HP Inc. Canada makes a stand for 3D printing

In part one of CDN’s exclusive interview with HP Canada Co. country manager Mary Ann Yule, the former CDW Canada leader talked about how key the separation is between HP and HPE.

You can read part one here: Re-inventing HP Inc. in Canada.

In part two of this interview, Yule outlines HP Inc.’s 3D printing strategy and if HP should turn itself into a security company.

The following is an edited transcript.

CDN: What is your strategy for 3D printing?

Mary Ann Yule: 3D printing is exciting and strategic. We are working to identify the partners who can work with us on 3D printing. We want to participate in manufacturing, but it’s still early stages and we are starting to collaborate with companies such as Nike and BMW. We want to work with different organizations to shape what it will look like. In Canada we are looking at where the opportunities are.

CDN: 3D printing shot out like a cannon a few years ago and while it’s still growing from all indicators today it has been threatened by commoditization faster than expected. Does this worry you at all?

M.A.Y.: I’m confident in 3D printing and our 3D printing agenda and the way we plan to engage with partners to solve problems in the market. We have a competitive offering and it’s too early to suggest we are in a stage of commodization. There are still so many untapped areas of opportunity with 3D printing.

CDN: The HP Z Book is heading off to the NASA space station. Do you feel that HP and other PC vendors need to push that design and innovation envelope to bring up the value of these devices?

M.A.Y.: Absolutely! We need to keep innovating and you can suggest that these products are end points, but all these people are carrying around these devices to do business. End users need these at their finger-tips and they need to be innovative to enable do their jobs in insurance, or at a public school or at a manufacturer. They need to have technology that will make them better and that’s exciting. We can get short sighted here to suggest they are not important anymore. They are an enabler tool and the next step is to ensure that the technology aligns with the messaging. It’s a priority for customers and for partners and CIOs who are concerned with security. There is value in what we deliver and we need to have this type of technology secured everywhere.

CDN: You mentioned security and you are not alone there are several other companies in the market that are making security a priority. Where is HP on security?

M.A.Y.: We have a strong competitive differentiation with security. Its top of mind of many customers and the same with cost-per-page or other services I’m not suggesting we become a security company. But it is essential that we are aligning with customers on security. More customers are asking us how can we do this in an as-as-Service model. And, just like companies who do not want to manage their printer fleet we have an MPS (managed print services) program. Customers today want someone else to take care of IT and it’s the same with desktops and laptops. They do not want to manage those as well. They want to run there company and so it’s a great opportunity for solution providers to go in and do this. So there is a bunch of differentiation areas and security is an overarching one. It’s a brave new world.

CDN: How is HP Inc. aligning with the channel to become digital and help customers in their business transformation journey?

M.A.Y.: You are right about that. The market is evolving and customers are now looking to us and the channel to deliver the right outcomes. It’s relative to the printer fleets. Companies need to output stuff, but they do not need to know all the machinations of a printer. That’s up to HP and the channel partner. One area that is shifting is in the client desktop devices. We are working with partners to understand the strategic objectives and how we fit in. This is an adjustment to the norm. We see ourselves enabling the partner and ultimately it’s going to be a win-win.

CDN: Last year there was a lot of channel consolidation and it looks like the pace has not let up at all coming into 2016. How are you dealing with this unprecedented level of mergers and acquisitions?

M.A.Y.: We’ve always had some kind of channel consolidation. Partners need to do what they need to do to help the customer. If it’s better to merge or acquire to serve these customers or if they have to improve their IP or get into a different geography or secure different technology or people it makes sense to consolidate. It’s a natural progression of the channel as we grow up as an industry. It does not concern me. I actually see it as an opportunity on how the two companies strategically go forward and how HP can participate in that.

CDN: What is your take on born-in-the cloud channel partners?

M.A.Y.: They are different and they are still the same in many ways. They have the same agenda to serve the customers. So regardless of the route to market I believe they will compete honestly and that HP fits in there. What we need to do is understand their objectives and how does HP align to those. If we do it together I know we are all going to win.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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