HP Australia joins modern workplace race, fuelled by partners and M&A

HP Australia joins modern workplace race, fuelled by partners and M&A

Meeting rooms, services and security all come together under HP’s refreshed Amplify Partner Program.

Chelsea Rossney (HP)

Chelsea Rossney (HP)

Credit: HP

HP Australia is looking for partners to bring “the modern workplace to life” as it pools its resources into a newly integrated Amplify Partner Program.

The global personal computer vendor is looking to make strides in the global race to power hybrid workplaces, leveraging the integration of its acquired companies of Poly, Teradici and HyperX. 

According to HP Australian commercial channel director Chelsea Rossney, the Australian channel now has a significant opportunity to bring value from devices, video conferencing, services and security. 

“This [conference] has been perfect for just refocusing everyone on HP’s strategy,” she told ARN. “There is the core business [PCs], but it’s about bringing the modern workplace to life. Bringing that end-to-end story has been the best value out of [HP Amplify Partner Conference]. It’s looking at adding value to workplace services and solutions.” 

For Rossney, who has led HP Australia’s channel since the end of 2019, the post-COVID shift to remote work and now to a more hybrid model fits neatly into its current strategy. 

“I think the fact is that everyone needs to accept hybrid work,” she said. “Nobody will be back at the office 100 per cent as it was pre-COVID. This gives us a huge opportunity because we have designed products and services to not sit in one spot. In Australia, different states have returned to the office at different rates. But if we agree that two-to-three days is the norm, then how do you make someone effective and productive outside?” 

Regarding HP’s core business, PCs and printers, Rossney reiterated comments made by HP CEO Enrique Lores about a growing shift towards subscription and device-as-a-service offerings. 

“There’s a lot of layers of finance, hardware and software to create a device-as-a-service,” she explained. “Partners are discussing how they can custom-build that for themselves and realise those components from HP. It's looking at whether they would like to see more bundled subscription offerings, particularly for the small-to-medium-sized business market. That is going to evolve as people either dial up or dial down their needs.” 

“Whatever the finance offering the customer needs, we have all the components to make that work,” she added. 

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One area of particular importance for HP’s strategy is its US$3.3 billion acquisition of Poly, which will see it roll out a new suite of audio and video technology, including hardware, video conferencing and meeting rooms. 

“The Poly acquisition is very exciting and how partners can see the innovation come to life through the integration,” Rossney said. “The audio and video software in our devices will now become part of the Poly suite.” 

Speaking about what kind of margins partners can gain from selling audio and video conferencing solutions, Rossney added: “It’s not so much about the transactional margin as being able to provide one end-to-end outcome – a solution that is all wrapped up, rather than simply putting price points on. It doesn’t work as a simple transaction: to make margins, it has to be a bundle or a solution. There might complement their own suite of services as well as the product.” 

According to Rossney, Microsoft is predicting 100 per cent year-on-year growth for meeting rooms in Australia, which will tie in nicely with HP’s partnership Teams. 

In addition, the Teradici acquisition also “brought home that high-performance remote compute”, she said. “As people figure out remote and hybrid work, there will be some key areas of growth.” 

Alongside these, partners can bolster their endpoint security credentials with the newly announced HP Wolf Connect, an IT management solution that provides resilient and secure connections to remote PCs. 

The solution enables IT teams to manage PCs remotely even if they are powered down or offline using a cellular-based network. 

Looking at bringing this refreshed suite of solutions to the Australian market, Rossney explained that now is the time for partners to have the nitty-gritty conversations with their customers. 

“We’ve gone over the high-level [conversations],” she said. “Now it’s time to peel back and look at what suits each partner’s target segments and execution in-country. Are they going to look at meeting rooms, and the services portfolio or is there a security opportunity? A lot of the work is already at play, but we can now reshape the innovation that has been underway at a deeper level.” 

Most importantly, the diversification should in theory help HP as the PC market corrects after the COVID-19 pandemic, as alluded to during Lores’ keynote. 

“Regardless of the slowdown, there’s still an opportunity for growth from HP,” Rossney added.  

Eleanor Dickinson travelled as a guest of HP to the Amplify Partner Conference in Chicago.

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