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HP helping customers move smoothly to 'new style of IT'

Senior executives of HP

Senior executives of HP

US-based giant focused on enabling business and users to meet challenges of mobile, cloud computing era

In this age of mobile and cloud-based computing, Hewlett-Packard is confident that it has solutions to customers' problems or concerns, and also services and products to help them deal with the resultant demands for increased speed, efficiency and security.

HP executives say they are sure that what the company is offering to its enterprise and individual customers can help them cope with what the US-based tech giant terms a "new style of IT", which refers to an evolving workplace and business environment influenced by cloud computing, mobility, "big data" (large and complex database) and security.

For Nick Lazaridis, HP's senior vice president for Printing and Personal Systems Group in the Asia-Pacific and Japan, a new way of doing business - for corporate and individual end-users alike - is required in this new era of computing. And he is sure that HP can help them deal with their challenges.

James Merritt, HP's senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Group for the Asia-Pacific and Japan , said one major challenge was to help HP customers move smoothly from traditional IT to the new style of IT.

Merritt said that HP prided itself on having a "culture of innovations" since its birth 75 years ago. "We are really an innovation company," he said in his opening speech at the "HP World Tour" event for Asia-Pacific and Japan in Mumbai last week.

He added that "innovation is the grease and ammunition" that allowed HP to help its customers shift smoothly from traditional IT to the new style of IT.

He also talked about HP's much-touted new computing platform "The Machine", which is expected to be available in 2019. The Machine essentially is an all-in-one device - a server, workstation, personal computer and phone.

With photonic memory in "one single memory pool", it will be able to handle vast quantities of data using far less electricity, Merritt said. The system will be six times more powerful than existing servers and require 80 times less energy, according to HP.

HP, which claims to be "the world's largest technology company" but is still recovering from the financial doldrums, launched a large array of products at its Mumbai event. The two-day event was attended by hundreds of media people from the region, including those from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

This is second year for the HP World Tour in the Asia-Pacific and Japan. It was held in China last year and is taking place in five major countries in the region this year - Japan, Singapore, India, Australia and again in China.

Improved models, solutions

The products launched were improved hardware models, software solutions and services with better capabilities. These include Data Pass mobile broadband technology for "the always-on world", Atalla security products, StoreServ storage and StoreOnce back-up systems with all-flash memory, the Apollo supercomputing server, Virtual Workstation computers, Helion Network for open cloud, Virtual Cloud Networking applications, FlexFabric Datacenter solutions, inkjet-based Page Wide technology, and Indigo Digital Press printers.

Indigo can print personalised or customised labels for product containers and packages, and HP named Coca-Cola and Cadbury as its major customers. "If you can dream it, we can print it," said Gido van Praag, HP's vice president and general manager for graphics solutions business, printing and personal systems group in the Asia-Pacific and Japan.

For the challenge of protecting data from cyber-crime, HP has the Atalla line of products.

Andrzej Kawalec, HP's chief technology officer for enterprise security services, said the tech giant had learned from cyber-criminals to make products that he claimed would help protect users from cyber-attacks in every point of the "online life cycle".

Sixteen successful cyber-crimes occur every second around the world, and a million new hackers are expected by 2020, he said.

HP executives told the media at the Mumbai event that they still considered Southeast Asia and Thailand as major markets for their products.

"Southeast Asia is a big and important market for us. It is a growth engine for us," Merritt said.

Commitment to Thailand

He expects more HP investment in Thailand after the political situation becomes stable following the military's seizure of power in May. "We hope the future continues to be bright in Thailand. I believe Thailand will continue to do well," he said.

"We are very committed in Thailand," Lazaridis said, adding that there had been big investment in recent years in the country. He also asserted that HP's market share in Thailand's personal-computer market had improved from 11 per cent in 2012 to 15 per cent in the first quarter of this year, citing data compiled by market research company IDC.

He said that for the Asean market and Thailand, HP had been No 1 or No 2 in different segments, although he added that being a market leader was not HP's main goal of doing business. "HP's primary goal is to be the best partner for our customers," he said.

For IT observers, meanwhile, HP's major concern may be to work its way out of the financial doldrums.

Merritt said HP was doing better now following a turnaround over the past three years. According to Lazaridis, HP's recovery began last year, after Meg Whitman joined as president and chief executive officer in 2011.

The company expects to see a return to growth this year, and acceleration of that growth next year.


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