HP Inc would not be innovating at the same rate if it had remained part of the wider HP business, according to UK managing director George Brasher.
Brasher crossed the Atlantic in 2014 to head up HP's printing and PC division in the UK, before becoming UK managing director in 2015 when the vendor split into HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).
Brasher (pictured) told CRN that the year and a half since the split has been "the most exciting time from a product and services launch [perspective] in any of the 26 years that I've been at HP".
"The reason is because when we were one combined organisation we had a very broad portfolio," he explained.
"And when you have that, you have to make sure you put together programmes that work across the entire scope, and so when we're more focused we can be more specific, be more nimble, and make sure everything works within that space.
"It's allowed us to be more focused on where those pockets of growth are and allowed us to be clear in which market segments we want to serve. I don't think we would have seen the same level of innovation and the same level of product launches if we hadn't done this."
HP as a global business sees around 87 per cent of its business go through the channel, with the UK business at 89 per cent.
Brasher explained that the split has allowed HP to better tailor its channel programmes and product launches, with the printing and personal systems side of the business having a greater emphasis on the SMB and consumer markets than the enterprise-focused HPE.
He explained that despite now being two companies, there is still a united feeling between the camps.
"We share a lot of buildings with them - here [in London] they're across the street - so we see them. We have a lot of the same partners and I would say that the DNA is still there," he said.
"If we look at the two names - HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise - clearly we're both trying to focus and do the right thing by our customers. In some cases that will be the same - we both call on large enterprise customers, we both call on governments and schools - but for us we also have a consumer customer that we also spend time with.
"We really focus on the consumer - who's buying one inkjet cartridge in Tesco - to our largest customers. We still see each other a lot and partner on things, but we have to make sure that we have a proposition that works for our channel partners and our customers."
Brasher highlighted the education space as an example of where HP has been better placed to expand its operations as an independent company, explaining that the firm has substantially increased its partner base in the space.
"Education is one example and we're going to come up on the summertime frameworks which will obviously be important for education, but we've had a prominent position at the BETT show for the last two years and we've also created unique solutions for education and worked with more new education partners than we probably have in the last few years," he said.
"We've got channel partners that have worked with us for 20 years and we want to continue to grow with them, but we've also over the last year focused on finding new channel partners that have new service capabilities and new offerings, and working with them. I think that level of focus and the fact that we're a separated company have allowed us to do that."
Message to partners
When highlighting key areas for partners to focus on this year, Brasher picked out HP's recently launched A3 range as an opportunity to drive growth.
HP has set its sights on disrupting the traditional copier market - a market where it did not previously have a strong presence.
Brasher also highlighted the success HP has been having with detachables in the PC space as a continuing opportunity.
"The biggest message [to partners] is 'we're in it to drive business with you'," he said. "'We are your best partner in terms of a manufacturer that is going to be behind the channel'.
"I think the proof is in how we've gone to market and I think they can have some confidence in that.
"We view A3 as a critical global market. It's half the global TAM (total addressable market), we've been very clear we're the recognised leader in A4 printing but in A3 we're not. Through the products we're launching we'll have a portfolio that's unparalleled.
"I think in the computing space you continue to see the multiform factor and multi-OS part of the market continuing to heat up and I would say those would be two good bets."
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