HP’s New Workforce Solutions for the Modern Workforce – The Six Five On the Road

HP’s New Workforce Solutions for the Modern Workforce - The Six Five On the Road

On this episode of The Six Five – On the Road, hosts Patrick Moorhead and Daniel Newman are joined by HP‘s Dave Shull, President of Workforce Solutions for a conversation on how HP, especially after it acquired Poly, is reshaping employee productivity and collaboration in unprecedented ways. One year into its journey, HP’s Workforce Solutions has made significant strides in streamlining services, launching innovative solutions, and introducing the Work Relationship Index to gauge employee satisfaction in today’s evolving work environments. Aimed at fostering lifelong customer relationships, Workforce Solutions is championing the cause of making business operations more efficient and propelling the modern workforce toward growth.

The discussion covers:

  • The journey and lessons learned in establishing HP’s Workforce Solutions as a new business unit within a renowned brand.
  • Customer priorities that shaped the strategy of Workforce Solutions.
  • The synergistic benefits observed from integrating HP and Poly into Workforce Solutions.
  • Insights from the Work Relationship Index and advice for business leaders navigating hybrid work challenges.
  • The role of AI and machine learning in refining and expanding Workforce Solutions’ offerings.

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Patrick Moorhead: The Six Five is on the road in Las Vegas at HP Amplify 2024. It’s been an incredible conference so far. We’ve seen many industry CEOs on stage from Microsoft, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD is coming up as well. And it must be a special conference to get all these leaders on the stage.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s a big moment. We are hearing about what’s going on. We’ve got the next generation PC platform coming, but we’ve also got a revolution in work. We’ve got a hybrid model that’s gone from one end of the spectrum to the other and we’re settling in now and it’s all about productivity, efficiency. And of course here at the partner conference, it’s all about the ecosystem that’s going to hopefully drive that productivity back into the market.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s right. And one of the big megatrends, in addition to getting hybrid better plus AI has been moving from selling boxes to really doing things as a service. Companies want to let trusted companies do the driving for them. And with AI there has to be this opportunity in services as well. And with that, I’d love to introduce Dave Shull, president of Workforce Solutions for HP. Good to see you.

Dave Shull: Great to be here, guys. This has been a fun show.

Patrick Moorhead: No, I know. I mean many times and with two different companies. This is great.

Dave Shull: That’s right. That’s right. Two different companies. Now one.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun having you on. We’ve had you on quite a few times, had the chance to get to know you, the Poly era, then you brought Poly into HP, then you launch the Workforce Solutions Group. By the way, successful year, I guess that’s maybe where I’ll start. You launched a new business within a very, very established business. How’s that gone?

Dave Shull: So we’re all about growth. We think we’re an important growth trajectory for HP. And we’ve talked about our growth businesses and we’ve disclosed publicly that this is part of a 10 billion dollar business growing to 15 billion dollar business for HP. So the trends are there. Hybrid, right? We talked about that at Poly. Hybrid, AI, who would’ve thought that the world would be doubly transformed in just a couple years like this. You said revolution. Revolution’s the right word for sure.

Daniel Newman: I get it right every once in a while.

Patrick Moorhead: Exactly. So Dave, I learned early in my career that a good strategy is as much what you’re going to do, but most importantly, what you’re not going to do. When you came up with the strategy for Workforce, what came out as the priorities of your stakeholders?

Dave Shull: So it was interesting, the first couple months on the job, I went around the world a couple times and met with a bunch of customers and it was obvious that HP could do a lot. We could do anything. And so the question was really what did the customer base want? And it became pretty clear. It’s like HP, you make PCs, printers, poly gear, okay, that’s all around employee productivity. Why don’t you focus on that? Tens of thousands of customers around the world, can you please just tell me what everyone else is doing and what I’m supposed to do with this stuff? And so that was really talking to CIOs, that was pretty eye-opening. And these were CIOs of big companies and small companies, a hundred thousand employees, a hundred employees, and it didn’t really matter because they all had the same challenge. And so that for me was a early sign, okay, employee productivity is it. Not just for me, but for us as a company. Let’s embrace that and let’s go all in on that.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s good.

