Although HP made a lot of noise at a recent Asia Pacific press event about the new software-as-a-service type offerings it will deliver directly to small businesses, it also reiterated that partnering was in its DNA.
At the Smart Office 2007 Asia Pacific media briefing in Vietnam last month, HP launched a number of web-based tools and services in its Total Care programme for SMEs and to support its new Print 2.0 strategy.
At the same time it released a broad range of mobile, laptop, desktop and printing products aimed specifically at SMEs, which will be sold only through the channel.
At the event, HP’s Asia Pacific senior vice president for its Personal Systems Group, Adrian Koch, said this region is the fastest growing for the company.
HP’s growth rate in this region was 30 percent in the third quarter of this year, which is double that of the overall market growth, he says.
“Growing at twice the market rate is part of our strategy to be the most preferred vendor to customers. We are executing very well on our plans. We are consistently growing above the market and we are growing profitably.”
To deliver on this strategy HP needs to support Asia Pacific’s ubiquitous SMEs, says Koch.
“SMEs represent 64 percent of IT spending in this region,” he says, citing a recent study by Access Markets International, which states this equates to US$134.4 billion. “SMEs want to spend money on business opportunities and not just infrastructure. They expect more complete solutions across hardware, services and solutions.”
And this market is best supported by channel partners, of which HP has more than 40,000 partners in the region, says Koch.
“Partners are the best way to deliver the last mile of support to SMEs. They ensure the best experience to millions of SME customers, who want someone close to them 24 hours a day to solve their problems.”
Koch says HP has 25 years of channel experience in Asia Pacific. “Partnering is in our DNA as a company.”
Meanwhile, Koch says the company saw 60.7 percent year-on-year growth in the SME segment in Asia Pacific for desktops and portable products in the second quarter of 2007.
“This is a growth rate of about 3.7 times of the market.”
HP’s imaging and printing products also showed significant growth in this period, with 102 percent year-on-year growth unit sales of its multifunction laserjet devices, says Koch.
Louis van Wyk travelled to Vietnam as a guest of HP.