So what do we all think of HP’s announcements from this week especially with all that they put out there.
- HP’s outlook was cut,
- HP decided to exit the mobile market and WebOS,
- HP acquired Autonomy, and
- Announced HP selling PC business which accounts for 30% of sales.
WebOS I understand given everyone wants iPads. I also understand HP wants to focus on the enterprise and cloud computing – fine. But HP selling PC business is something I just can’t get my head around despite their rationale being we are now in the post-PC era. This was bound to happen once everyone proclaimed “an iPad in every pot” (Note to Obama). Even as more CIO’s embrace the BYOPC strategy there remains a large number of requirements for desktops in the enterprise and the evidence today suggests the tablet is not replacing all desktop demand.
Implications of HP Selling PC Business
For HP selling PC business, like IBM selling to Lenovo, how will this change their relationship with CIO’s and IT procurement folks? When IBM got rid of their PC’s that was one less reason to talk to my IBM rep which turned out to be one reason more than I had resulting in essentially ending the relationship – out of sight out of mind. The real whammy of the IBM deal was that Lenovo was the acquirer which for the public sector meant added pressure to find a domestic company for future needs even though IBM retained partial ownership.
So what will happen to HP? HP does have strong software solutions business but they are under increasing pressure by highly competitive cloud services. HP cloud services, like the other OEM’s, is still an emerging business. So what remains HP’s core strength is the data center systems and current efforts around converged infrastructures and application modernization where they are highly competitive
So since more printing is going to their competitors or away due to Green IT projects and with HP selling PC business, there will be almost no reason to talk to CIO’s about that entire side of their operations which can be a sizable portion of the total spend of any IT budget. So if there isn’t a relationship to the CIO on enterprise systems and solutions they will also find themselves out of sight.
CIO’s who already have an inventory of HP desktops and other devices will need to begin considering a risk mitigation strategy in the event the sale does go through. Even if it doesn’t, the current situation at HP and rumors of an Oracle takeover might be enough of a reason to review your vendor management plan for HP anyway.
CIO’s in the public sector might want to proactively check the approved vendor lists for product and OEM options as well as resellers. If there are weaknesses from too few options, consider organizing an RFP to expand the list and get competitive pricing today in case you need it.
Finally, if you can defer purchasing PC’s even as part of planed lifecycle refresh you probably should. Even if you are not an HP shop. The extra time will give HP a chance to solidify its plans and prospective bidders to surface. Use that time to check out your options and any opening to exploit HP’s announcement to your advantage.
Update: HP Keeping PC Business
Oct 27th HP announced they will be keeping their PC business under new CEO Whitman.