How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

chip finger

On October 4, 2018, an article published in Bloomberg Business Week described a technique allegedly used to implant a tiny microchip on motherboards produced by
Super Micro Computer, Inc. The microchip was allegedly implanted at factory locations and would interfere with and compromise the baseboard management controller (BMC) firmware of the server.

All companies named in the article as being involved (Super Micro, Apple, and Amazon Web Services [AWS]) have categorically denied all claims. Furthermore, both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre have issued statements that they have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by Apple and AWS that refute the validity of the alleged security breach.

We would like to inform you that HPE is not aware and has no evidence that any motherboards used in HPE products have been implanted with the suspect microchip. Through stringent supply chain risk management practices and controls, which include the vetting of supplier and contract manufacturing supply chain practices, cyber security, physical security, and quality assurance, HPE works diligently to mitigate security risks and deliver the highest quality products to support our IT and computing needs.

Security is also designed into HPE Gen10 servers that use the iLO 5 silicon — including HPE ProLiant, HPE Apollo, HPE Synergy, and HPE BladeSystem — to provide enhanced protection. If the server - essential firmware (like the BMC or unified extensible firmware interfaces [UEFI]) of an HPE Gen10 server is altered, not only will the server likely detect the compromised code, but the server will also recover to a known good state of firmware.

Your business’ security is important to us and it’s why HPE put such strong controls and supplier codes of conduct in place.

Thank you for your business and continued support of HPE products, services, and solutions.

Offering Great Value to our Clients

One of the greatest challenges that IT resellers face nowadays is trying to keep up with ever-changing technologies.  Case in point, we were all accustomed to selling HPE’s C7000 chassis with blade compute nodes. With the introduction of the Synergy Frame to replace the C7000, we may be feeling the uncertainty of offering such solution.  Do we know how to configure it? Does it solve the customer’s need?  So, instead of offering a new frame to expand your customers capabilities, we might offer more ram and more processors for their aging blade infrastructure.  If we ask ourselves why this phenomenon, the old saying, “You can’t sell what you don’t know” rings very true.  Technology is ever-changing, and your sales team is having a challenging time keeping up.

The HPE C7000 Chassis, was launched in 2006! Few products have had such a long lifecycle. Speaks very well of HPE’s technology.

Why is a relationship with an HPE value distributor indispensable?

Your HPE distributor knows the technologies and solutions inside and out.  For that reason, they can help train your sales force and lead them in conversation with your customer to promote innovative technologies to find the best solution.

Your distributor acts as an extension of your team, bringing all that knowledge to your entire sales staff.  It is always good for resellers to have presales engineers, in fact we encourage it and we can help you develop one.  But in many cases, resellers must rely on their distributor for these activities.

Did you know you can include your distributor sales rep in a call with your customer for additional leverage?  Heck, your distributor might invite and HPE Rep to for added reassurance to your customer.

Westham has 6 presales consultants ready to help. Schedule a session today.

An outstanding distributor can prepare proof of concepts for you. If you have an end-user that is evaluating an HPE solution, a POC (proof of concept) will likely lead to a sale, as long as the equipment performs as expected. The key to a proper POC is to know exactly what the challenges are, what we are trying to solve and finally, the right metrics for measurement. The key is to know which metrics the customer will use to determine success, and what will be considered a failure.

This is especially true with Aruba solutions, where a proof of concept might include access points, switches and software. A proof of concept can be installed on premise and tested for a few weeks in parallel to their current equipment. Testing and benchmarking is crucial. (We have the software to test any Aruba solution).

Aruba POC
Antonio Ramos, HPE Aruba Engineer, giving a thumbs up to Westham's POC for a large caribbean resort. The POC includes controllers, ClearPass, indoor/outdoor access point and much more.

For Compute and Storage solutions, the live demos are usually the best course of action. You can schedule your live demos for Synergy by following this link. Synergy Demo Signup

Did you know that HPE has a customer engagement center in Houston, where we can bring your customer to see the equipment live at the HPE labs? They can even upload the software and do a live test using their applications and measure using their own benchmarks for comparison.

You might be thinking these activities are way over your budget. Well, yes and no. These activities are not cheap and require a three-way investment. The manufacturer, the distributor and the reseller usually co-invest to make these demand generation activities sprout. The distributor has a vested interest in your success, we will work with you to make it affordable. You might ask why would the distributor be willing to co-invest with you? What do they ask in return?

The answer is simple: your loyalty when sourcing the solution and for future projects.

Finally, your distributor can help you negotiate pricing with HPE. We know the methodology and can help you create a compelling case to get the most aggressive pricing possible therefore improving our win probability.

Choosing the right HPE distributor is key to improve your win rate in HPE solutions. At WESTHAM, we pride ourselves in offering the most personalized, fast and friendly service to our clients. We are an HPE Unique Distributor, so you can count on the fact that we know HPE. I am sure that once you start working with us you will never regret it.

Check out our blog posts:

Pancho Celedon, sales manager.
Oscar Jaen, product manager for HPE Hybrid IT solutions.
Jose Luis Acebo, product manager for Aruba.
Jorge Soler, product manager for Microfocus solutions.

Please follow us on social media:

Oscar Jaen Interview

I had the chance to talk to Oscar regarding what he thought were the main concerns of an IT manager today.  He also discussed some of the new technologies we promote.

