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Scaling for Success: Transformation Insights from HPE's Joanna Kostecka

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Published: Reading time: 3 min
Patrick Lemoine VP Global Industry Solutions
Patrick LemoineVP Global Industry Solutions
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In a keynote at aim10x Dallas, Joanna Kostecka, VP of Global Planning & Materials Management at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), shared her insights on digital transformation in a large enterprise. Unlike the consumer-facing HP, HPE focuses on delivering enterprise solutions from edge to cloud, playing a crucial role in the technological infrastructure of its clients.

HPE naturally faced a range of common tech industry challenges, such as the need for more automation and manual data retrieval, the reliance on outdated tools like Excel, and insufficient data granularity - all of which reduce productivity and complicate decision-making and scenario planning. These types of issues have also been exacerbated by recent global events, highlighting the need for more agile and responsive planning processes.

Identifying opportunities in times of disruption

Kostecka underlined the importance of not ‘wasting a crisis’, but instead using it as a platform for change. She emphasized how HPE capitalized on recent disruptions to push through necessary changes, building a compelling case and securing funding for transformative projects. When done correctly, this approach enables businesses to push through to the next level of operational efficiency and innovation.

The “run and transform” strategy

HPE used a "run and transform" approach for their transformation journey, which highlights the importance of maintaining daily operations (run) while ensuring that the experts and end users also get dedicated time to implement new solutions (transform). This dual focus ensures that the transformation process is integrated into everyday operations, making change management an ongoing part of job roles rather than a separate, siloed effort.

Following this strategy allowed HPE to continuously adapt and evolve its processes without disrupting core business activities. It encourages a culture of innovation where employees are actively engaged in both maintaining excellence in current operations and seeking opportunities for improvement and transformation. It highlights the practical side of transformation, where change is incremental and integrated, fostering a more agile and responsive organization.

Transforming through flexible solutions

A key aspect of HPE's business model is its "configure-to-order" offering, handling over 100,000 configurable SKUs. This complexity - coupled with customer expectations for quick delivery and long lead times for components - creates unique challenges. To address them, HPE developed a custom-fit advanced planning system, placing a premium on aligning people, processes, and technology.

Leading by example

Active executive sponsorship was crucial in steering HPE's digital transformation. This extends beyond initial approval; it demands continuous engagement and advocacy at the highest management levels. Executive sponsors navigate challenges, mobilize resources, and align initiatives with the company’s strategic vision, ensuring the transformation journey is not only started but sustained.

Their involvement is key to overcoming resistance, accelerating decision-making, and reinforcing the transformation's importance across the organization. By actively participating, celebrating progress, and directly linking efforts to strategic outcomes, executive sponsors maintain momentum, demonstrating the transformation's value and facilitating its success within set timelines.

Under Kostecka's guidance, HPE has navigated its digital transformation journey with strategic planning, continuous learning, and firm leadership. The emphasis was on practical, phased implementation and fostering adaptability through smaller, incremental changes. This approach demystifies the process, making it accessible and manageable, rather than an overwhelming endeavor. HPE's experience illustrates the importance of a clear vision, strong leadership, and a well-articulated plan in overcoming the complexities of digital transformation in today's dynamic environment.

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About the author

Patrick Lemoine VP Global Industry Solutions

Patrick Lemoine

VP Global Industry Solutions

As Vice President, Industries at o9, Patrick Lemoine is responsible for driving o9’s go-to-market for the high-tech and telco sector. Patrick has more than 20 years of supply chain experience as well as deep knowledge of the high-tech, semiconductor, telco and automotive industries. He started his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Passionate early on about deploying technology to help transform the way companies operate, he spent the past 20 years in the enterprise software space with companies such as i2 (now Blue Yonder), SAP, E2open, and Aera Technology. Patrick studied at HEC (Paris), MIT, and received his MBA from Stanford University.

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