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  • Sue Preston, Vice President and General Manager – HPE Pointnext and HPE Greenlake, UK, Ireland, Middle East and South Africa, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ltd

Sue Preston, Vice President and General Manager – HPE Pointnext and HPE Greenlake, UK, Ireland, Middle East and South Africa, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ltd

What has been your path to power?

 

I started my career as an apprentice at an IT Recruitment company, which led to a permanent role supporting a number of sales managers with interviewing and placing technical programmers. I had a fantastic mentor and leader that believed in me and gave me the opportunity to take on a full-time sales role at the age of 18 – igniting my passion for technology and sales and starting my 30 year career in technology leadership and transformation.  

 

Throughout my career I’ve held leadership roles in the partner ecosystem in the Unix arena and ERP transformation. I spent eight years at Hitachi driving global financial services and managed services teams along with driving transformation and focus on the internet of things, as well as two years at Microsoft running the Azure and data AI specialist teams in the UK across enterprise, commercial and public sector.

 

I am currently the vice president and general manager of HPE Pointnext and HPE GreenLake for UK, Ireland, Middle East and South Africa, covering software, services and consumption. I was previously shortlisted for CRN Exec Mentor of the Year and was appointed on the TechUK Board, the national trade association for the UK’s technology industries.

What impact has the pandemic had on the role of data in your company/organisation?

 

The biggest impact has been the realisation and amplification of the value of data. Data has played a critical role in driving our customer obsession forward. Through analysis of our customer relationship survey data we have been able to increase customer experience and satisfaction, and identify areas for future improvement.

 

We’ve also seen increasing interest and curiosity from team members in personal development, specifically around increasing data literacy and the art of the possible. At HPE we have a fail-fast culture and empower our teams to commit to learning.

 

Does data now have a seat at the table during strategic discussions? If not, what will it take to get it there?

 

Absolutely, our strategy is all around turning data challenges into opportunities. I do not recall a time when I have been in an executive strategy meeting where we have not challenged the data and its insights.

What are your key areas of focus for data and analytics in 2022?

 

My number one priority is data literacy. Across the business we will continue to invest and develop data skills. One of my 2021 highlights was launching our first data academy in the UK, which we will continue and expand across the wider geography.

 

In 2022 we continue to work with strategic customers and partners to focus on building skills for the future.

 

Tell us what leadership means to you in the context of your role as a senior data leader.

 

It’s all about empowering, listening and investing in people. You would be amazed at how many individuals I speak to, both internally and externally, that have a passion for cata and a curiosity to learn more. One of the core skills that any leader can demonstrate is curiosity and the love of learning – every day is a learning day in my view.

What key skills or attributes do you consider have contributed to your success in this role?

 

The ability to empathise and inspire those around me. I am inspired by my team and endeavour to carry that forward. We cannot achieve our goals without the passion and motivation of the people around us.

 

How did you develop – and continue to develop – these skills or attributes?

 

Learning from others, curiosity, respect, trust, listening and building a strong network of contacts around the globe. The one thing that will never change for me is treating feedback as a gift and thanking my teams, colleagues and customers who continue to do so. I am relentlessly curious, whether that be making a new friend or deep diving into a subject area.

Is the data tech you have keeping pace with your goals and requirements? Are your providers leading or lagging behind your demands?

Every day I witness the great work of our teams and partner eco-system coming together to drive change and continuously evolve. Data is at the centre of everything we do and I am personally excited for what we will achieve in FY22 and beyond.

Sue Preston
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2022 (EMEA)