HP’s 3A strategy to compete against Apple

BOSTON – It may surprise you to learn that last quarter HP took three-points of marketshare against Apple. What may surprise you even more is that HP did not actively strategize against Apple.

Well that’s all changing. Ron Coughlin, the president of HP’s personal systems group, unveiled a new plan called 3A – Aggressively Attack Apple at the 2016 HP Global Partner Conference.

The Aggressively Attack Apple plan or 3A has a significant channel component to it. Coughlin said those three points of marketshare came through the channel.

Ron Coughlin
Ron Coughlin

“The key message is we are confident and optimistic. We are going to execute and we can generate profitable growth,” Coughlin said.

He added that in the last quarter HP’s personal systems unit growth bested all competitors including Apple.

Another key part of the 3A strategy is HP reducing its cost structure by a $1 billion. The company also announced a series of products in the commercial space such as thinner notebooks, thin detachable devices, quad-core workstations and all-in-ones.

“We did not forget the address of the HP garage. We brought back innovation and to those that doubted us? HP’s innovation engine has not lost any gas,” Coughlin said.

There are two products Coughlin pointed out: The Slice and the Elite X3. The Slice features a security screen that darkens, while the X3 is a new category altogether. HP is describing the Elite X3 as a 3-in-1 phablet.

HP's Elite X3 is a 3-in-1 phablet with dock
HP’s Elite X3 is a 3-in-1 phablet with dock

HP’s 3A strategy incorporates the company’s overall product development strategy of producing core products, premium products and a growth area focus on immersive technology.

HP Inc. Canada channel chief John Cammalleri told CDN that the Canadian operation presented both partners and customers with a new product seeding and demo process experience. This new development eliminated rigid processes involved in obtaining products in a timely matter. “We did this for the premium line of products. What’s happening is the feedback on those premium products have been positive. It was critical to get them into the hands of the people who use them; both partners and customers because once they see them they will go to premium,” he said.

Coughlin admitted that Apple defined the brand for premium design and devices. In the past HP treated Apple – its neighbor in Silicon Valley – as an untouchable.

But Coughlin said Apple is not leading in innovation anymore and that HP has made gains in this area.

“I realize there are a lot of Apple Fanboys who will doubt my statement, but we are taking the bleeping awesome and the dope away from Apple.”

Coughlin added that half a billion PCs currently in use are four-years or older. Coughlin approximated the market opportunity for a new refresh at $340 billion growing at nine per cent. “Shame on us with all these great innovative products if we can’t upgrade these PCs,” he said.

HP’s device-as-a-service (DAS) is also part of the 3A plan. Coughlin said DAS was built by the channel partners and the total addressable market for it approaches $32 billion.

HP Inc. Canada president Mary Ann Yule said customers are interested in DAS because they are interested in relinquishing that responsibility and passing it onto an HP channel partner to manage. “The history HP has with managed print services where we have delivered the infrastructure, the tools and the system has given DAS the credibility in the market. They trust us to deliver…and it saves the end user from that high capex cost as it gives them the ability to move to opex,” she said.

The BYOD trend also led to Apple gaining significant share in the commercial space. But Yule countered that by saying IT managers today can roll out HP personal systems products with confidence that the end users will be happy with them.

“It’s not another black box. These are now attractive to the customer and it has great security. The consumerization of IT has really helped HP because end users will say ‘wow that’s a great looking piece of equipment’ and it satisfies the IT manager,” Yule said.

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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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