and shareholders is its dedication to operating in an environmentally sustainable way – an operational commitment that companies the world over are discovering not only saves emissions, but often time, money and materials. The company takes a serious look at its water, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and continually strives to minimise its impact across its supply chain, as well across the entirety of its product portfolio.
HPE’s operations in the Middle East and Africa combine the best aspects of a globally leading IT technology company with years of experience in innovation with local knowledge and market-relevant expertise required to compete regionally. Having simultaneously an illustrious history and a clean slate for the future, HPE is positioned to become a regional powerhouse and will surely set the pace of innovation in these markets for many years to come.