HP's Whitman Keynotes Nth Symposium, Says HP Returning To Customer- And Partner-Centric DNA

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Hewlett-Packard President and CEO Meg Whitman on Tuesday told a packed crowd of IT executives that HP has returned to its roots as a customer- and partner-centric provider of IT products and services, and that customers should trust their solution providers to support their HP infrastructures.

Whitman, speaking at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., to a crowd consisting mainly of clients of Nth Generation, a San Diego-based solution provider and sponsor of this week's Nth Symposium 2013 conference, said that in the nearly two years since she took the reins at HP, customers and partners have told her how much they want the company to succeed.

"Customers have always been at the heart of HP. ... We're one of the only companies, maybe the only company, equally strong in devices, infrastructure and services," she said.


[Related: HP Brings Back Former Channel Exec To Manage Moonshot Server Business]

Despite all the turmoil HP faced before she joined the company, Whitman said HP's focus on customers and partners was always a part of the corporate DNA since the company was founded, and that it is hard to kill the DNA of its founders.

"Despite the acquisitions, the boardroom drama, it's hard to kill the culture," she said.

HP currently is in an incredible financial position, and has near-zero debt, Whitman said. "Believe me, HP is here to stay," she said.

Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation, said there is no question that HP is on the right track in terms of the kind of issues and "megatrends" Whitman addressed during her keynote.

HP is addressing big data with Autonomy and Vertica, and it's addressing data center infrastructures with its HP Project Moonshot servers, among other things, Baldwin said.

"I don't think there's any other company with the kind of capabilities HP is bringing to the market," he said.

HP and its customers are on the verge of the next inflection point in IT, a massive change that happens every 10 to 15 years, Whitman said.

"That shift is being driven by the cloud, mobility, big data and security. ... In my view, this shift demands a new kind of IT," she said.

NEXT: New IT, New Challenges

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