HPE Propel A Service Broker Solution Provides IT a Unified Hub for Multi-Supplier Integrations
HPE Propel, A Service Broker Solution Provides IT a Unified Hub for Multi-Supplier Integrations.


IT is in the center stage as the forefront of the customer experience, enabling new business models and supporting business digital transformation. Today end users have a world of services at their fingertips with the Internet. They expect an Amazon.com-like shopping experience to get what they want, when they want it.

From our team's customer visits, the key challenges of the traditional centralized IT is to improve user satisfaction, improve speed, responsiveness and time to value, and still reduce the costs to stay competitive with external service providers. We believe IT shouldn't necessarily look into that as a threat. Instead of thinking IT has to bring up every single service on their own, IT can transform from centralized IT perspective into a services broker.

Service Broker Solution

HPE Propel is here to help transition IT into a services broker. IT can partner with other service providers to be able to bring value-added services very quickly and deliver them for the business. End users interact with IT services through the Systems of Engagement, from their mobile devices or desktops, which offers them single consumer experience, and all within a fully integrated open framework that complements your current systems.

Here are the quick overview of the core features of HPE Propel:

1. Single Portal:

Provides a single, self-service IT experience and one-stop shop for all IT services, including IT and its customers.

Shop - Home screen and Service Catalogs screen.
Shop: Home screen and Service Catalogs screen - UI presents Popular and New Services. Users can browse catalog by clicking on "BROWSE CATALOG" button.
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Shop - Service Details screen and Service Configuration screen.
Shop: Service Details and Service Configuration screen - Users can configured the service and place the order or add it to the persistent shopping cart.
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Orders - Order List screen and Order Item Details screen.
Orders: Order List and Details screen - Users manage their orders and can leave comments and see the approval progress through the "Approval Chain".
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Approvals - Approval List screen and Approval Details screen.
Approvals: Approval List and Details screen - Approvers can view, Approve, or Deny the requests, and leave comments to the requesters.
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Request Support - Home screen and Support Request Details screen.
Request Support: Home and Request Details screen - Users can find Knowledge Articles or Support items here. Users can upload files and leave messages on their support requests.
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2. Aggregated Catalog:

Aggregates services from all underlying IT Service Manager and cloud catalogs into a single IT service catalog.

Aggregate Catalogs from different Suppliers/Providers.
Catalog Connects: Aggregate Catalogs from different Suppliers/Providers.
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Catalog Items - List View and Details View.
Catalog Items: Manage catalog item's name, category, price, access control, and galleries.
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3. System of Engagement:

Provides smart feed capability and standalone engaging apps which can be integrated with traditional IT applications in the backend.

HPE Propel Launchpad - multiple standalone engaging apps.
Propel Launchpad, single consumer experience for laptops and their mobile devices.
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My Workstream - Smart feeds capability.
Smart feeds and alerts: My Workstream - Your smart feeds of what matters most.
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4. Service Exchange:

Orchestrates service delivery and enables easy onboarding and integration of external suppliers and their services in plug-and-play fashion, regardless of whether services are traditional or cloud-based.

5. Jumpstart and SDK:

Generates web apps which can run in the portal and integrate with traditional backend systems. SDK helps create the custom third-party integrations with Service Exchange.

Jumpstart banner image.
JumpStart SDK helps create apps and third-party integrations with Service Exchange.
Jumpstart Sample app: Showback - Information/Data Visualization.
Jumpstart Sample app: Showback - Information/Data Visualization capability for exploratory data analysis.
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The UX Designer of HPE Propel

I am currently the User Experience Designer of the Alpha Team for HPE Propel. The Alpha Team is a cross-program and highly technical team comprised of Functional Architects, Front-end/Back-end Technical Architects, and one UX Designer within HPE Propel team. Alpha Team works closely with Propel's internal and external customers worldwide to develop Propel solution including self-service portal, catalog management, and hybrid-cloud management for addressing customers' business needs.

Here just gives a brief overview of topics currently in my plates for my day-to-day work. For detailed design process for Propel's features, I'll introduce them separately as multiple standalone projects.

Intersection of Scrum teams, PMs, and Functional Architects

As the only designer, I lead the User Experience/Interaction Design for Propel and work closely with different stakeholders across the program. The design typically starts from PMs and Functional Architects, together we discuss customers' feedback and needs, and then narrow out the functional requirements. We create user stories for different types of users/persona accordingly, and based on that we work with different scrum teams to scope and craft proposals. I design and iterate the interactions through design deliverables in different levels of fidelity, explaining the design decision behind and get buy-in from different stakeholders and engineers. And lastly, together we turn the design into delightful experience and make users more productive.

Foundation Theme and UI Components

I also work closely with developers for Propel's front-end foundation theme. During the process of HP splitting into HPE and HP Inc, I supported the teams and contributed to the first version/iteration of the rebranding HPE design/theme changes. Although just focusing on the basic styling elements, this opportunity helped me quickly familiarize with Propel's front-end/styling capability and equip me the ability to speak in design and engineering languages.

Currently, I am also participating in modularizing our UI into various kinds of UI components. I design the interactions/look-n-feel at UI component level, and also share my knowledge in web accessibility guidelines (e.g. VPAT and WCAG) to developers for implementation. The UI Component task force will help drive UI consistency as well as bring up a collection of UI assets to Jumpstart front-end SDK to speed up UI development cycles and shorten time-to-value.

Weekly UX Sync-up Call

I hold an hour long meeting with front-end developers from all scrum teams to sync up on all UX related activities once every week. The call serves as a forum to:

  1. Drive consistencies on all our UX
  2. Provide UX updates on in-flight features
  3. Raise any UX issues
  4. Discuss and gather feedback on UI/UX patterns and solutions
  5. Take request from developers for mocks to address existing UI/UX issues

I enjoy having this opportunity to interact with developers in addition to day-to-day works, and it facilitates collaborations and, with time, builds up excellent rapport and camaraderie. I consider working with Propel colleagues a privilege, and I am grateful for their influence and feedback on my work.


I also work on accessibility topic to make sure Propel are accessible to all users. Within HPE software, the HPE Accessibility office requires all products go through VPAT access as it's a US checklist. However, since HPE Propel's customer base is global and more customers start using WCAG to evaluate the software product, we are also in the process of following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

I work with HPE Accessibility office, third party testing vendor, and Propel customers to evaluate the accessibility issues. Since a few countries even treat WCAG as legal obligation, address the accessibility issues in a strategic way is important. So before introducing developers to step in, I categorize the issues and gather the potential engineering solutions. And then I present the issues and solution candidates to developers during our weekly UX call to discuss the technical feasibility and the execution plan. This way, we make sure the issues are addressed in priority order, in a systematic manner, and also mitigate the impacts to the project timeline.