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Todd Bradley, executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's Printing and Personal Systems group, a $65 billion business, spoke with CRN Vice President and Editorial Director Kelley Damore and Editor News Steven Burke about the company's new mobility division and the computer giant's first foray into the tablet market since it killed its Touchpad tablet product line in 2011. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Talk about the new Mobility Global Business unit and what it means to solution providers.
I think what it means is we have made an enormous amount of progress in our product line. Clearly mobility and connectivity are critical areas of growth for HP and for all of our partners. And, Alberto [Torres, senior vice president of the new mobility unit] brings a very, very significant set of experiences to help us grow this side of our business. He ran [Nokia] MeeGo [mobile phone operating system] and [luxury phone maker] Vertu. He has a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford.
He [Torres] helped me when I was at Palm 10 years ago. He knows mobility exceptionally well. It was a great chance to upgrade the team, great chance to bring additional focus on this piece of our business. At the same time as we have integrated PPS, we have got a great set of products. So I think it is a natural focus on growth for us.
Does this mean HP is recommitting to be a leader in smartphones and tablets? Is that the message?
So, it is not a message around product specifically. Clearly, tablets with our channel partners are hyper-important. We are going to do the biggest seed program [putting tablets in the hands of HP partners] we have ever done with partners here in a couple of weeks. The tablet focus is certainly on the channel, mobility and frankly from a vertical [business] standpoint.
We have been doing partner roundtables all over the country and have gotten a lot of feedback from customers telling us to demystify the products a little bit, give us some better insight. So in October and November we are spotlighting our entire PPS product line with partners in a 20 city tour. We are inviting partners and asking them to bring their customers to really show them not just tablets, which everyone is super-interested in, but also the new line of printers that we have coming out.
What is your message to channel in terms of your go to market versus some of the other players?
It's all in with the channel. We were with a whole group of partners last night for dinner. We talked about [giving them] seed products for them to understand the tablet as well as seed products for their customers.