HP To Unify Services Into Workforce Central, New Way For Partners To Upsell

In a bid to drive more services revenue, HP plans to consolidate more than 64 services for commercial PCs, printers and other devices into a new toolbox called Workforce Central, which will create new upsell opportunities for partners, HP executive Dave Shull tells CRN.


HP Inc. plans to consolidate more than 64 services for PCs, printers and other devices into a new toolbox it’s calling Workforce Central as part of its push to drive more services revenue.

The Palo Alto, California-based PC and print giant revealed the plan Wednesday at its 2023 Amplify Partner Conference, saying it will turn channel partners into “virtual CIOs” for their customers and create new opportunities for them to grow with HP.

[Related: HP Ushers ‘Next Era of Hybrid Work’ With New Laptops And Solutions]

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Set to debut this summer, Workforce Central will create a single cloud-based dashboard from which partners and customers can manage HP’s services around PCs, printers and collaboration devices—anything that has to do with the employee experience. Workforce Central will also offer the ability for partners to integrate the services into their own systems.

This is according to Dave Shull, the former Poly CEO who is leading HP’s services push as the president of the Workforce Services and Solutions group. Formed last year, the division currently represents a $4 billion business, most of which comes from HP’s managed print services and device-as-a-service.

In an exclusive interview with CRN, Shull said Workforce Central will become core to HP’s push to drive more services revenue by centralizing the services necessary to monitor and service the fleets of HP devices used by workers across a variety of settings.

“I’m calling this a toolbox for our channel partners, and it’s one that makes their job a lot easier and makes an employee experience a lot more seamless,” he said.

As an example, Shull said Workforce Central could provide recommendations on how to update PCs in a fleet of 500 devices and ensure they are performing optimally. Workforce Central can then be used to deploy a software update to the PCs “before employees even notice.”

“Our vision is that is that it replaces all of these 64 individual services,” he said.

Workforce Central will have a freemium model as the company plans to include a free version with basic telemetry capabilities for every commercial HP device, according to Shull.

“I believe every single customer of ours should have some basic insights into their fleet,” he said.

But HP has big plans to help partners monetize Workforce Central as Shull said the toolbox will present opportunities for them to upsell customers on additional services.

“We’re going to work closely with them to make sure there’s opportunity to upsell for things that we and the customers and the partners agree makes sense,” he said.

Shull said HP is still working out the pricing for the premium version of Workforce Central, though it will consist of three tiers representing “good, better and best.”

When asked if Workforce Central will have a compensation model for partners, Shull had this to say: “I am crystal clear on one thing. Our partners want to make money, and we want to make money. We’ll make money together. Crystal clear on that.”

If there’s one thing Shull wants to make clear, it’s that he sees Workforce Central as a strategic tool for partners who want to think more holistically about how their customers’ employees work.

“My first strategic mission is to make sure that we’re taking the best know-how of HP across print, PC, collaboration and software, and saying, ‘Let’s deploy an amazing digital employee experience for our customers,’” he said.

Not all services will be available on Workforce Central at launch, Shull said, but he expects that to happen over the “next few quarters.”

One HP partner recently told CRN that they would like to see the vendor introduce a way for them to manage different kinds of devices from a single interface.

Brett Bailey, vice president and partner at Saskatchewan, Canada-based WBM Technologies, said such a move would be a big deal for his managed services business.

“To see If HP starts rolling out monitoring systems and ways for a channel partner to look at that whole experience, not just the computers with this software and Poly devices with this software, but [with] one pane of glass, and in particular how these systems interact and affect each other across the experience, that could be a point of alignment and connectedness,” he said.