It’s been just over two years since Antonio Neri was named President of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the infrastructure-oriented company that emerged from the 2015 breakup of the legendary but slightly road-worn tech giant Hewlett Packard.
Since then, Neri has led something of a cultural transformation—along with an acquisition binge that has pulled 14 companies, including Aruba Networks and the supercomputer maker Cray, under the HPE umbrella. And at last month’s HPE Discover conference in Las Vegas, Neri announced the next big shift for the company: moving everything that HPE does to an “as-a-service” model. While storage, computing, networking, and everything else HPE does will still be available for the foreseeable future under the current, traditional business model, those offerings will also be made available on a pay-for-what-you-use plan. That way, customers can (within reason) expand and contract their IT infrastructure capacity on demand.
Ars happened to be in Vegas for the HPE Discover conference a few weeks before our annual security conference pilgrimage to Black Hat and DEFCON, and Neri graciously agreed to meet up an interview. The newish company president discussed his admiration for another high profile tech executive, how he’s seen HPE transform since taking the helm, and what it will take to get customers to buy into the company’s new as-a-service ethos.