How to Begin Building an Adaptive Infrastructure

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Business Technology is HP’s strategy for the enterprise. Olivier Helleboid, VP Adaptive Infrastructure at HP, talks about how customers have benefited from HP’s Adaptive Infrastructure approach. Learn how a company can use its information technology infrastructure as a strategic asset.

Learn more about HP’s Business Technology


Tom Field: Hi, and welcome to HP’s Executive Podcast Series in which we’ll discuss trends in business technology. I’m your host, Tom Field of CIO Magazine, and today we’re joined by Olivier Helleboid, the Vice President, Adaptive Infrastructure Technology Solutions Group, HP. Olivier, thank you for joining me today.

Oliver Helleboid: Hey, you’re welcome. Hello, Tom.

TF: Olivier, tell us about how HP’s focus on business technology translates to its solutions and services offerings, please.

OH: Yeah, as you know, business technology is HP’s strategy for the enterprise, and that’s really all about delivering technology solutions to optimize business outcomes for our customers. There are three key initiatives within business technology. There’s BIO, or Business Information Optimization is the first one, Business Technology Optimization, or sometimes we say BTO, the second one, and Adaptive Infrastructure as the third initiative. And for each one of them what they do is they bring together HP’s portfolio of products, meaning systems, software, and/or services around specific solutions in each of those three areas.

TF: So how does this new direction impact your Adaptive Infrastructure Initiative?

OH: As I just mentioned, so Adaptive Infrastructure is one of those three key initiatives within the business technology and, if you want, it can be viewed as the infrastructure foundation for business technology. In other words, AI, as we sometimes refer to it, is the delivery platform for business applications, for business information, and for management solution. And the same way as the others, AI, Adaptive Infrastructure brings together HP systems, software, services to help our customers manage and transform their IT infrastructure and evolve to a next generation data center.

TF: I see. Now why is the Adaptive Infrastructure so important to your customers?

OH: Well, clearly customers, enterprise customers really depend on an efficient and reliable infrastructure to deliver IT services to their users. And pretty much every customer we’re working with are right now evolving that infrastructure to make it more adaptive, if you want, although they may not call it adaptive, but that’s really some of the things that they’re doing. The key drivers that are behind this from a customer perspective, and that’s really irrespective of any industry, of any geography, come from, one, they have way too much complexity, too much operations cost, it costs them too much to manage and administer their infrastructure.  It’s getting for them harder and harder to deliver on their service levels, and they need to become faster, get quicker at responding to the requirements from the business.

TF: As customers grapple with these challenges that you’ve outlined, how does the Adaptive Infrastructure help them?

OH: In quite a number of ways, so if you go back to those kind of key areas of need that we just talked about, you can see that there’s a driver around cost, a driver around Quality Of Service, a driver around speed, and so what we’re doing is bringing together a whole approach, and that’s really where we start.  I think the first step, which typically we get involved with customers, is to help customers to figure out what their plan is to evolve toward an Adaptive Infrastructure or to evolve to this vision of a more flexible, more efficient next generation data center. And what they’re really looking for there is kind of getting a view of what their particular roadmap and what are the key steps that they need to take on that path towards an Adaptive Infrastructure. And typically you can see three main areas there, projects that they would engage in. There’s a whole area on optimizing the infrastructure where it’s about standardizing the systems, it’s about consolidation, etcetera. There’s a second area around managing the infrastructure, around standardizing on management processes, on the software and tools to support that, and the third area, typically the one that customers get into the latest, is around automating the delivery of IT services, establishing a shared services environment, and building all the processes to support them and to automate that. So that’s really kind of the first step that we engage in, in terms of helping customers figuring out their roadmap and their plan toward AI. The second step, which really is kind of in the meat of what we deliver, it gets into what are the products, the solutions that HP brings to the particular customer to help them build and deploy an Adaptive Infrastructure, and this gets into the solutions that we deliver, it gets into the AI enablers that really bring together the hardware, the servers, the storage, the software and services to evolve toward the next generation data center.

TF: Well, I want to ask you about that, because we hear a lot of about the next generation data center. How does HP help a customer get started in that direction?

