Merger at HP will 'improve partner experience'

Merger at HP will 'improve partner experience'

HP says it is too early to speculate on local details

HP has confirmed that it will merge its PC and printing divisions into a single business unit but a local spokesperson says it is too early to “speculate on local details” and on what this means for the New Zealand market.

Globally, the two businesses will be combined into a new unit called the Printing and Personal Systems Group, which will be headed by Todd Bradley, the executive vice president of the Personal Systems Group (PSG) since 2005.

The move is said to be related to the low growth rate of the printing business, compared to the PC business. According to data from IDC, printer sales are expected to grow between 1 and 2 percent in the next few years, while the PC market is expected to expand by about 5 percent.

"It is too early to speculate on the local details. But what we can say is this will improve the customer and partner experience and make it easier to do business with one, integrated HP, by simplifying our go-to-market strategy, branding, supply chain, and customer support world-wide,” says a local HP spokesperson contacted by Reseller News.

HP CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement that she believes this will create “a winning scenario for customers, partners and shareholders”. "This combination will bring together two businesses where HP has established global leadership," Whitman says.

Some analysts have questioned HP's reasons for this move, with Gartner analyst Mark Fabbi saying "moving the deck chairs around isn't enough".

The PSG group is HP’s big money maker, having reported US$8.9 billion in revenue in the last quarter. The two groups which will now be brought together account for about half of the vendor’s total sales worldwide.

This is not the first time the company decides to merge the two units. In 2005, CEO Carly Fiorina tried to do it but Mark Hurd reversed the decision shortly after replacing her.

In New Zealand, the company recently announced a 10 percent fall on revenue to $736 million, with its annual loss shooting up from $10 to $27 million. The company would not comment on the financial results because of "HP disclosure policy".

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