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Gerry Nolan

Gerry Nolan is a Worldwide Senior Director for HPE Pointnext Support Services. In this role his goal is to enable HPE’s customer support experience, which in turn drives their business outcomes and enables their digital transformation journey. Gerry brings to his position a well-established background in information technology and professional services, where he has worked for over 30 years. Prior to taking on his current role he held other positions in HPE including leadership for HPE’s Hyperscale Support Services, HPE’s Mission Critical Services business and HPE’s Customer Technical Training business.

With the economy firing on all cylinders and innovative business models common, companies are taking aim at lucrative new market opportunities. To succeed, they need to unlock a crucial resource – the ingenuity of their in-house IT talent. Many of the business leaders I talk to would love to provide more ways for IT staffers to mobilize their skills and develop new ones, especially since companies need every ounce of that expertise to capitalize on hybrid IT, next-gen apps, AI, big data, and a host of other high-impact initiatives. But the reality is, IT’s hands are still tied by routine IT management and maintenance tasks. A quick glance at the chart below, from an IDC white paper The Business Value of HPE Datacenter Care, shows the extent of the problem.

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Nearly 14 percent of IT staff time, on average, spent just on managing SLAs … and almost as much on monitoring and troubleshooting! That’s a real eye-opener.

Been there, done that, got the results

Surveys like this are helpful for understanding the big picture, and the white paper does a great job of explaining how companies are tackling this challenge. Still, nothing beats hearing it first-hand from IT leaders who have been there, done that, and achieved major successes.

So I was thrilled to find myself onstage at HPE Discover in June with one such leader: José Rodriguez, Information System Manager with Switzerland-based SCOTT Sports SA. We were there to present a session called “How HPE Pointnext helps you deliver the experience your users need and simplify IT operations with HPE Datacenter Care.”

SCOTT Sports, by the way, is an international sports brand with a global approach, developing and distributing bike, winter, running and motosport products. R&D, Sales, Marketing and IT are managed from the SCOTT Headquarters in Givisiez, Switzerland. SCOTT employs more than 1000 people worldwide. They sell products in 80 countries. “Innovation – Technology – Design” is their Mission Statement, expressing exactly what SCOTT Sports‘ products stand for. They’re a longtime HPE customer (you can read how HPE Pointnext helped SCOTT Sports migrate from an Oracle data warehouse to a SAP HANA system here.) José and I focused on the company’s recent decision to invest in HPE Datacenter Care Service in order to:

  • Deliver the experience users need. SCOTT Sports’ has an uncompromising commitment to keeping its infrastructure available 24/7. Every minute that its systems are down, José pointed out, the company can’t process new orders, or process, deliver and ship its current orders. With the ongoing growth of the business, including its web-based arm, SCOTT Sports’ internal IT team was starting to feel the pinch in providing round-the-clock support. Hiring and training new staff wasn’t an attractive option; they needed expert help, and they needed it right away.

  • Simplify IT operations. This is one of the major benefits that the company gained by implementing HPE Datacenter Care. HPE staff were assigned to SCOTT Sports: an Assigned Account Support Team, including an Account Support Manager, and Assigned Engineers. These assigned resources were especially important and helpful, José reported – the engineers had in-depth knowledge of the infrastructure because they installed it. The Service also included proactive monitoring and proactive support; SAP HANA expertise and support; and multi-vendor support, including multiple OSs such as HP-UX and SUSE Linux.

 

Saving time, saving money

HPE Datacenter Care has now been in place for about eighteen months. José was able to report that the service had delivered significant cost savings for his company and freed up time for its IT team to focus on key projects and innovation. Here are the points that he emphasized. HPE Datacenter Care:

 

Delivered proactive monitoring and support

In other words, enabling IT to get ahead of potential issues. SCOTT Sports’ team held regular meetings with the HPE Pointnext Account Support Manager and Assigned Engineers to go through reports and insights they provided – proactive monitoring reports, network updates, compliance health check tables and more – and decide what actions to take. The HPE resources became a trusted partner to augment SCOTT Sports’ team.

 

Improved the overall operational efficiency of the IT department.

HPE Datacenter Care saved time by providing simplified updates and patches. It also reduced the cost and loss of revenue associated with unplanned downtime and outages. Before applying a Bios, driver or firmware update, the HPE team would analyze the consequences for the rest of the infrastructure. For example, if a software update was needed for the Fiber Channel switches, how would that impact the HPE 3PAR StorServ Storage arrays? If needed, the HPE team would prepare an installation plan to ensure effective execution of the work.

 

Provided access to HPE Pointnext’s IT best practices.

HPE Datacenter Care delivered OS and SAP HANA support in addition to hardware support. For example, if an OS update was needed, the HPE team provided the expertise to ensure that both the hardware and the SAP-HANA application would continue to run effectively. 

Those are the kind of results that can turn IT into a real engine of growth in any company. As I wrote in my blog Rx for Business Vitality: Choosing the Right IT Support, CIOs these days are looking to do “a lot more than routine patching, fixing problems and keeping the lights on. They want to free up resources to energize the digital transformation and accelerate the initiatives that drive the success of the business at large.” HPE Datacenter Care is a great way to do that.

For more on HPE Datacenter Care, see Kelly Haviland’s post Rethinking Support for Hybrid IT: An Inclusive, Relationship-Based, Tailored Approach.

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