HP promises split will mean little disruption, increased innovation

Las Vegas – In less than eight months, Hewlett-Packard Co. will be two companies, and at the company’s Global Partner Conference on Monday, executives sought to reassure attendees this would mean opportunity and innovation – not complexity and inconvenience – for HP customers.

Effective Nov. 1, HP will become two separate Fortune 50 publicly-traded companies. Current CEO Meg Whitman will head HP Enterprise, which will include the services and software business. Dion Weisler, currently executive vice-president of HP’s printing and personal systems business, will lead that group as a separate company, HP Inc. Whitman will also be chair of HP Inc.

“We’re in an era of relentless disruptive change for business and governments, with a huge host of new business models. No company survives without adapting, without the ability to rethink, to change and to renew,” said Whitman in her keynote address. “I can tell you with pride that HP has turned the corner. We’ve done the hard work to keep HP at the forefront of the IT industry.”

The split, Whitman said is all about acceleration. Each business will be better able to respond to its own market needs and invest in its own priorities. For example, on the Enterprise side HP is doubling down on infrastructure, with the recent US$3 billion acquisition of wireless networking vendor Aruba Networks. Together, they’re hungry to take on the “five-letter competitor” also known as Cisco Systems.

Whitman speaks to attendees at GPC.
Whitman speaks to attendees at GPC.

And on the HP Inc. side, Weisler is eager to lead what he calls “the world’s largest startup” and invest in new product areas such as 3D printing, under its new Blended Reality umbrella.

“Our lives are 3D but strangely our digital worlds are confine to 2D creating a divide, a chasm between our 2D digital and our 3D physical worlds,” said Weisler. “When our physical and digital worlds come together that’s truly when magic happens.”

HP made two announcements in this space at GPC. HP’s immersive computing solution Sprout will be getting a commercial roll-out, and now available is Multi Jet Fusion, HP’s commercial 3D printing solution that Weiser said solves the three key inhibitors to wide 3D commercial print adoption: quality, speed and cost.

“It’s not just a printer. It’s a tool to trigger the next industrial revolution,” said Weisler. “It’s that profound.”

HP also expanded its compute portfolio on Monday with new HP ProLiant Gen9 Tower servers designed for the small and medium-sized business market.

They’re designed to run general purpose workloads and applications such as IT infrastructure, collaboration, web and business applications.

“Small businesses not only need to solve immediate business challenges, but also lay the groundwork for accelerating business growth,” said Peter Schrady, vice-president and general manager, rack and tower servers with HP, in a statement. “Together with HP ProLiant Gen9 servers and the services and support expertise from our channel partners, we can help small businesses enhance competitiveness and achieve better business outcomes.”

The HP ProLiant ML10 v2 is an entry-level 10 Series tower server with increased connectivity slots for storage and networking, designed to run general purpose applications. Availability is expected in mid-April, starting at US$300.

Also new is the HP ProLiant ML110 Gen9, a 100 Series tower server with more memory, hard disk drives and I/O expansion for growing business IT needs. . Availability is expected in mid-April, starting at US$1,000.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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