As HP pivots, partners reposition for future growth

Tian Chong Ng (HP) and David Tan (HP)

Tian Chong Ng (HP) and David Tan (HP)

Credit: HP

HP has unveiled plans to double down on partner growth amid a significant pivot in market focus, balancing core requirements with emerging ambitions to lay the foundation for future ecosystem growth.

Whether new product lines, industry sectors or business models, the technology giant is charting a fresh path forward armed with tradition but shaped by evolving priorities — the axis is turning and the channel is waiting to capitalise.

According to Tian Chong Ng — speaking to Channel Asia as managing director of Greater Asia at HP — the vendor is “at the juncture of pivoting the business”.

While core business functions such as PC and print segments “remain attractive”, evolving trends in work hybrid coupled with constant improvements in technology have combined to create a “big tailwind” during the last two years.

Whether across Asia Pacific or the wider world, ongoing economic and societal roadblocks are turning industries inside out, upside down and back-to-front — such instability naturally creates both opportunities and challenges for partners.

“The whole industry is changing,” acknowledged David Tan, head of Channels and Supplies at HP. “We saw the change in people’s behaviour, the way they work with companies and the way the market has moved — we think that the partners need to move along this journey.”

In response, HP has outlined six growth areas defined as “more modern and efficient” solutions, designed to help take the business to greater heights, reinforced by partner support.

Segments span 3D printing and personalisation; gaming; consumer subscription; workforce solutions; peripherals and industrial graphics.

“From a business perspective, we are a US$60 billion company looking to pivot to these new areas of focus, which will drive big double digit growth rates for us in the next few years,” Tian Chong noted. “And we are going to get there by organic growth, as well as mergers and acquisition [M&A] and our innovative technology to grow this portfolio of new areas.”

Sizing up consumer subscription

A core aspect of the revamped portfolio that will underpin HP’s business model going forward is consumer subscription, a monthly service currently offered via print called Instant Ink.

Designed for home use and small businesses, consumers with eligible HP printers can monitor print usage via an application to assess when ink levels are low to ensure replacement ink cartridges are mailed to users.

At the same time, in line with its sustainable agenda, HP has ensured the recyclability of the ink cartridge whereby consumers can mail back used cartridges in complimentary recycle bags provided by the vendor.

Tian Chong noted that a key benefit of moving to a subscription plan is that “hardware prices will be lower” and customers can select from various price plans “depending on printing needs”.

“Our vision is ultimately to offer HP devices to consumers on a subscription beyond print,” he added.

One such area that HP is looking to implement a subscription model is its gaming segment, in which the Omen and Victus line of products form key anchor points.

In February 2021, the vendor acquired the HyperX brand of gaming peripherals from Kingston for US$425 million in a bid to expand its gaming ecosystem, prompting a move beyond core print and PC devices. HyperX crafts a wide array of PC accessories, including the HyperX Cloud Alpha, alongside creating gaming-focused keyboards, mice, microphones, earbuds and Qi wireless chargers.

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