OH: We were just talking about that. It starts with this methodology and approach and for many customers, the first step it to really help them figure out where they are today, and so for that we’ve established an Adaptive Infrastructure Maturity Model, and really what it is it’s a set of measurable or quantifiable metrics that allow them to go and see and measure where they are today across their infrastructure in terms of cost of operations, in terms of quality of service, and in terms of speed of delivery. And then once they’ve figured their current state, if you want, then we kind of work with them to figure out where they want to be in the future and work with them on their priorities, where they want to start. And out of that comes that specific roadmap or list of steps in a prioritized manner that helps them figure out, okay, where do I get started, what can I do now, and how does that map back into my cost, my quality, and service that I want to deliver. So that’s kind of the main starting point.

The second approach for some of the customers who really want to see or are in the mode of more show me, see kind of how do we put that in place, we’ve developed what we call the Adaptive Infrastructure Solutions Showcase who are real demonstrations of products, how they come together around the specified number of scenarios that you’d find in a typical customer environments. It could be, for example, how do I scale up my Web application? Or it could be how do I deploy a lower-cost disaster tolerance solution; scenarios like that, that again, bring together the different parts of HP’s portfolio and show in practical terms how this works.

TF: Olivier, what are some examples of what HP delivers to help customers in these areas we’ve discussed?

OH: Well, HP has a number of ways we can help customers evolve toward an Adaptive Infrastructure. First of all, we have a whole set of solutions. For example, IT consolidation, business continuity and availability, IT service management, and etcetera. And then below that to support the solutions, we have what we’ve defined as Adaptive Infrastructure enablers. These are some of the key technologies and services that support this evolution, and those are categorized around six key enabler systems and services, power and cooling, management, security, virtualization, and automation and, again, this is what we we’re talking about a little bit earlier, this really brings together all the different product systems, software and services to help customers embark on this transformation. The third step that we’ve put together is around AI integrated offerings, which are focused on the specific application deployment and management that the customer may be doing, whether it’s around Microsoft Exchange or SAP or Oracle.

TF: That’s very good. Can we make this real and maybe offer some examples of what HP delivers to help customers in these areas that you’ve outlined?

OH: Yeah, no, absolutely. In fact, I’ll just take on a customer example because that shows it the best sometimes is to talk about what our customers are already doing in that area. The one I’ll pick here is Audi, which is obviously a well-known automotive company, and they had their problems, you go back to kind of what their issue is was that they had a number of Web applications, eCommerce sites, whether they were internal or for their customers or for their partners and suppliers, just that wide variety that were not connected, were not integrated, were just running on all difference of infrastructure, and that created them a lot of extra cost in terms of the equipment, cost of management, it was very hard for them to add a new application or enhance a new application, and so that was kind of their issue. So what we did, we worked with them to do a few things. First of all, we helped them standardize their application environment on a small number of application environments to support a unified Web infrastructure for the whole Audi Group, then we helped them standardize their servers infrastructure on HP blades and Integrity servers running Linux and HP-UX, and then we put together for them what we call the HP Deployment Manager and that’s really focused on automating the deployment of applications, helping them migrate their existing applications to this new environment, and then help them do ongoing enhancements and updates. And the result of all that is that Audi was able to reduce their operational costs by 10% each year, so year after year go down 10%, it helped them cut the deployment cost of a new application by 30% and it helped them reduce the time that it took them to deploy new applications by 20%, so you can see some real specific deliverables there around cost and speed of deployment and, in addition, they’ve been able to exceed the service levels that they had committed to the business users, so really going back and hitting those areas of cost, quality, and speed.

TF: That’s a great example. Those are impressive results. Olivier, in addition to HP’s major announcements, what’s new from Adaptive Infrastructure?

