Hewlett Packard Enterprise targets European growth with new customer center

HPE opens its first Customer Engagement Centre outside of the US in London.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

The technology prototyping room at HPE's Customer Engagement Centre in London.

Image: Nick Heath / ZDNet

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is doubling down on growing its business outside the US by opening its first customer hub in Europe.

The new Customer Engagement Centre (CEC) - the first outside of North America - allows prospective clients to meet HPE business experts and leaders and receive advice on how to improve their business.

The 14,000-square-foot facility forms part of HPE's new London office - a 67,000 square foot building in the center of the city.

The UK is already HPE's second largest market globally and Peter Ryan, HPE's managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the company sees potential for strong growth in Europe, describing the region as "one of the world's most dynamic technological hubs".

He said the CEC will allow HPE to work with European customers to plan their desired business outcomes and map out the technologies and services to achieve these aims.

The CEC includes an ideas room where an artist and analyst create visual representations of the customer goals, a prototyping room for showcasing technology, and a gallery with three giant screens for multimedia presentations.

The advice provided by the center may or may not be billed to the customer, depending on the level of "engagement", according to HPE's CEC chief, Hedley Potts.

HPE is pinning future growth on persuading customers to link cloud-based services into existing IT estates to create a "hybrid infrastructure", to invest in big data analytics, better workplace productivity, and more robust IT security.

Last year HPE CEO Meg Whitman told an audience at London's HPE Discover event that in the run-up to separating Hewlett Packard into the PC and printer-focused HP Inc and business-oriented Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the company built 4,000 servers, generated 400,000 email in-boxes, and managed 500 projects in flight across 170 countries.

For its part, HPE has inherited an enterprise services business that, despite still generating billions of dollars, saw operating earnings fall nearly 60 percent in the five years to Q2 2015.

In the face of tumbling figures in key areas, HP and its successor organisations have slimmed down considerably in recent years, with HP planning to have reduced its workforce by 58,000 by November last year and HPE looking to achieve $2.7bn in annual cost savings.

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