HP: the giant’s offspring thrive
HP has gone through enormous change in recent times and now the two entities, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP Inc), have completed their respective re-organisations to become independent companies in their own right.
Gary Tierney, managing director, HP Ireland, and a 27-year veteran of the company, spoke to TechPro about the split, the re-organisation and the things that are getting the company excited for the future.
First of all, Tierney said that the company separation is now complete and HP Inc, or just HP as now it refers to itself, is pretty much “set on course”.
“The split, separation, which ever you want to call it, has got us now to a place where we’re pretty clear and focused on HP, from the print and personal systems business, on what it is we’re trying to do — our innovation cycles, the speed at which we’re moving now, the flexibility with which we are able to operate. And likewise the Enterprise guys will talk to the same type of message,” said Tierney.
The issue of the pace of change is recurrent and having a significant influence on what HP is doing.
“Change is the constant, but it is the pace of change, I guess, that’s been frightening in the last number of years, as to how technology is just changing everything from how people connect and how they do things.”
With that pace of change underlying efforts, Tierney is confident that HP is now a stronger company, revitalised to do what it is necessary in a rapidly evolving market.
“The big, big benefit we see ourselves has been a simplification in terms of how we operate,” he said.
“Simplification, streamlined working with partners, fast decision making, and also this agile new company, on both sides, being able to operate with the financial muscle of a $50+ billion-dollar company in the Fortune 500 bracket. But at the same time bringing forward this mind set of a start-up.”
“That, here in the Irish context — where are we going, what are we doing — has really resonated for us in the first six months with the partners. The way in which we engage with them, the simplification in systems and processes, the speed at which we get decisions made, has taken a whole new turn. And has been received really positively by our partners and our customers. So directionally, yes, separation has been really good. We’re pleased with where we are to date.”
The market has voiced various concerns about the split, with speculation that it may have left certain efforts in both entities under-resourced. While announcing the shape of the new Dell Technologies at the EMC World conference in Las Vegas, Michael Dell could not resist taking a swipe at rival HP and its re-organisation, referring to it as “shrinking its way to success”.
Tierney is more assured.
He said that there is no let up on research and development as a result of company re-organisation. If anything, he said, there is a renewed focus, with initiatives to spread the culture of innovation across the wider business, outside of the product remit and into business processes too.
This has seen expression in the new classes of products such as the EliteBook and Spectre ranges. These premium machines, in tablet or combo form, are now being offered as field serviceable, representing a major step for the company. Tierney said it is the company bringing its enterprise experience to bear on the new form factors, allowing greater flexibility for enterprise-style fleet management.
The Elite X3 smart connected device also characterises a new direction in giving users new choices and greater flexibility, through its ability to use Windows 10 Continuum mode to function as a desktop when needed. Extended capabilities in mobile form factors, taking advantage of new tech in manufacturing and integration, can bring a new degree of flexibility to allow end users to do their jobs without having to compromise.
Tierney said that HP is looking at what he describes as waves of innovation. Using the analogy of the surfer who looks out to see not only what is in front, but also the bigger waves that may be further back. He said the company is looking at tomorrow while scanning to the horizon for the trends that will shape things farther out.
One such trend, said Tierney, is 3D printing.
While not expected to be a phenomenon on the consumer or enterprise side for while yet, it still has its place as a foundation for future developments.
3D print a part
Tierney said that in the future, there will be more megacities than ever before. These are metropolis of more than 10 million people. He said that the supply chains that have developed from Industrial Revolution models will not be sufficient o feed and supply such vast cities. One way of tackling the issues likely to be faced is to automate manufacturing and bring it closer to the point of usage. This would be facilitated, said Tierney, by rapid prototyping and smaller but efficient production runs. All of which would be facilitated by 3D printing.
To that end, HP’s Sprout device, a PC and combined projector scanner that allows designers and production to visualise and render objects, will get a pro version that will extend its capabilities toward the industrial levels.
“Now, that’s not a product designed for mainstream and volume today. But it gives you a good insight into the direction that we see things going in terms of kind of 3D, virtual reality, and immersive computing thing. It is a big, big growth opportunity.”
“It is a direction we see the market going and we see it, not so much because the market needs it, but because this is the way people are looking to work. And Sprout was our first go at it. We have now got a Sprout Pro for commercial application and you are going to see more of that in the future.”
To extend its capabilities in this area, Tierney said the company’s recent acquisition of a German group, David Vision Systems and David 3D Solutions, will give it a lot of IP in the specific 3D virtualisation space.
“We are looking to take more and more into the market place. So you are going to see us bringing through that type of 3D virtual reality functionality into a number of different devices, both in consumer and commercial. And when you blend it to a 3D printing environment you start to see where you go in terms of the opportunities.”
That said, HP will also focus on its key strengths, with personal devices and its new enterprise offering Device as a Service, as well as its print portfolio, recently extended through its Print ReImagined initiative and a push in the A3 space.