OH: Well, a couple of things. I mentioned already a little bit earlier this Adaptive Infrastructure Maturity Model that helps take a very structured approach around quantified metrics that can help each customer develop their own specific roadmap to becoming more adaptive and link that back with their own business priorities, so that’s one of the major announcements that we’re talking about right now. The other thing that we just announced are what we call the Adaptive Infrastructure Integrated Offerings, and this is really for customers who have already decided and they know what they want to focus on in terms of becoming more efficient and becoming more adaptive, and specifically focusing on a specific service that they want to deliver to their users. What we’ve done that around each of those services is brought together integrated solutions bringing together the servers, the storage, the software, and the services around the deployment and the ongoing management of a particular service and starting with three that are focused, the first one is AI for Microsoft Exchange 2007, the second one is AI for SAP, and the third one is AI for Oracle and, again, the purpose is to bring together all the pieces of the portfolio to make it easier, faster, for customers to deploy those specific services. The third announcement that we have right now is around IT shared services and that, again, is a key part. It’s one of the elements for customers to become more adaptive is to expand their services and really automate the deployment and delivery of a service.  What’s part of IT shared services here is a solution that we call Shared Infrastructure Utility, and it provides customers to put in place an IT service utility so that their users can order a standard service and the system will automatically provision and provide the ongoing operation of that service automatically for their users. We have an SIU, as we call them, Shared Infrastructure Utility for a compute service, for storage service, for both a test and development environment and for a production environment, and we also announced as part of this roll out a shared database utility for Oracle which does the same thing, but in this case for an Oracle database service. So you can see here how these different parts come together, either the maturity model, the integrated offering, and these IT shared services, again, from components to help our customers figure out their evolution towards an Adaptive Infrastructure.

TF: So in summary, Olivier, given all that we’ve discussed here, how do you feel HP is positioned to deliver the Adaptive Infrastructure to your customers?

OH: Let me put it this way. IT infrastructure always has been a key strength for HP. It’s been the core of our enterprise IT business for years, and what we’re doing here is we’re taking a lot of the competencies and innovation that we have and that we’re continuing to bring to market to help customers towards this vision of a next generation data center. In terms of the uniqueness, it’s not just what we deliver. When we talk about what meeting the products, the service, the innovation, certainly we have a strong focus and continue to have around delivering best-in-class, whether it’s servers, storage, software, etcetera. But it’s also our differentiation comes from how we deliver an Adaptive Infrastructure, and so specifically, for example, starts with our open approach or our standards-based approach. We’re not focused on any particular database or any particular application, middleware, or any particular operating system. We’re really focused on whatever the environment the customers has and we’ll help them evolve their infrastructure. We also have a very open and flexible approach to how we engage with the customer. We’re not taking it from a pure services-driven approach. Sometimes customers just want us to deliver for them the best products and they’ll put it together. Sometimes customers are working with a partner, a channel partner, so we have a whole program to deliver Adaptive Infrastructure through channel partners. Sometimes the customers want HP expertise. In that case our HP services, whether it’s technology services or consulting and integration come there. And then finally, in some cases the customers want HP to run it for them, and that’s where outsourcing comes together. So again, all the different ways, it’s really choice for the customer how it comes together. And then finally, I think a key differentiator and something that’s unique is our own HP IT. Internally, as you know, we’re going through our own transformation of our internal IT towards a next generation data center, towards an Adaptive Infrastructure, and that has a tremendous leverage, first, in terms of best practices that we can then use to work with our customers in how what we’ve learned internally, and then also HP IT influencing our product strategy, our product designs across the company which, again, comes back into something we can deliver to customers.

TF: Very good. Olivier, I want to thank you for your time and for your insight today.

OH: You’re welcome. I hope it was useful.

TF: I want to thank you listeners for tuning into this Podcast. To learn more about how HP is delivering technology for better business outcomes, visit . For HP, I’m Tom Field. Thank you.


Olivier Helleboid

VP Adaptive Infrastructure

Technology Solutions Group

Hewlett-Packard Company

As VP of Adaptive Infrastructure for TSG, Olivier Helleboid leads the strategy, development, and go-to-market of HP’s adaptive infrastructure solutions, helping customers reap the benefits of a next-generation data center. Having re-joined HP in 2005, Helleboid was VP of Operations for the HP Software business, focusing on delivering increased profitability and leading the integration of the Peregrine acquisition.

Previously, Helleboid spent over two years at BEA Systems, as EVP of Products and Corporate Development and Strategy. Helleboid formerly was president and CEO of Rainfinity, a security and storage virtualization start-up company, and helped build a solid revenue base from more than 300 enterprise customers and several OEM partnerships.

Prior to that, he spent 20 years in the networking and server industry, including being the VP and GM for the OpenView Software Business Unit at HP. Under his leadership, the HP OpenView business gained the No. 1 position in distributed management solutions and established itself as the industry leader in IT service management.

Helleboid received an engineer’s degree from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in Paris, France. He received a M.S. in management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

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