Make sure to contact Oscar regarding any solution that contains Synergy, SimpliVity, Nimble or 3Par.  He will be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Marketing Campaign -EU Demand Generation

We have created a "Business Continuity" campaign with the following objectives in mind:

  • Directed towards end users
  • Objective is to capture leads that are interested in HPE solutions that we can share with our partners.
  • Showcase some of the most important solutions related to business continuity.

This is a great opportunity for HPE resellers and VAR's in the Caribbean, to join forces with us to increase demand on these solutions.  If you are one of our partners, we will share the leads with you and work together.

 

Aruba Atmosphere Local – Montego Bay Jamaica

Scroll to the bottom for Picture Slideshow.

Aruba networks had a great agenda planned for all partners and customers of Aruba products.  Expected attendance at the event is over 140 people attending from multiple countries in the Caribbean.  The event started with a beautiful beach front reception, where the food and the weather couldn’t have been any better on the night of May 29th.  I had the opportunity to mingle with good friends and partners such as Troy Dort, Corey Brunton, Dick Zijdel, Ad Laheij, Darragh  Fitzgerald, Rob Eyers, Gabriel Bedoya, to name a few.  You could sense the excitement from everyone incited by the potential Aruba, and Aruba Software will bring to the tourism industry in Jamaica.

The first session was intended for partners and a few key stakeholders for the Jamaica tourism industry.  Mauricio de Hoyos, director for Aruba Networks RLA, started the session by introducing the sponsors and the distributors in attendance.  He introduced Dr. Carey Wallace and Sanjay Garg who were going to be the speakers for the session.

Check out this brief interview with Mauricio de Hoyos.

Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director at Tourism Enhancement Fund, talked about the abundant beauty of the island of Jamaica.  From the geographical beauty, to the diversity and mix of cultures found on the island.  Jamaica is investing heavily in culinary arts and focused sharply on bringing more experiences to the visitors.

He mentioned there are two types of visitors, the “vacationers” who want to vacate their home and lay on the beach all day relaxing.  And there are the “travelers” who want to immerse themselves into the place and culture they are visiting.  They are focused in expanding the personalized experience for the travelers, while at the same time improving the experience for those who are vacationers.

With new technology, he explained, Jamaicans need to become better at getting great reviews.  Their homes are opening up via Airbnb, Uber is coming to the island soon, and therefore expanding the experiences. He was clear and concise when he stated, “the review is king”.  Jamaica is trying to grow tourism from two angles, 1. Increase arrivals, and 2. Increase revenues that stay on the island.  Currently, 30% of all spending from tourist on the island stays on the island.  So the tourism department is working on improving both, and technology such as Aruba’s location based marketing will be key.

Sanjay Garg, Global Hospitality Solutions for Aruba, mentioned that 14% of employment in Jamaica comes from tourism and millennials are the biggest demographic segment.  He discussed and allowed the audience to comment on questions such as, “What do they want?”, “How are you going to embrace them?” and “How is the Caribbean leveraging network infrastructure to meet millennial demands.”

“A 1% increase in customer experience translates to $6.90 in incremental annual revenue for high-end resorts”

All these topics generated a great conversation between the attendees and the presenter.  In the end, Aruba and Aruba partners are all eager to help Jamaica engage their tourists better.

Join the Airheads Community https://community.arubanetworks.com/

Download the “AppViewer by Aruba” for your phone. Our demo login is: Username: wtaruba@gmail.com password: aruba123

Gabriel Bodoya presented location-based marketing (LBM).  Location based marketing is not new, and people have used it since the hieroglyphs in caves to direct people where things are and where to go.

"Nowadays, NO wifi means NO BUSINESS"

Billboards, Radio, Television are all traditional ways to do push marketing.  But with LBM you can also do pull marketing, since you have more information about the user and have insights.  LBM is the use of a marketing strategy to target users within a certain geographic area.

There is a location based marketing course that is newly announced.  Once I get information on it I will update the link here.

Our very own, Jose Luis Acebo, presented about location based software solutions such as Meridian. He gave examples of the solutions and he tended the booth providing demonstrations to the audience.  You can see Jose Luis talking about some of the product portfolio by viewing this short video.

The event ended with presentations by Sanjay Garg, Austin Hawthorne, Director of Security Business, and Renato Cinini.  These presentations were geared more towards the technology, embedded security, portfolio and education.

Finally, many access points were gifted and overall you could see the excitement in the attendees’ expressions.  Many attendees’ imagination was ignited, many of them felt closer to the brand and many of them are going to bring new business to the table.

Martin Castillo Interview

I had the opportunity to interview Mr. martin Castillo, RLA General Manager at HPE.  He gave me some insights on his view of the new territory he is managing, RLA.

Highlights

1:10   The new position and territory
3:30  Tips for partner on success
4:30  Expanding the vision
5:00  Business continuity
6:30  Talk about transformation
7:40  Message to viewers

Mr. Castillo was a gracious host, he has over twenty years in this industry and he is extremely willing to help his channel partners.

Goodbye to Juan Mejia

The entire team at Westham Trade wish the best of luck to Juan Mejia, formerly HPE's ISS Options Specialist for Latin America, who is taking a new position outside of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Juan made great contributions to his business unit and will be missed greatly.  You might have known Juan as one of his characters, "Chef Manolo",  who will probably be retiring for a while (unless we do an interview sometime in the future?).

He will be working in the technology industry and we hope that our paths cross at some point.