How PKA Technologies is leveraging HPE GreenLake to advance customer outcomes

How PKA Technologies is leveraging HPE GreenLake to advance customer outcomes

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Narrator: HPE GreenLake is an edge to cloud platform from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. It offers customers a flexible pay per use compute infrastructure, with configurations to suit almost any workload. Joe Vidal: Hello and welcome to our podcast conversation with PKA Technologies Inc executives. We will be talking about their recent successful partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

PKA is a very successful platinum partner for HPE and has been delivering HPE Solutions wrapped with IT consulting and whatever other additional IT technologies are needed by their clients around the world. My name is Joe Vidal, and I'm a master technologist in the office of the North America CTO at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and I'm happy to be accompanied today by two guests. I've got Patrick Shelley, the director of Enterprise Solutions at PKA Technologies, and Felise Katz, the CEO of PKA Technologies. So let me turn to Felise first. Felise, I'm sure our listeners would love to hear about the HPE relationship from you, so please tell us a little bit about how long PKA has been a channel partner with HPE and you guys are reseller integrator.

Tell us a little bit about your business and that relationship. Felise Katz: Sure. So, first of all, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity really to talk about the solutions and the things that we're doing together, the collaboration. So PKA is around for 26 years we've been providing enterprise solutions for many different clients, both in the commercial and the public sector space. And what's really critical when a solution provider is out there is really looking for the right partner to collaborate with to bring to the end user customer. And we look and we have continued to, you know, to look and depend on our relationship with HPE to provide this type of necessary relationship, to give them the security, the enablement, to grow their business, to really get rid of their old IT real estate to do to keep them in a secure environment.

And it's it's very challenging. So, I can tell you that for the 26 years that we've been doing this, we're have been a platinum partner since the inception, and we love it. We're extremely passionate about our customers and moreover, extremely passionate about the solutions that we provide them. So having that dependable partnership

and relationship is integral to what we do every single day. Joe Vidal: That's absolutely rightfully so. And, you know, you bring up a great point. You know, HPE has only had the platinum level defined for a few years now, right? You guys were gold for so many years because that was the highest level. Then as soon as we defined platinum, another level meaning that you're selling the entire portfolio from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

And you guys do that so well. And speaking of which, I know you've had several recent great successes with us, so do me a favor. I know you've been selling also HP GreenLake private cloud solutions, and those are something that everybody wants to hear a little bit more about.

And we've had a recent news article with you right on a recent win Trichero Family Estates winery. I understand that Patrick Shelly was actually the lead account exec on that. He discovered a business need at Trichero Family Estates in Napa Valley.

So if you don't mind, I'd like to turn to Patrick Shelly, real quickly. We'll come right back to you, Felise, I promise. And please feel free to to to jump in here, because I'd like to hear a little bit more about the solutions and the business need that led to TFE or Trichero Family Estates and PKA coming to HPE to solve their growth issues, their business needs and really the growth issues through the season of COVID, right? Everybody in the alcohol business, especially the wine business, has done very, very well through COVID. I mean, let's face it. Right, we're all spending more time at home and why not? Right. So, Patrick, thanks once again for joining me today. So I'm sure the viewers have all heard about how

HPE's GreenLake solution, a private cloud that comes to you and doesn't force you to decide between staying in your data center or expanding to the cloud. You get both with HPE Greenlake and I know you've brought that solution to Trichero Family Estates. So how did that happen? What were their business needs? Patrick Shelley: Yeah, sure. So, Joe, thanks for having me. First off, I think this solution more than any other in the past was more about business than the actual technology behind it. There's three main drivers that led to this, and the biggest thing for them was that sold them on GreenLake was the onsite buffer, right? The fact that they have, you know, 20% onsite that they can use, there's no more long procurement CapEx cycles, instantly ready to spin up whether they're growing internally, whether they acquire other wineries.

That stuff's all sitting on site ready for them to use. Joe Vidal: And by the way, that's one of the biggest benefits of going to cloud in general. Right. So when people are thinking about traditional I.T. in a private environment, they don't necessarily think about that. So so go on.

Patrick Shelley: Yeah. Yeah, sure. The second. Second biggest thing is the shout back, right? So that they have a bunch of different departments there and it's kind of, you know, before it was kind of wild, wild west. They asked for this much storage. It's much vCPUs, this much memory and you know, they gave it to them, but they had really no good idea of what each of the departments were actually doing out of, out of their resources. And now with GreenLake Central, they can go in and they could show back each of these departments, hey, this is what you're using every single month, right? And it's easy for them to go and do internal charge back to these departments and show them that this is what they're using on a monthly basis.

