HP puts out the DaaS ultimatum to the channel

SAN DIEGO – Ron Coughlin, the president of HP Inc.’s personal systems group, did not mince words when addressing the 10th anniversary VARnex conference – Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) is the strategy going forward for HP and its channel partners.

HP is shifting its hardware business to an as-a-Service model. Coughlin said essentially there is no turning back and the channel must focus now on DaaS as way to take over the management of IT from customers. HP has provided a DaaS plan that can manage devices regardless of operating system and this includes IOS. DaaS consumption model pricing is one price by device that can scale up and down depending on the customer’s situation.

There is built-in intelligence to the HP DaaS program and the company plans to provide channel partners with analytics and reports on issues such as blue screen errors so that solution providers can take care of those problems before the user is even away of them.  HP DaaS will also have next business day replacement. Another example is if a customer is running into battery life issues, the channel partner will have data ahead of time and be able to address that issue. This brings down the cost of servicing the device, Coughlin said.

Coughlin informed the VARnex community that there already are 51 DaaS specialists in the channel partner community along with six global system integrators. They have some major DaaS wins in the market too with DreamWorks, Deloitte, Singapore Airlines and Walmart. With the Walmart deal a solution provider is also managing 15,000 Apple iPad along with HP notebooks.

Ron Coughlin

“There is zero plan to go direct with this. We are doing channel right from the start. There is no plan to create a direct sale force for DaaS,” Coughlin added.

He also introduced a channel incentive for DaaS. If any solution provider closes a $5 million DaaS deal in the next year they will win a free trip for two to San Diego for the owner of the solution provider business or for the person who closed the deal.

Coughlin said there are other market dynamics taking place that makes DaaS the best strategy going forward. One of the top market dynamics is Gen Z. Gen Z is about to take over the workplace. “And, they don’t want the same cubicle you have. They want the same device they use in their personal lives. The next generation is blending both personal and work life,” Coughlin said.

Gen Z, according to the McCrindle Research Centre, are people born between 1995 and 2009, which would include Digital Natives (born after 2001) and its in line with a rise in birth rates over that period of time.

This trend with Gen Z has helped HP develop new products that blur the lines between commercial and consumer devices.

“Make no mistake the PC business is shifting just like the printer business shifted to MPS (Managed Print Services). Those of you who are in front will be winning,” he said.

HP is making DaaS a core segment of its growth strategy. Coughlin added that it’s also the future for the channel partners as it will provide customers with a lower cost of operation, but HP is also going to “sprinkle its magic” on DaaS too with offerings such as a security screen, detachable workstations, SureView and virtual reality.

HP now has a detachable workstation device that can double as an inking station for artists. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor also has a commercial grade VR solution with backpack that provides the user with hot-swappable batteries. Coughlin said this is an ideal solution for first responders or the military.

“We want to take a bite out of Apple,” Coughlin said, while he munched on an actual apple during the VARnex morning session. “We have premium products and we have insights. We are going to provide convertible products or touch products if the market wants them. We are not going to be beholden to company dogma,” he said.

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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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