At the recent HP Global AR meeting held in March in Boston, there were very high expectations of HP being able to communicate change to its business and be a dominant player in the market once again. I will have more in the coming days on how I view HP’s ability to deliver.
One market sector that I was particularly keen to get an understanding of from HP was its approach to BPO. Historically, BPO at HP has been a challenging and often confusing capability to clearly guage. It is no secret that previous CEO’s lacked a belief in BPO and as a result investment was missed and opportunities for a key play were consistently lost across the HP geographies with the possible exception of Healthcare in the United States, a legacy EDS business.
The good news is that the commitment for BPO was delivered up front from Meg Whitman in her opening presentation. Given that Meg Whitman came from the personal BPO world of selling consumer items at eBay, this appreciation should have perhaps been obvious!!!
BPO is no longer a dirty word at HP, and this is good news for the industry. What was also clear is that HP is taking a targeted view of the BPO space and playing to its strengths and investment focus. They will not be targeting every category of BPO, nor every geography.
In the Asia Pacific region I expect that it will focus on the largest BPO markets of Japan and Australia/New Zealand, and in targeted offerings. It will be good for the competitive environment as well. If you are looking for transformational outsourcing in the Asia Pacific region, there is limited choice. A reinvigorated player such as HP will challenge the market and lead one hopes to more innovative solutions for buyers of BPO.
The key challenge for HP is scale, industry expertise (which is an ongoing concern) and getting the strongest client facing teams in place. These are issues that it faces in other parts of the services business so it is hoped that to become a viable alternative it can it can solve these issues across the firm to benefit BPO and the broader services portfolio.