So that was a good thing for them to have. That's not something they ever had in the past, you know, and it was it's easier for them to able to be able to justify some of the charges to the different internal departments. And then the third biggest thing is predictable pricing. If anyone has been pricing servers over the last year, the changes have been....

Joe Vidal: Sky Rocketing, right. And it's all about availability, right? Patrick Shelley: Bingo. So, you know, Trichero for the next five years knows what their pricing is, right? If they bring on more storage, more compute, etc., etc., that's already built out for them. So they don't have to worry about shifts in IT price variance. It's predictable for them to know that for the

next five years or longer, this is what their bill is going to look like. And they can and they can proactively look at that. If they know they're bringing on another project, they can kind of predictably price it out without it being this massive exercise of going through trying to get a CapEx and trying to figure out what what they're going to need and over provisioning for it. Every single project, it's easy for them to just look and say, This is what I'm going to need and, you know, predictably price it out. Joe Vidal: All right. So basically they needed to rein in their IT costs, but also be able to identify which business units we're using, what IT resources and this, you know, they're not alone.

There are a lot of companies that are having these same issues. But the difference with Trichero Family Estates, as you mentioned, is they've been around for 70 years. Most people don't realize they're the second largest family-owned winery, the fourth largest overall in the world. Trichero Family Estates in Napa Valley is one that's been around for a long, long time. So they've been doing business and been they're in the business also of IT. And now they're able to finally with you, with your help, with the help of PKA and Hewlett Packard Enterprise now able to focus on their business, which is the business of the family estate winery and not have to worry about the IT and not have to worry about where they're going to get those next couple of servers or next storage, you know, farm or next few or hard drives, which as hard as things are to get right now because of COVID and the lack of resources and components and manufacturing process all around the globe, having that extra 20% buffer is huge.

And so. Felise Katz: You know Joe, it was also very interesting. When we sat down with the CFO and we had a conversation, you know, one thing that came up was there in the past they had so over provisioned their i.t requirements that

so much of the capacity was sitting there doing nothing and... Joe Vidal: Wasting money... Felise Katz: Wasting money, exactly. And this took a tremendous amount of money, put it back into their budget and to their spend, made them highly efficient. You know, that was a huge point for them as well. And Patrick did a great job of, you know, explaining and talking about it.

And it resonated with them not only certainly from the IT side, but on the balance sheet. So that's, you know, when you talk about the business, when you talk about profit and loss, that's really key for commercial customers as well. Joe Vidal: Right. And I know, Patrick, you mentioned that they were looking for additional compute.

They were looking for additional storage. So how important was security to the overall solution that they were looking for? Patrick Shelley: Oh, that's everything they've built in internal security infrastructure that they didn't want to not be able to use. Right. So the beauty of GreenLake being on prem and, you know, the security infrastructure that they built, right, that they believed in, they're able to put the infrastructure behind it.

Right. Not worrying about it being a cloud and where it is in the cloud and all that, that other stuff that comes around being in the cloud, you know, they can director of IT tells me he could sleep because he knows this stuff is behind the infrastructure that he built out that he believes in that he tested out and all and has done all his intrusion detection on. The fact that this stuff is sitting behind that stuff is good. And he actually reached out to me the other day too telling me that he was playing around in Greenlake Central with cloud and looking at this costs in the cloud. And he was able to save them the company a lot of money by saying, hey, this workload is costing us this much to run in the cloud if we bring it in to GreenLake. It's only going to cost us this much.

So now we start to play around with a lot of the other features within GreenLake and realising the full benefits of GreenLake. Joe Vidal: That's right. So you just brought up something and I'm going to ask both of you, Felise and Patrick, to just kind of tell me a little bit more about this. So you mentioned that the CFO is looking at the cost of their other public cloud resource providers and what they're charging them, not just look and not just using the GreenLake Central Dashboard to look at the IT infrastructure that we've placed on site in their private cloud. We're giving them visibility to all their

clouds. So how are they using that and how different is that making the business of planning that IT. Felise, let me ask you. Felise Katz: So it just, you know, from day to day operations, you know, when anybody in management or the CFO, CIO, CTO, you know, president of the company looks at the financials, this is just key. It's instrumental to running a business.

Efficiency is, you know, this we're all on a digital transformation journey, right? Every single customer, whether, you know, regardless of what they're doing and who they're servicing and to become a more efficient operation for their bottling plan to become produce more with less, that is absolutely incredible. And that's what it does for them at the end of the day. Right. And that's what we're looking for.

