OneHP and Progress towards Profitability and Growth | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

At HP EMEA analyst summit in London last week, the company highlighted progress towards strategic plans and targets. Key messages included:

  • Progress with implementing OneHP
  • Stronger sales
  • Better leveraging of HP technology and software IP with continued focus on the “New Style of IT”
  • Growing the advisory part of advise, transform, and manage

Under the moniker of OneHP, the different divisions within the group have been working more collaboratively to share skills and assets better. This strategy was further emphasized during the analyst summit with representatives from various divisions co-presenting sessions.

Stronger sales is a key initiative across the business. This has been achieved to some degree in EMEA already but there is still more to do; Q2 FY 2014 results showed that EMEA, which accounted for 38% of the company’s revenue had experienced growth of 4% compared with a decline of 6% in Americas and a growth of 1% in APAC year-on-year. However, growth was driven by hardware while services revenue shrunk. HP Enterprise Services (HPES) in particular, saw the biggest negative growth within HP group, of 7% year-on-year globally. HPES profit margin of 2.5% in Q2 2014 was up 100bps on previous quarter but unchanged year-on-year.

HP Enterprise Services

Focusing on HP Enterprise Services (HPES): the management presented a brighter outlook for sales than previous quarters with 400+ new clients added in 2013 and a very large deal in the pipeline. Signs of progress on strategic objectives included:

Sales restructuring: HPES has changed its sales structure with 29% of sales force deployed on proactive/new sales rather than scope extensions/renewals sales up from 4% in 2013. HPES has enhanced its sales collaboration tools to improve planning and execution. It is also improving account management. To enhance its sales HPES is hiring top talent as well as building a global practice to meet market demands.

New Style of IT: Delivering solutions for the new style of IT, comprised of capabilities for cloud, mobile, big data and security.  Examples of success in this activity include the Norfolk County Council contract which was won in 2013. Contract deliverables have included a cloud-based information hub for data sharing to enable public services work better in partnership with each other. HPES is also delivering desktop, data center and other infrastructure services to the council. The OneHP component includes the use of Autonomy and Vertica, as well as HP’s technical skills around cloud, desk top, virtualization and infrastructure capabilities.

Increasing advisory services: This is to enable HPES to engage with clients early, to help articulate requirements better and specify the solution that can draw on OneHP, to also increase higher margin services. An example of this is HPES’ contract with Seadrill which included advisory services to plan vacating a data center in six months and migrating 31 applications to the cloud, including some transformation. The advisory service appears focused on identifying potential innovation or transformation opportunities or helping clients define a solution as part of an on-going service. Carving a modernization niche for its advisory services, in this style, could help HPES potentially avoid coming into direct competition with major consultancies that would sell their services on a vendor/technology agnostic ticket and with SI partners that may be HP resellers.

Other measures underway include developing more vertical capabilities, becoming more business requirement-focused and continuing to reduce costs.

Overall, the focus of the event was heavily on IT with BPO limited to a short part of the HPES deep dive session. HPES maintains that BPO is an important part of its business and it is currently bidding for a new major contract in the UK government sector. My take is that BPO has become something of a quandary for HPES. Although it values the business and wants to grow it, other activities appear to get the higher share of resources. Yet, we live in the era of increasing digital channels and automated processes. HPES’ IP and access to vast technology resources should position it to do well in this market. Some of its IP such as Vertica, Autonomy, and multiple content/document management software can be used to deliver analytic-based or more automated digital BPO services. HPES also has a whole load of vertical capabilities, such as banking, government tax and revenue, and healthcare, that it can take advantage of to leverage platform-based BPO sales. HPES is taking a good hard look at these assets. A comprehensive strategy for growth of the BPO line could bring all the different components together to target emerging demand for a new style of BPO such as analytic-based services (e.g. revenue assurance, fraud and error, and risk management).

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