Hewlett-Packard's UK users were today reminded just how much the company has changed in the last 12 months at its HP Users 99 conference in London.
HP opened the conference with a rapid overview of its ecommerce strategy, which it calls e-services. But a low attendance for the keynote speech suggested that e-services is still more important to HP's marketing department than to users.
Peter Bradley, chairman of the HP Computer Users' Association, which organised the conference, said over 1000 delegates are registered for the show, many of whom want to hear about e-services.
"I think a lot of customers are interested in e-services. The thing with HP is people were wanting the company to get involved for too long. I know HP want to go on about chapter two of the Internet, but that's because they missed chapter one," said Bradley.
Hugh Jenkins, enterprise product marketing manager at HP UK, said it's important that users are shown the business applications of the Internet as well as the technology.
"They all recognise, even down to the die-hard techies, that the Internet is having a profound effect on a lot of things. During the e-services keynote it was good to see technical people sitting there listening," said Jenkins.
"It's the sort of subject that seems to have brought the IT and business lines together. We're showing the traditional approach is still there, but it's about a requirement for IT professionals to have a greater appreciation of what are the business drivers, particularly around the Internet," he added.
Bradley welcomed the introduction of HP's L Class Unix server last month, saying it gives HP much needed strength in the low-end Unix market. "It's interesting in their new initiatives on portals, on the whole issue of attacking Sun with L class Unix servers, not just at the high end but at the low end. This is all tied in with the Internet. That's a welcome move. They're weak at the low-end Unix market," he said.
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