We're looking for that type of success for our clients. And that's the only thing, you know. GreenLake from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, that's the only product out there that really does this for them and enables a customer to get to that level. Speaker2: Okay. So, Felise, great conversation. And and it's nice to understand the CEO or executives view and understanding of our we'll call it the Greenlake Central Cloud Services Portal. But Patrick, let me ask you.

So the client obviously had compute needs, storage needs, network growth needs and the ability to have a security view. The nice thing is, is that GreenLake Central from HPE allows you to have all those different views. So how important was that to TFE to be able to have multiple different views and not force a difference in administrative privileges or a difference in a change in how they do IT? Patrick Shelley: Well, that's yeah, that's one of the problems that they were having in the past. Right. Is everything being so siloed and figuring out. Right. Who has access to this, this and that. And at times the director of IT was having trouble getting information or seeing the different things that he needed to be able to see on a daily basis and with GreenLake Central that resolves that, right.

So he's got one pane of glass that he can go in, he can take a look at everything, and he doesn't have to worry about getting access to this or reaching out to this person so that he could show him, Hey, walk over to my computer and I'll show you this. You know, he doesn't have to worry about stuff anymore that so that was a big deal for them as well. Joe Vidal: Well, then we'll want to make sure that we give them access to the mobile app, too, right? Because there is mobile app access. Right. He doesn't have to actually walk to the computer

to do that anymore. So but that's a beautiful... And you know what? When you're walking across the the estate or the winery and the vineyards, you know, you don't want to have to leave that beautiful environment just to have to go look at a dashboard. Right. How nice would it be to be walking down those beautiful vines and in between those rows as depicted on their home page? And we'll point people to that at the end here.

But let me just change gears just a little and turn back to Felise, because Felise, I know Trinchero Family Estates isn't the only solution when that you've had with HPE and HPE GreenLake. I understand that you recently had a win with Essex County, so tell me what they were experiencing and what brought them to PKA and HPE. Felise Katz: So we have a great relationship with Essex County.

It really started at the edge side with Aruba and we had been working on the wireless and switch environment all throughout their campus, everything from their golf course to their ice skating rink and all their, you know, municipality. And I was sitting with the CIO once and having a conversation about his journey with Essex and what it meant from a digital transformation they were still using. I don't know if you remember these yellow envelopes for human resources where they had everybody had a file and inside where, you know...

Joe Vidal: No! A distribution list was manually written with each name and you check your name off and had it for the next person. I remember those. Felise Katz: And it was just incredible. And I'm saying to myself, oh my goodness, where can we take Essex County? And it was just like limitless. So the challenge was, you know, with Essex County, they have 23 agencies.

How do you incorporate all these agencies from the police department to social services to, you know, human resources, to they have high schools underneath them, to the district attorney's office. How do you incorporate all these under one roof? Give them what they need in terms of, you know, being able to schedule out the chargebacks, give them a secure environment, give them the management they require, give them a predictable, you know, uptime, because they had to, the CIO had to offer SLAs to all these agencies to bring them underneath. Joe Vidal: Absolutely. Felise Katz: Well, GreenLake was the solution. And it was just an absolutely incredible it took a long time. It took a village to make the solution happen.

Joe Vidal: But you had to bring it into the 20th century first, right? Or the 21st Century, I should say. Right. Felise Katz: But we are we're finally there with them. And it was it's a very interesting because this one really brought them in from the edge all the way into their compute and storage environment. And, you know, we are looking forward to great success. With them as this deploys and gets out there.

And so far, so far, so good. You know, it's just again, Patrick can talk more about the technical, but it is, you know, Synergy on the compute side. It's Nimble on the storage side, Aruba's included, backup is included.

It's a complete end to end solution for them. And they have, I think, close to 900,000 constituents in the you know, in the county. Okay. So think about responsibility just falls under

that. It's just amazing. Joe Vidal: I love everything you're saying. And in fact, what it sounds like you're saying is PKA reached out to HPE for the edge to cloud solution that was going to bring Essex County up into the 21st century and at the same time streamline everything that they do in all their multiple governmental agencies or departments across Essex County. And obviously there's a lot of needs there.

So Patrick, tell me a little bit about, you know, how important was the technology behind the solution to Essex County or did they care at all? Patrick Shelley: They actually they cared about the solution, right. So as Felise mentioned, it's Synergy, Nimble and and Aruba switches, but they are very familiar with the technology. They use Blade systems in their environment and 3PAR. So they want to stick around that kind of enterprise... Joe Vidal: This was a long term HPE customer, it sounds like if.. Especially if they had Blade system, right, understanding it and stuck with that and then went with Synergy composable infrastructure.

Right. And that brought that into an HPE GreenLake private cloud solution. So how are they using this private cloud solution? And had they looked at other clouds? Felise Katz: Yeah. So absolutely. I mean, we were we were competing against every single public cloud that was out there. Down to the wire to when they closed and signed the statement of work. It was very, very challenging.

