HP Amplify Event

The Six Five team discusses the HP Amplify Event.

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Patrick Moorhead: HP has not had an in-person international event, I think they said for four years, so this was a real treat for a lot of the folks there. It was kind of funny though, I’m thinking I’ve been doing international trips for two and a half years, this is not new to me. So the element of being the first event, I did not capture that excitement. But I’m sure particularly the folks who are out of Asia that literally they’re still wearing masks in certain part of Asia, really enjoyed that.

So there were a tremendous amount of announcements on the product side. Well, what was most interesting to me was the strategy that was laid out by CEO and President Enrique Lores. And I think it was important to bring this out more than motherhood and apple pie, but there are people, including analysts that I go on my clown show with that are questioning HP’s viability as a PC company because their market share went down, their supply chain, quite frankly, was broken. When you look at what Lenovo and Dell did related to supply chain, they did not get as hurt as HP did. Now we’ve seen on a market share basis HP bounce back and I think that was a positive, but I saw this as a reset.

So Enrique got up and he talked about the vision of the company, he talked about the critical trends that they’re trying to address but here’s the strategy, first thing was modernizing the core. And what that means is, hey, the PC user model is changing; we need to modernize along with that. If nothing else, and looking at new use cases like hybrid work, we literally for a decade didn’t care about the camera. I mean it was probably a $2.50 camera that went into notebooks. That’s woefully inadequate when you’re trying to operate business and use it as a substitution for being face-to-face.

He also talked about services and he did – I think Dave Shull got up there and recognized, “Hey, we’ve been talking about getting into services forever. What’s different this time?” I did appreciate the focus on lifetime value of the customers and I do appreciate that end users are more open than ever to having things like paying a monthly subscription fee, all you can eat service, set up, and help desk.

That’s a slow role right now, but I think it’s an inevitable future when I look at people’s comfort of using services for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and quite frankly the consumerization of as-a-service as well. He talked about expanding into adjacencies, gaming, hybrid work. And I loved the factoid that says 90 million rooms out there, only 10% are video-enabled. And by the way, in the conference rooms I’ve been in, the 10% that were enabled had crappy cameras that couldn’t separate people to give the remote worker a good idea, a much more fulfilling experience at the workplace.

He hit on new categories, industrial print, 3D printing, and he cited metal as one of the big breakthroughs where you could imagine making short-order car parts. Maybe not fixing Bluetooth, Daniel, but doing the basic hard to find metric bolts based on different type of metal. He talked a lot about, he called it innovate with purpose, which is shorthand for ESG and DEI. The company in this executive Q&A we had with a few other analysts, they were very clear they believed that the company can differentiate and win business and actually cited $3 billion of business they won based on their superior environmental posture. And I’m a little bit, I’d say, suspect of that, but I want to see the data myself. I can see that absolutely happening in the Nordic countries. I don’t know how widespread it is.

Talked about operations, future-ready operations. I was glad that they spent a lot of time on this, talking about operations and supply chain because it was just a huge area. They’re looking at ERP consolidation, they’re looking at quote to cash – I think they said was 2X faster than it was last year.

And then finally future-ready teams. They talked about keeping a trustworthy company, being transparent with the negatives, which I like. And they really put a ribbon around the whole theme that I saw three of the two business leaders and Enrique said we’re going on offense. To me that was shorthand for, “Hey, we’ve got our supply chain challenges fixed, we’ve got the right team. We are doubling down on innovation, particularly innovation that is our full solutions” as opposed to just point hardware products. And I’m a really big fan of memory X and the Poly acquisition. I want to give it a little bit more time before I can say that they did it and they’re done. I mean you’re never done. But my biggest question that I had was, hey, how do you know this is working – these acquisitions and these solutions? How do you know that they wouldn’t have been just as good if they were kept alone, standalone and best of breed? So I’ll leave it at that. It was a wild 24 hours and it was good to go to a show, with my bestie.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it was good to get out there. It had been a few years since HP had had an event in person and it was really nice that the leadership team waited for you and I to arrive late to have their little executive Q&A for the analysts.

They had a lot of different focuses. I think they were focused in on growth, focused on supply chain. I think they said a few things that jarred some of the analysts and even the partners about not seeing growth. I remember one of the medias was how Enrique had forecasted out that they may not grow this year, and everybody was like, “Whoa, what do you mean you’re not going to grow this year?” But I mean I think everybody knows personal systems and print are going to be… Their next big boom cycle is probably a year or two out after the huge cycle that was driven by the pandemic.

I thought it was very generous of them to spend time – and I asked them a question about sustainability and differentiation. I thought it was good that the company was able to truly put together a metric-driven response to the impact of its policies on driving revenue for the company. I’d love to see exactly how that was configured, figured and analyzed. But truth is, Pat, you and I have endlessly, on this show, said we’re not anti-sustainability or climate, we’re just anti-greenwashing. We’re anti coming up with just numbers or policies that are 20 or 30 years out into the future that no one’s going to ever hold you accountable for. So I actually really found that to be refreshing.

I think a couple other things that I really took away, besides just enjoying a skyline view of my old city, was, A) the market for the personal system is really pretty large and robust. And for a company like HP that’s ceded some market, there’s an opportunity to recapture some of that market. They flashed a $560 billion TAM for personal systems next year. So that’s a very large number if the company can execute and start building. With all the focus on hybrid work, the acquisition of Poly, some of the hybrid work technology and systems, they need to get that right. They need to be able to basically walk in and say this acquisition, the integration of all these tools, the ability to deliver hybrid work.

And I thought the company did some good work around the hybrid experience even just in the general sessions, Pat. They brought Adena Friedman on, the CEO of Nasdaq, and did it as a hybrid interview with one person on stage, one person on… And that’s not a new thing, but the ability to do it in a way that felt really engaging and immersive while not having someone live was pretty impressive. I also thought the company did a nice job of sort of featuring its various partner ecosystem. Of course it was great to see Dr. Lisa Sue go on stage. She always makes her great interview, very direct, very to the point. I imagine working for her is one of the most no-BS experiences you’ll ever get.

Patrick Moorhead: Man, I love that. I loved the nuances that she had. Maybe this is just because, I mean I’ve known Lisa, I worked with Lisa when I was at AMD – really came out strong. I agree.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely. And I really enjoyed both the Lisa Sue and the Adena Friedman interviews, the CEO of NASDAQ. I tweeted something that she talked about with leadership that really hit home with me and it actually has gone with me.

Probably the one other thing, Pat, that really was worth chatting about was just – and you kind of alluded to this – was just the massive opportunity around meeting spaces. I feel like because of things like Zoom and Teams, WebEx, we’ve gotten to this sort of place in our minds that we think every room is now a meeting room. And to some extent it is, but when you put 10 people in a room, you can’t have 10 people all on different Zooms. So the individual experience opportunity is such a big one to fill, and that’s something I think that Poly acquisition put – because only 10% of rooms at this point worldwide. They think there’s about 90 million. And our team at Wainhouse, one of the acquisitions I made has confirmed this with our market sizing data, there’s only about 10% that are actually outfitted, and that means there’s a massive – that’s something like 81 million rooms that could potentially be outfitted with more advanced technology to create more human, high quality, equitable conversations that could be driven for future workspaces.

By the way, those spaces are going to have to work that way in the future because I can assure you one thing, while we have gone back to 120% of our events, Pat, we’re only going to go back to probably about 50, 60% of office and full-time office utilization. I think we’re going to make people go back more frequently, but the way they go back will be different.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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