451 Research Case Study

What's your `Right Mix`?



By partnering with the 451 Research Advisory team, Hewlett Packard Enterprise built the "Right Mix" marketing tool, enabling clients and partners to guide on- and off-premises cloud mix decisions.

Services Used

Custom Study

Commissioned Research

The Challenge

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) wanted to build additional demand for the products and services geared toward its end-user, hoster, and service-provider clients and partners, but knew that simply marketing features and value would not be enough. Its goal was to create a program that would engage and educate, arming clients and partners with compelling insight and data to drive their business focus and marketing strategies.

HPE serves enterprises deploying private on-premises cloud solutions and the third party providers delivering off-premises cloud services to their customers. HPE believed that a fact based market research program would generate the type of decision guidance and thought leadership that would help its sales and marketing teams better serve this broad customer base.

The 451 Research Advisors team was brought in to build a quantitatively driven program that would help HPE's client and partner base determine the "Right Mix" of on premises and off-premises cloud and hosting services.

The Solution

Focusing on cloud services, 451 Research conducted a global survey of 1,800 IT decision-makers, with the goal of determining how they are currently using cloud and managed services today and how they plan to in the future. This project was completed - survey design, panel recruitment, field deployment and analysis - over a four-month period. The fieldwork included both a detailed online survey to assess general trends and a number of in-depth interviews to uncover the specific reasons driving those trends. All work was conducted by a combined team of 451 Research analysts and consultants. The market research yielded a great deal of insight, with one point in particular: The cloud is a proxy for transformation.

The raw data set from the survey was used to underpin a web-based Right Mix decision-support tool, which was jointly developed by 451 Research, interactive agency 40K Feet and HPE. The tool takes in information about the respondents' business and existing IT infrastructure, and then compares and contrasts it against the data collected via the survey. This enables HPE clients to assess their existing "Cloud Mix" against their peers and gives it a tool to map the way forward.

A second target city, known for its heritage-listed buildings and streets, has strict urbanism laws restricting building activity - especially in regards to the height and the distribution of buildings, and the challenges of laying fiber and ducts. Those already in the market cited difficulty in locating suitable datacenter sites: connectivity is not as strong outside of the city, and land is scarce in the city. Power can also be difficult to obtain at the larger end of the scale. Many providers also complained about energy pricing and feared that deregulation in the energy industry would further add to pricing woes. On the plus side, we identified quantifiable demand from local businesses, or international companies with local divisions, and found that 30% of hosting providers planned to expand their presence using third-party datacenters.

The Results

This project delivered actionable insight and information to HPE customers, enabling them to effectively engage at a more strategic-level and position optimal solutions to their end customers. By demonstrating commitment to a broad set of both enterprise and service-provider customers and partners, HPE can better influence downstream infrastructure purchase decisions. In addition to the jointly developed interactive tool, the data and industry insight compiled from this project have been used to support a number of marketing executions. To demonstrate thought leadership, 451 Research created a 15-page research report that HPE distributed on its website and during the annual Discover conference. Since publication, HPE senior executives have also referenced key data points in a number of corporate and third-party conference presentations. The success of this project led HPE to commission multiple follow-on research projects to further tease out the pricing and cost implications of its Right-Mix decisions.

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