It’s now just over 12 months since HP split into two, forming Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) and HP Inc.
The latter is the smaller of the two, with around 50,000 staff in its business from the original 300,000 plus head count at HP, as it took control of the hardware for which HP was famed – printers, laptops and desktops.
But not smartphones. And speaking to V3 one year one from the split EMEA president Nick Lazaridis (pictured) says the firm has ruled out any plans to enter this market.
“We made a conscious decision very early on that we were not going to do phones. There are only two companies that have ever made money on phones, Apple and Samsung," he said.
Given this HP Inc is much happier focusing on pouring money into other areas of its business, particularly printers where it decided earlier this year to spend $1.05bn acquiring Samsung’s printer division.
“We will integrate this into our core business and focus on investing money where business and investors want us to invest it,” he says, referencing the fact before the split most money made by divisions that now form HP Inc went into bulking up what became HPE’s services around cloud and big data.
One major area of focus that HP Inc believes it can steal a march on rivals in the printing market is security, as Lazaridis explains.
“People don’t usually look at the printer as an opportunity for hackers to get into their systems, but because it’s an end point device, and people don’t secure printers as well, a lot of breaches have happened in large enterprises via printers,” he said.
“So we are always extolling the virtues of our printer tech because in enterprise space we have printers that have robust enterprise security from top to bottom.
“We offer a raft of security implementation services and technicians that offer training, and advisors who provide ongoing security expertise. This covers things like risk profiling and helping firms meet their governance and compliance requirements," he adds.
Looking ahead Lazaridis admits that it is unclear what will happen next, particularly in EMEA with the ever-changing political climate.
“There’s never a dull moment that’s for sure. Obviously 2016 saw the Brexit result and the recent Italian referendum, and from the people I talk to it does seem as if people are holding off on purchasing decisions until they see how all this lands, and that is one area of challenge we need to work through.”
It’s not just political issues that could pose challenges, though, with issues such as oil and currency pricing also likely to have an impact.
“Because we do a lot of business in the Middle East and Africa, central Europe and Russia, all oil producing areas, their GDP is boom or bust on the back of oil prices. So if oil goes up, those nations spend more and a lot of that goes on IT," he said.
“These are all things beyond our control, though, so while we take on board the effect this can have but otherwise we focus on our operational tactics and what we think we can bring to market and that should give us a strong 2017.”
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