Get to know: Matthew Harris, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, HPE
Matthew Harris, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, HPE

Get to know: Matthew Harris, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, HPE

Describe your current job role and a summary of the business model of your organisation?

I am the Managing Director Hewlett Packard Enterprises’ UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa organisation. An organisation made up of over 3,500 team members. The geography that I lead has physical operations within 8 countries and has market presence across 48.

Whilst there is a lot of diversity in the breadth of operations HPE is united under one common purpose. To help customers and partners advance the way people live and work by supporting them on their transformation journeys. Providing edge connected, cloud enabled, AI solutions through HPE GreenLake cloud platform. 

What are your strengths and abilities that you bring to the above role?

I have been with HPE for over 20 years and have never been more aligned and motivated by the company’s mission; to advance the way people live and work. Be that through supporting the construction of some of the most technologically advanced sports stadiums to enhance fan experience, or through supporting local government digitisation strategies to improve citizen experience.

One attribute that has supported me in every role, is having a curious and open mind set. Staying open to change and having the ability to learn and adapt, especially when working in the fast-paced technology market.

Please describe expectations of the end customers that you address. What are their pain points today?

HPE operates within every market segment and region. One recurring theme from customers, large and small, is the digital ambition and focus on remaining operationally minded.

When it comes to customer’s exceptions for IT, the solutions have to be optimised to support their business. They have to work all of the time – it is non-negotiable. The operations landscape is where the complexity comes in, and HPE continues to invest in people and technologies to make the operations that support customers and partners seamless.

One pain point across the breadth of customers is the mounting pressure to modernise and use technology as a differentiator. Customers understand that a data first approach is essential but need support in getting to a point where they can capitalise on the innovations being brought to market.

Which technologies and innovations can make a difference to an end customers’ business?

HPE’s most significant technology innovations include re-defining experiences at the edge, power of platforms, and increasing AI accessibility.

The edge is where a customers’ customers reside, with the edge presenting a significant opportunity for HPE’s customer businesses. Edge technology is a core driver of modern workplace experience, which has a huge impact on staff productivity and retention. It also can also enable better end user customer experiences, for example next generation venues, which are being built to increase customer engagement and generate more revenue opportunities.

Cloud is an operating model and experience, not a destination. Through utilising the HPE GreenLake Cloud platform, organisations can unlock the value of adopting cloud while also removing risk of lock-in, control and resiliency. HPE recently acquired OpsRamp and the technology innovations are already being implemented within the HPE platform. The capabilities OpsRamp have brought give customers observability across all types of cloud, from public clouds to on-premises data centres.

AI is a hot topic for customers and partners, from large enterprise organisations to SMB’s. HPE is focussed on making AI accessible to all customers to shape the future of their businesses. At HPE Discover, HPE announced AI cloud for large language models, which will support in making AI accessible to all businesses.

How can a channel partner in your industry disrupt the regional market and gain a competitive position?

HPE is a partner first organisation. HPE has over 75% of revenue being generated through partners. HPE is positioned to help partners disrupt the markets they operate in through three industry trends – edge connectivity, defining the next generation of cloud as hybrid, and AI accessibility.

All of these opportunities need partners with unique value propositions to make them a reality for joint customers. The opportunity here is enormous. HPE is committed to helping partners build their capabilities to disrupt and capitalise on the market opportunity.

Which non-competitive business in the region do you admire for its innovative usage of technology?

Tesla for being bold enough to challenge the status quo. Back in 2003 they set out to disrupt the automotive industry with their industry electric cars, way before electric started to become the industry norm. They are the in the space, and you can now see most, if not all, car manufactures following suit in developing electric or hybrid cars.

I see some similarities with HPE setting out that the world would be hybrid back in 2019. The cloud market has shifted, and HPE now see hybrid as the norm with customers and not the exception.

Which aspects of your job role do you find rewarding, and which are challenging?

Making a difference is what matter most. This could be coaching people within the team and encouraging them to do their best work, or by building and re-imagining solutions with customers and partners that help shape the future. Most challenging is keeping up with the speed of change within the technology industry. With constant change there are always new opportunities to capitalise on.

How do you best like to de-stress and re-charge off work?

Having the right mindset from the get-go and understanding the importance of disconnecting, even for short periods. Be that a 30 minute walk with no technology, coaching my sons football team, or family holiday time. I have faith in my team, that they will execute when I am not there. It is also great opportunity for the team to step up.

I am not technically invested in the Metaverse but can see my kids engage with it. I strongly believe technology is a force for good and look forward and embrace the opportunity the metaverse brings for accessibility and new experiences that can be delivered through a digital world.

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