Back in March, industry analysts, reporters, and over 1,300 of HP’s partners met in Houston, Texas for the third annual HP ReInvent World Partner Forum. Over three days, HP officials explained how disruptive technologies are changing buying behaviors at the consumer and commercial level and unveiled their plans to help partners grow during the most disruptive era that the channel has ever seen.
HP’s executive leadership team and regional leaders held strategic discussions and fireside chats and introduced attendees to the new tools that will help them succeed in 2020 and beyond. Members of the media and industry analysts were also invited to participate in an exclusive Q&A and tour the company’s Solutions Showcase.
The times, they are a-changin’
During his keynote presentation, HP’s President and CEO Dion Weisler noted how important the channel is to HP’s success. According to Weisler, roughly 90 percent of HP’s revenue comes through the channel. More impressive is how the channel has contributed to the company’s growth. HP’s channel has grown by more than $10 billion in the last three years, with double-digit growth in their commercial and consumer channels — $6.5 billion in one year. “If that’s a dying business I’ll take it,” he said.
But HP’s CEO wasn’t there just to pat everyone on the back. “This week is about charting our future together,” he said. The world is changing, and fast. And while nobody knows for sure what the future holds, the shifting demographics that we can see today can give us a pretty good idea of what’s to come. For example, people are flocking to cities at a clip of 4.5 million a month, according to Weisler. He predicts that these shifts will drive consumers to smaller, smarter, more convenient, and more sustainable solutions. On top of that, 700 million households across the Americas will join the middle class, which should also impact consumer expectations and behaviors.
But it’s not just people that are changing. Digital transformation is accelerating new technologies, which is transforming the way businesses large and small operate. He said that 60 percent of the global GDP will be digitized, with $7 trillion in IT-related spending, according to IDC. Weisler pointed to companies like John Deere and Volkswagen, using them as examples of how mature businesses are leveraging software and the cloud to transform their businesses in the digital age. To succeed in such a dynamic and constantly changing industry, HP too will have to continue evolving, innovating, and doing the things that no one thinks is possible.
Why buy the cow when you only need the milk?
One of the major themes at ReInvent was how customers prefer contractual models over transactional ones. It’s a subject that Tuan Tran, HP’s general manager and global head of Office Printing Solutions, and Paul Reid, Personal Systems Services and Solutions sales leader, covered extensively during their fireside chat that had no fire (I am chalking this up to Houston’s fire code and HP’s dedication to going green).
Tran noted that a lot of consumers want to move away from buying and managing their own print and computing infrastructure. They don’t want to buy printers and PCs and staff up a help desk and hire IT professionals to take care of it all. It’s too time consuming, especially in an age when consumers and commercial buyers prefer a simplified arrangement. Ultimately, he said, they want to pay one price to utilize this technology, similar to how they’d use Netflix or Uber. They don’t want to buy a car or DVDs — they just want to pay a monthly or per use fee for access to the technology they desire. The same goes for their printers and computers; why buy the whole cow when all you need is some milk?
New products and new solutions for the new world
Enrique Lores, president, Imaging Printing and Solutions at HP, spent a good deal talking about innovative technology that HP developed to drive growth.
Lores told us about HP Tango, a consumer printer built for the modern age. “It is slim, it is small, it is easy to set up, and has been designed to be fully controlled from your smartphone,” he said. The device fits in with other smart home technologies, like Alexa or Google Assistant.
HP Never Stop
To protect their supplies market, HP looked to a design concept that’s becoming quite popular in the inkjet world: ditching cartridges for tanks. With HP Never Stop, customers can refill toner in a snap. The technology is slated to be released in emerging markets, and enables HP to provide long-lasting, genuine supplies at the same cost as refills and clones.
HP ReInvent was a testament to HP’s roots. Eighty years after Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard created the company in Silicon Valley with a $528 investment and a garage, the company is still one of the most innovative on the planet. In this incredibly disruptive era, HP continues to innovate, changing themselves and the world around them every day.
Patricia Ames is senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 10 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.