The release this week of the most recent HP quarterly numbers has highlighted the problems faced in ensuring all parts of HP are growing at the one time. Whilst the printer business was solid, and Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking had a very strong quarter, Personal Systems and Services were flat or worse. At the same time, geographically, the currency adjusted number for the Asia Pacific region was only 2%. This is a disappointing result for HP.
Clearly there is a lot to do. In a recent WSJ article, http://tinyurl.com/5s9wkrb several priorities were identified by Apothekar. These include the following;
We need to get way more business done in markets other than the U.S. We need to speak to our customers as one H-P. We need to fire up our innovation engine and get our products to market faster. It’s not that we aren’t innovative; it’s that it takes too long to get to market. We have some weaknesses in our software portfolio. And I think we need to be far more outspoken about what H-P is all about.
None of this is new or surprising to me. The lack of speed for development of the recently announced HP phone and tablet products is just an extra example of where the speed to market is missing.
The key for my perspective is the first line.
“We need to get way more business done in markets other than the U.S”.
Clearly as someone who has been a long time advocate for investment by US based IT firms in the Asia Pacific and other emerging markets I fully believe this to be a clear and easy statement to make. HP has a good record in both non USA consumer and enterprise marketplaces. However, I believe that HP has missed a massive opportunity to proactively do something about their demands for more customer engagement in the Asia Pacific region. The growth of just 2% in this region highlights this need for more attention.
Earlier this year they announced several changes to the HP board following the fallout from Mark Hurd’s departure. As I tweeted at the time, New #HP board members have strong European experience BUT limited Asia Pacific experience. Big opportunity missedhttp://ht.ly/3HvhJ.
HP really has missed a massive opportunity in the shift to the Apothekar leadership to really highlight how committed it is to growth in emerging markets. We need more than published growth numbers from BRIC countries, because there is a lot more to emerging markets than the BRIC countries.
I genuinely and passionately believe that at the first opportunity, HP must change the board and senior management to reflect the growth and opportunity of the Asia Pacific region. Then, they will be able to drive more effectively the ambition of more business from outside the US market and grow their Asia Pacific business at a rate which reflects the market opportunity.