Daniel Newman: As Poly and HP came together, for me it was sort of obvious as a hardware peripheral play, but no one here is talking about hardware and peripherals anymore. We’re talking about solutions, you’re talking about experiences. And so as you’ve brought those businesses together over the year, what advantages, what synergies are you immediately seeing coming to light for the new HP and for your group at Workforce Solutions?

Dave Shull: So let me talk broadly about HP and then I’ll talk about Workforce Solutions. So broadly at HP, I think we’re all about intelligence at the edge, and I think AI is really supercharged that. So we talked about that a little bit at Poly before the merger, which is the ability to walk into a conference room and have this magical sort of conversation that goes on. We got more than one camera here right now, making us look magical. But in a conference room, you got one camera and how does that work? How do you have the production crew-

Daniel Newman: It takes a lot of editing to make me look, Dave.

Dave Shull: Some things can be edited. So that’s the power of the intelligence at the edge. And then to see that now being paired up with HP PCs and other devices and printers and everything else, it’s like, wow, there’s something astonishing that we can really create as an experience for our customers. And so I’m pretty excited about what you’re going to see in the future in a conference room when you combine the power of the HP PC with the poly gear, the headphones and everything else. Now from a workforce solutions point of view, we’re saying, okay, how do we bundle all this together in a contractual way or in a software driven way that our customers really see as a platform? The CIOs run a platform to get insights about their employees and are they productive and are they happy? Are they engaged or not? They need technology to allow them to focus on work. And so that’s the power going forward here.

Patrick Moorhead: So Dave hybrid work has always had the definition of working wherever you’re going to be most productive, remote, in the office and everywhere in between. But it had sub definitions, like hybrid, at one point it seemed like that was just code for remote, but the reality is it’s being productive and secure wherever you are. You invested to do some primary research on what’s going on out there, what’s the mood out there of employees, but also management and the two have to come together. What were some of the key takeaways, but more importantly, what can some of the viewers of this video go off and start thinking about or doing right now?

Dave Shull: So we interviewed 12,000 folks approximately around the world and really tried to get to a sense for is your relationship with work healthy or not?

Patrick Moorhead: I think I know where this is going.

Dave Shull: It’s like 27%, right? It wasn’t good. But what was interesting is within that there were some countries that were 50% and other countries that were single digits.

Patrick Moorhead: Interesting.

Dave Shull: And when he dug into that difference, 58% said it’s been different since pre-COVID. So everyone’s expectations have changed, but then if you look into the different markets, actually the developing world is doing less well. And it’s because people are a little bit uncertain about how to handle their jobs. And in a world of AI, they’re nervous. It’s like, is this going to take my job or is this going to help me? And so I think we got to embrace AI as a power of creativity.

It’s something magical that makes you so much better. And so I think the first thing employers can do, you got to get that message out there and you got to make sure everyone’s using whatever sidekick you choose, whether it’s from Microsoft or Google or someone else, right? Start using it, start understanding the power of it, start showing that it removes the mundane parts of the job. It gives you all this amazing expertise at your fingertips and allows you to become much more creative. That then I think creates a better working environment.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s good.

Daniel Newman: Kind of like a CEO dashboard. And at some point it was created. What I’m saying is like, sure, you might’ve known how to run a report in your old toolkit to find all your revenue and then run an Excel spreadsheet and build a pivot table. But it’s kind of nice to just have it show up that great. And there’s a lot of things. We’ve been using it. I said, we use a lot of Google Workspace apps in our company and it’s been finishing our sentence for some time.

This was before generative AI was a thing. And so I think it’s also interesting how things just rise into the consciousness and then they become pervasive. But speaking of that, companies like HP, it’s depended upon you to make the determinations of how to implement AI, machine learning into your toolkits, into your products. When I say products, I mean the solutions. How did you go about thinking about the inclusion of AI to make sure that it’s going to be as successful as possible from the onset?

Dave Shull: So again, it kind of goes back to what’s that customer problem that I’m trying to solve with AI. On the one hand you have the AI PC, which is saying, okay, let’s take all the power of AI to the edge so you can deal with private data, secure data. From my point of view, in terms of talking to CIOs, they were saying, how do I create a platform that gives them different insights? And so, okay, now we’ve got telemetry data across tens of millions of devices around the world, PCs, printers, Poly gear.

