HP says going on the offense is key part of future-ready plan

HP leader Enrique Lores and senior HP leaders used the HP Amplify opening keynote to lay out the company’s vision going forward and their strategy to get there.

HP CEO Enrique Lores

CHICAGO — Following a lengthy COVID-related disruption, HP held its first Amplify partner event in four years in Chicago. In the kickoff keynote Wednesday, HP CEO Enrique Lores said that the atmosphere felt more like a family reunion than a business meeting. He laid out the company’s vision moving forward for the family members, going over the strengths of HP’s position in the market, as well as its weaknesses, and what HP saw as the optimal strategy to leverage its strength through an admittedly slow period into the future.

From a business perspective, the last few years has been mixed,” he told the room of partners. “We have had the strongest demand in many years while also facing major changes in life issues.”

We have realistic optimism,” he added. “It’s a tough market. Many of our key markets are not growing and we don’t expect them to grow in the near future, although we do expect growth in new categories.

Lore noted that while 2022-23 doesn’t appear to be a strong growth environment, long term growth overall since 2017 has been good.

There is a tough environment, but also a very bright future,” he said. “Our companies need to be ready for when recovery happens. After a market slowdown there is always a market recovery. Underneath the headlines, there are always opportunities and that is where we want partners to make things happen. There are sectors like defense and health care where growth continues to happen, as well as areas like hybrid work, and video conferencing systems. This is where we are working with our partners to ensure they have strong plans.

We don’t think the PC market is going to have positive growth in 2023, and we don’t think anyone in the industry would disagree with that comment,” Lore added. “It’s about getting ready for the recovery.”

Lore then laid out HP’s high-level strategy going forward.

This is the core of our future-ready plan,” he said. “This is what drives our plan, what we see as four key structural trends.”

One is the evolution of technology entering the Age of AI.

There are very exciting opportunities for us to grow and create new product categories, and improve experiences we provide to customers,” Lores stated. We see AI as a tremendous opportunity to improve the productivity of those companies, as well as to make our own teams more effective.”

The second trend is the rise of hybrid work.

We think its here to say, but hybrid doesn’t mean doing everything at home,” Lores said. “There are some things where it’s better together, around planning and discussions. When you are on Zoom, you are watching a movie. Live, you are an actor in the movie. It’s a very different experience.” Lores noted as well that hybrid provides new opportunities in categories like headsets.

The third trend is the age of resilience.

We have to build a more resilient supply chain, and redesign our factories to build a more resilient company,” Lores indicated. “We have to be ready for changes that will continue to happen in the world.”

Fourth comes the fact that we are now in what Lores called the age of mistrust.

People now trust companies more than their own governments,”Lores said. “Companies with trust will do well in the future.”

Growing product categories involves modernizing them.

We are modernizing the core businesses in our portfolio to fit a very different use model,” Lores noted. “We are announcing more than 150 new products and services, most of which involve modernizing the core. There is a strong opportunity in video conferencing, with around 90 million meeting rooms and only 10% having video conferencing today.”We are also working to create new categories like in industrial printing. And we are continuing to invest in our digital technology and structure, as digital transformation makes us a stronger team”.

Lores said that the last part of transformation is how they create a future ready team.

This is a company that is transparent, sharing good things but also acknowledging things that need to be improved,” he indicated. “We will drive innovation across all of our categories. We need to be faster, simpler, easier to do business with, and to be more aggressive.”

Other HP leaders in the opening keynote doubled down on these themes.

We are building a future-ready personal systems business,” said Alex Cho, President of the Personal Systems Business at HP. In personal systems, we are going on the offense. We are done chasing supply. A leader’s job is to look forward.”

This is not a speeds and feeds business,”Cho continued. “This is a solutions business. It’s becoming a solutions and experiences leader. This week, we are announcing over 35 innovations in personal systems. This is one of our largest refreshes ever. Today, we are unleashing an armada of these experiences into the breadth of our commercial portfolio, which bring in productivity and security features we have had in our elite products.”

We need to get on the offensive,” stated Tuan Tran, President of Imaging, Printing and Solutions at HP. “There are more opportunities we need to go after. We have the strongest print portfolio in decades.”

Tran noted that the new Instant Ink has been a tremendous success.

We have 12 million customers, and next year are we are rolling it out for small business,” he said/

Tran said HP is also making a stronger effort in tank printing.

Tank customers want to buy everything up front, and they will get almost a lifetime of ink,” he said. “We have not been as aggressive there as we should. That will change this year, including the world’s only laser tank. Our technology also works out of the box, and doesn’t need priming or print heads.”

Tran also stressed that strength of portfolio won’t be enough in tanks.

Portfolio is not enough,” he told partners. “We need to work with you to drive our brand. We have double our nearest competitor in terms of product search for tanks. In addition, we are doubling our investment and increasing our retail presence.”