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HP Looks To Continue Its Growth Pace As 'Excitement And Energy' Build

Partners say HP has shown impressive innovation and has a strong strategy for continuing the momentum in PC and print.

Over the past several years, HP Inc. has taken the sluggish PC and print markets and "dragged these categories back into growth," HP CEO Dion Weisler said in an interview with CRN.

Now, the challenge is to keep up the growth through continued innovation and execution in existing areas, along with the pursuit of emerging opportunities such as the A3 printer market, Device-as-a-Service and 3-D printing, HP executives said during last week's Executive Forum 2018 in Las Vegas.

[Related: 10 Key Takeaways From HP Executive Forum 2018]

Even more important than touting the growth so far is figuring out "how we're going to do it again -- how we're going to win together in the future," said Stephanie Dismore, vice president and general manager for Americas channels at HP, while addressing 400 partners at Executive Forum.

HP has the strategy in place to continue driving growth and if the company is successful at working with partners to showcase HP's innovative solutions, then "we are second to none. We are unbeatable," Dismore said.

Partners told CRN that HP has been showing especially strong innovation in its personal systems business.

Showcases during Executive Forum included new ZBook mobile workstations and EliteBook notebooks that have launched in recent months with refreshed designs and business-friendly features. "I think the latest release of products looks great," said Skip Tappen, CEO of NWN, a Waltham, Mass.-based HP partner.

HP has made its security differentiators a major focus in selling both PCs and printers -- with technologies such as the Sure Start self-healing BIOS and Sure View privacy screen -- and the message is resonating with customers, he said. HP leaders "have been talking about it for a while, but it feels like it is starting to get traction," Tappen said.

Other important moves by HP have included the introduction of vertical solutions, such as PCs for the health-care industry, and the development of a consistent platform between A3 and A4 print devices, he said. "I think for enterprise customers, they will start to see the value of a consistent platform," Tappen said.

Overall, a major highlight of working with HP right now is "the excitement and energy of the HP team," Tappen said.

Andy Jones, CEO of MCPc, a Cleveland-based HP partner, agreed. "HP is exciting again," he said.

"They've gone back to their engineering roots, and they've got a great new product strategy," Jones said. "And they seem to actually be having fun. You can't fake fun."

HP now has four consecutive quarters of growth in both its PC and printer businesses under its belt, with five straight quarters of double-digit growth in its PC business.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company currently generates 87 percent of its revenue through the channel, and Weisler said he expects that percentage to rise as customers increasingly look to solution providers that can stitch together offerings from multiple vendors.

The focus right now at HP is "about us creating the future together with our partners," Weisler told CRN. "That's when we're at our best. When we do it together with our partners, there's no stopping us."

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