How do I incorporate all that into, Hey, I want to solve a problem before it happens. I want to keep the employee productive by saying, before your battery fails, I’m going to let you know. Now I want to make sure that that power is capable for the CIO or CEO. So they can say, I need insights into how my employees are doing. Are they productive? Are they happy? Or I want to upgrade to Windows 11. How do I do that? Now they’re using a natural language interface to get all that same power. And that’s the magic I think that AI is bringing to the fore.

Patrick Moorhead: So I want to kick to sustainability here. There’s a lot of CIOs. It’s funny you think of CIOs and sustainability and there’s been a lot of conversations on both sides. What even is sustainability? Can we talk a little about it? First of all, what’s the scope of sustainability? And then how are you helping CIOs to meet their sustainability objectives and metrics?

Dave Shull: So I think when you think about the devices that we make, they’re physical devices. And so of course what goes into them is a core part of sustainability. And it’s the 55% of plastics are recycled. There’s a lot of stats that we have as a company that are really driving the front end of the supply chain. And that’s critical because our customers, a lot of the carbon footprint that they have is based on the hardware devices that they have.

But I think what’s even more powerful is the ability to take those devices back and extend the life from three years to six, seven years. And that now starts to, by definition, it cuts the carbon in half because you’re not having to recreate that device. So I think it is good business for us, it’s phenomenal business for our customers and for our partners. And so extending the view of sustainability, which is it’s not just what goes into the product in the first place, but it’s sort of that second and third life has been an important change for us as a company.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s good.

Daniel Newman: Well, Dave, you started to allude to the partner in the channel. It’s a partner channel conference.

Dave Shull: That’s right.

Daniel Newman: I think part of the theme, Pat, for you and I, as we go through these interviews and talk to all the executives, is going to be always leading us back to this. How are you setting your partner and channel up to win? How are you giving them competitive advantages with the Workforce Solutions Group?

Dave Shull: So first of all, let me make a very clear statement to our partners. I’ve been at many companies that have had partner motions. HP is the company that is all in on partners. More than any of my other employers, HP is the company that’s all in on partners. And so I think as the services guy now, it’s incumbent on me to say, okay, how do I empower them? What value do they see in HP? They have amazing relationships with the customers.

They have the ability to already bundle all of our gear. So what do they want from HP? They want insights. They want AI-driven remediation. They want tools that they can sell to their CIOs. They want the simplicity of financing and an HP brand so that they can scale from the top a hundred companies in the world all the way down to the smallest SMBs everywhere in the world. And so I think that’s the power of what we bring to these guys.

Patrick Moorhead: That’s great. And by the way, it’s got to be a little bit of a challenge. It’s more of a challenge on services than hardware, I found, to do a partner. So you’re smiling, so it’s like, yeah, I could get it, but hey, that’s why you get paid the big bucks.

Dave Shull: Well, I think the conversation’s been very frank with our partners, which is every partner has a different business model. And in many cases, these are founder-led organizations who have been phenomenally successful as business people.

Patrick Moorhead: And very malleable. I mean, if you look at 30 years ago and how the traction of direct indirect services, non-services software, software as a service, device as a service. They find a way and you nailed it. They’re entrepreneurs.

Daniel Newman: I tell you something, as having been a CEO of a systems integrator, it is one of the hardest businesses because you were constantly at the mercy of a lot of vendors that are much larger that can change a program on a dime and it can force you to completely reconfigure your business. Having said that, if you can figure out how to survive there, make money there, you probably can be successful at just about anything you do. But I do agree with you. HP understands partners, and your commitment to it has been unwavering. Congratulations on that. And thank you so much for joining us here on The Six Five.

Dave Shull: My pleasure, guys. It’s always fun.

Daniel Newman: Thanks Dave.

Dave Shull: Great chat. Thank you so much.

Patrick Moorhead: Totally.

Daniel Newman: All right, everybody hit that subscribe button. Join us for all of our coverage here at HP Amplify 2024 here in Las Vegas. It’s been a great conference, Pat. But for those that are tuned in, we’re going to need to check out all our other videos. But for Patrick and I, we’re saying goodbye.

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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