A Hybrid Work Game Changer
HP is hoping to forever change the post-pandemic hybrid work landscape with its $3.3 billion acquisition of Poly, a $1.7 billion global provider of videoconferencing and audio peripheral solutions.
The $3.3 billion price tag includes Poly debt. HP Is paying $40 per share for Poly, a 50 percent premium on the close of the shares last Friday.
“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done,” said HP CEO Enrique Lores (pictured) in a prepared statement. “Combining HP and Poly creates a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions across large and growing markets.”
In an interview with CNBC, Lores said HP will leverage the 1,100-strong HP audio and video patent portfolio to build a “more complete” portfolio for hybrid work. He said HP also intends to leverage those patents to improve the audio/video quality of HP systems.
HP, in fact, plans to partner closely with Zoom and Microsoft Teams to improve the videoconferencing cloud experience. “This is really about the experiences we are going to be to deliver to our customers combining the quality of the solutions from Poly with our compute systems, with our manageability,” he said. “We can really create very unique experiences that will help us grow in this space.”
The pandemic has redefined the workplace with an HP survey from last May reporting that 68 percent of employees expect to work from home at least three days a week.
That new hybrid work model provides a big opportunity to drive improved user experiences with improved videoconferencing rooms in offices, said Lores.
In fact, Lores said there are 90 million conference rooms with only 10 percent of them with videoconferencing equipment. “This market is going to triple in the next three years as people will have to enable that to allow people to again work from home and work from the office at the same time,” he said.
Gainesville, Va.-based solution provider NCS Technology, which partners with both HP and Poly, expects the deal to open up new opportunities for channel partners, said Mike Turicchi, vice president at NCS.
“I think it’s a great acquisition,” he said. “It’s smart on their part to address a broader portion of solutions and it’s consistent with our own strategy,” he said. “The (HP acquisition in February of Gaming Peripherals provider) HyperX (a unit of Kingston Technology Company) didn’t really address the business needs of video, so this was a good move. And this brings it closer to one-stop shopping for us as a partner to both companies.”