They were comparing costs. You know, what is was it a mean, you know, egress? Because what does it mean if I'm going to bring my data back in? Wait a second. With the HPE GreenLake. I don't have to do that. I don't have to pay that cost, you know, but yet with the public cloud, that's going to cost me a ton of money and that's going to cost, obviously, you know, the constituents a lot of money.

Right, because it flows downhill. Joe Vidal: It's the Trojan horse of public cloud. Yes. Felise Katz: Yeah. So that was that was a tremendous thing. I think it was, you know, again, from the business standpoint, it was the CIO having the comfort level and the security that they know that they were going with. Absolutely a tier one solution that he was in control of and that was critically important.

And security, of course. And they had been hacked during COVID. So multiple times, so many, many sleepless nights. And, you know, really having a complete understanding of what was going on in their environment, that's spoke volumes to them.

Joe Vidal: Well, and that's a great point. Obviously, the zero trust framework that's wrapped around all of the GreenLake private cloud solutions right now. We use the HPE Lighthouse Solution set with a zero trust framework in everything that we define as a lighthouse solution within GreenLake private cloud.

So that obviously gave Essex County the secure security to know that, you know, we're kind of on the wall for them, right? You know, they've got HPE, they've got PKA on that wall for them so that they can sleep well at night, as Patrick said. So, Patrick, you brought up something when talk about the Essex County in there, the hack that they had had. So in the solution that we delivered, did we deliver a better D-R automated D-R solution or a backup solution that's going to protect them from a potential hack in the future? Patrick Shelley: Yeah, 100%. So we included store once and Veeam to do the backups with store once.

Obviously it includes Catalyst, right? So they felt really comfortable about Catalyst and the fact that it runs its own unique protocol that that isn't open source or known out there that hackers are kind of looking for, looking to crack. So, you know, the whole story around Catalyst and the Veeam backup to the StoreOnce is really is really what made sense for that. Joe Vidal: Right. And the nice thing about that solution is it's going to allow them to back up, right? So if they ever do get infected again or if their data gets encrypted, they can always go back in time and restore to that. And not only that, because it is a catalyst based StoreOne appliance, it's going to be one that naturally creates an immutable backup copy and mutable backup copies. And immutability is really key right now in

today's environment. That's so hacker centric, right? And everybody's at risk these days. It's it's huge business. So thank you for adding that in, Patrick. So any last comments, Patrick or Felice, that you'd like to share with our crowd? Felise Katz: So, you know, again, I'll go back to partnership.

We could never do this by ourselves. We depend on Hewlett Packard Enterprise to bring forward these type of solutions so that we can offer them to our clients. And it becomes a triangular relationship which stands up and really enables the customers because that's what it's all about, right? We're here for our customers. We're here to enable them from the edge all the way in into their environments, give them the security, give them the, you know, the sleep at night, and also be price competitive. You know, like we have to be able to

make sure that we're giving them more than certainly public cloud can give them because it's, you know, public cloud is the easy button, right? You just, you know, press the button and the way you go. This is not so simple. So this has just really been truly, again, an enabler, you know, for our customers.

And, you know, we're very grateful for our relationship. We're very grateful, you know, our customers are very grateful for our relationship. And a really brings, you know, to home about partnership. You know, partnership is so key and, you know, we depend and our customers depend and we feel very good about it. So thank you.

Joe Vidal: Oh, that's fantastic, Felise, and thank you for sharing that. Well, I don't know about all of you listening in or watching this podcast, but I've learned a lot about how PKA and Hewlett Packard Enterprise can partner together to solve a wide variety of business problems, all while delivering, as you just heard, a secure, private cloud environment that delivers the best of both worlds the flexibility and security of private IT infrastructure, while leveraging the cost savings of the cloud, or the cost savings and economic savings of the cloud, allowing IT to be able to instantaneously respond to business growth all while reining in it costs in a secure fashion. So I'd like to thank my two guests, Felise Katz and Patrick Shelly, for joining me today. You can find out more about PKA Technologies Inc at

That's P.K.A. And of course, you can also find out more about HPE and HPE's Greenlake Private Cloud, the cloud that comes to you at Thank you for watching our interview today. Again, my name is Joe Vidal. You can reach me with any questions at and

I ask all of you to do three things. Stay safe, stay happy and stay healthy. But do not stay thirsty.

Life's too short. Thanks a lot for your time today. Patrick Shelley: Thanks, Joe. Felise Katz: Thank you. Thanks, Joe.

2022-06-05 07:04

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