HP is an Employee Productivity Company

If I told you I recently attended a conference that included appearances by Jensen Huang of NVIDIA, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Lisa Hsu of AMD, Sundar Pichai of Google, Pat Gelsinger of Intel, Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm AND Rob McElhenney of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” would you believe me? Well, it just happened at the HP Amplify Partner Conference. Just picture my head exploding. 

Enrique Lores, President & CEO at HP and Jensen Huang, Founder & CEO of NVIDIA sharing a laugh on stage at the HP Amplify Partner Conference.

The Amplify conference took place March 6-8 in Las Vegas, with roughly 2,000 partner resellers and vendors from the office technology and IT channels. It was an important meeting, given the new dominance of the AI conversation, and HP brought out the big guns to aid the discussion, as evidenced by the speakers listed. All have a major stake in how AI will be adopted and deployed by HP but also how and to what extent and at what pace the new applications will be utilized by the office and IT channels in general.

I found this year’s approach at Amplify to be very ambitious. Alex Cho, president of Personal Systems at HP mentioned several times from the stage that we should look at HP as an “Employee Productivity Company,” and there was a lot of focus around the employee experience, productivity and engagement. That is a comprehensive mission, perhaps accentuated by the print decline numbers everyone in the channel is experiencing in real time. The earnest need to create revenue in adjacent areas outside of print requires massive engagement from manufacturer and vendor partners alike to provide the enabled equipment and systems that lead to the desired employee experience, productivity and engagement.

Let’s take a look at some of these high-level conversations and the accompanying announcements made by HP.

HP is committed to the channel

HP’s CEO, Enrique Lores, kicked things off by expressing his gratitude to all the partners in attendance. After all, a large part of HP’s success is driven by its partners. According to Lores, over 85% of HP’s revenue came through its partner channels. Kobi Elbaz, HP’s SVP & General Manager, Global Channel, Sales Innovation & Operations, credited the channel for its part in growing HP’s services businesses by 40%.

And the commitment to partners continues. Lores stated that everything HP does, including new products, services, and business models, is designed with the sale through partners in mind, ensuring partners’ success is central to HP’s strategy.

HP also discussed different programs that are designed to help partners accelerate cash flow, become more competitive in their local markets, expand their portfolio, increase profitability, and upskill their workforce to be ready for the AI-driven market landscape. 

  • The HP Amplify Fast Lane initiative simplifies and expedites reimbursement from HP’s marketing development through an automated claims and payment procedure. According to HP, Amplify partners participating in the Fast Lane program are experiencing 60% faster turnaround time in their transactions.  
  • The More for More program is designed to incentivize and reward its channel partners for engaging more comprehensively with HP’s product portfolio and services. Not only does More for More help partners diversify their portfolio of products and services, but it also increases their compensation by 50%. Any HP Amplify partner can participate. 
  • HP’s Future Ready AI MasterClass, which is available through HP University, will help partners upskill its workforce and partners in areas like AI and data science, ensuring they are prepared for the evolving AI-driven market landscape. For advanced AI training around data science, HP has partnered with NVIDIA. This collaboration aims to offer cutting-edge AI training and resources, demonstrating HP’s commitment to leveraging AI expertise to benefit its ecosystem.
  • The HP Amplify Impact Program is focused on climate action, human rights, and digital equity, now available in 48 countries. Over 40% of HP’s Amplify partners participate in the Impact program. 

AI is the future (and present) of HP

HP has been proactive in highlighting operational improvements and the integration of AI in its processes and products, with a clear focus on driving efficiency and empowering its partners. 

Internally, the company is leveraging AI to help its partners optimize sales and marketing efforts. HP has invested in AI platforms like its configure price quote (CPQ) system, where over 70% of deals are priced in less than two hours. HP’s goal is to reduce this to minutes. By speeding up the pricing process, HP not only streamlines its own operations but also enables partners to respond more quickly to market opportunities. HP is also leaning on AI to maximize demand generation and partner engagement. By focusing on execution and reducing process complexities, HP is ensuring that its partners can more effectively reach and serve customers, thereby driving mutual growth.

AI is now an integral part of more and more HP products.

But it’s not just about using AI to make it easier for partners to do business with HP. HP is also developing AI products that will help its partners be more competitive. One of the products at the event that got a lot of attention is the HP AI PC. As businesses adopt more AI applications, they are going to realize that the cloud and AI aren’t always going to mix, and that some work will need to be done locally, at the “edge” (as opposed to in the cloud). With an AI PC, not only will workers be able to do their work locally, but they will also be able to run these processes faster, at a lower cost, and with less risk. 

  • Speed: By running tasks locally on an AI PC, processes can be completed up to five times faster than using cloud-based processing. 
  • Security: When you use a cloud-based AI solution, you put your data at risk of being leaked. By running these processes locally, your data never leaves your computer, thereby minimizing risks. 
  • Cost efficiency: Local processing eliminates cloud service fees, such as data egress fees or API usage fees.   

HP is growing its services and subscriptions businesses

HP highlighted the overall 40% growth in their services and subscription services and shared that HP Instant Ink has grown to become a $500 million dollar business, with an annual growth rate of 30%. 

HP All In is a comprehensive service that includes a printer, a service plan, ink delivery, 24/7 support, and an option for customers to upgrade their printer every two years. HP says the program has shown high customer satisfaction and loyalty, with a 90% retention rate among the 20,000 customers who participated in a two-year pilot. Stats shared by HP indicated that 64% of HP Instant Ink customers expressed a desire for this all-encompassing service model, and 45% of customers using competitive brands’ printers showed interest in HP’s “All In” plan.

Solutions for hybrid work problems

Since the rise of hybrid working during the pandemic, even the most traditionally conservative work cultures are embracing hybrid working environments. But even though workers like, and many prefer, hybrid working, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. According to new research HP shared, only a small percentage of employees feel they have a healthy relationship with work (27%) and the necessary tools and support from their companies to succeed (25%). 

Lores said that hybrid working has created a tension between what employees desire in terms of flexibility and the performance and productivity goals of companies. This tension creates friction that needs to be addressed to maintain a healthy work environment. This dissatisfaction, of course, is seen as unsustainable. 

AI is positioned as a key solution to bridge the gap between company needs and employee desires. HP aims to utilize AI to create tools and solutions that cater to the hybrid work model, enhancing collaboration and flexibility. This includes reimagining workspaces and providing CIOs with platforms to improve team performance and reduce costs while increasing employee satisfaction.

Our take

What struck me most about this event was the sheer ambition of it all. The willingness to publicly tackle head-on some of the most complex issues of the day — employee experience, productivity and engagement — exhibits confidence. I think I like it. What I am not so sure about are programs like HP All In, which require a leap of faith in the future desire for and volume of print.

That being said, HP’s focus on the channel, AI-driven products like the AI PC, and hybrid work solutions reflect a forward-thinking approach, working to ensure that HP and its partners are well-equipped to meet the evolving demands of the market. This strategic alignment not only enhances operational efficiencies but also opens new avenues for business expansion in the office technology landscape — just what might be needed in this pivotal moment in the document imaging industry.

Zoe Westwood, Director UK&I End User Sales, talks with actor Rob McElhenney, co-owner of the Wrexham A.F.C. football club, of which HP is the global technology partner.

Patricia Ames is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.