HPE surfs GreenLake, as-a-service order growth to Q1 success

HPE later this month plans to announce new features for its HPE GreenLake platform, a step coming on the heels of the company’s fiscal first quarter 2022 earnings report this week, in which it touted increasing demand for HPE GreenLake and huge growth in as-a-service orders overall.

“On March 22, we will unveil significant new innovations and enhancements to our HPE GreenLake platform to help customers manage their hybrid clouds more easily, protect and get more value from their data and securely connect at the edge,” said HPE CEO Antonio Neri on the company’s earnings call Tuesday, according to the Motley Fool earnings transcript. “Our as-a-service transformation is my No. 1 priority.”

Neri later added, in response to an analyst’s question, “When I think about the future of this company, the product is HPE GreenLake. Everything gets delivered through HPE GreenLake. Whether it's a connectivity through a subscription model, whether it's compute and storage that you can consume elastically with data services running on top of it, whether it's the services to operate in a hybrid world, HPE GreenLake is becoming a platform of choice for many customers because offers that flexibility and in an architecture that's edge-to-cloud.”

Looking at the fiscal first quarter numbers, one can understand why Neri is so positive and focused. Less than three years after HPE said it would move its entire product portfolio to the as-a-service model–and after riding out some shaky quarters during which Neri had to reassure investors that the move would pay off–that transformation is returning positive results.

In the first quarter, as-a-service orders increased by a whopping 136% year over year. HPE added more than 100 new HPE GreenLake customers during the quarter, bringing the total count for the platform to more than 1,350 customers.

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HPE CFO Tarek Robbiati said the company posted $7 billion in revenue for the first quarter, up 2% year over year and helping first quarter profit to climb to $513 million, more than double the amount posted for fiscal Q1 2021. Robbiati said the revenue was “in line with our outlook of normal sequential seasonality despite a continuously challenging supply environment. As a result, our backlog further increased to record levels with a firm order book that shows no signs of double ordering or any noticeable cancellations.”

HPE officials said the supply chain constraints affecting so many companies probably will last well into the second half of this year. While it’s increasing some materials and logistics costs for HPE, the company has in turn increased its prices to customers in recent months, allowing it to keep its gross margins stable.

Robbiati said HPE is increasing its full-year 2022 earnings-per-share outlook from prior guidance of at least $1.24 to at least $1.36. Revenue guidance will remain the same, at an expected increase of about 3% to 4% for the full year.