HP South Africa

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Hewlett Packard South Africa

Hewlett Pac soutH afric

Global technology giant making bo to stay ahead of the market

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old strides


he HP brand has become synonymous with the latest technology, represented all over the world including Africa. Yet Hewlett-Packard wasn’t always a global powerhouse. To understand more about the company’s significance in the world The company was formed through the friendship of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who started out making products in their garage in California in 1939. From these humble beginnings, HP has grown into a company known the world over as producers of information technology systems. In fact, the company’s history is regarded so integral to the world of technology that the same garage in Palo Alto where the idea of HP was born was in 1987 officially declared the ‘Birthplace of Silicon Valley.’ Almost 80 years later, HP is an organisation that still operates by its founding principles. “Success hinges on consistency of leadership, focus, execution, and most importantly, great products and services,” says HP President & CEO Meg Whitman.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE HP is undergoing a major reorganisation, where it will split into two companies. Hewlett Packard Enterprise will sell hardware, focusing on business services, data centres, mobile services and both private and public cloud computing. HP Inc. will sell printers and personal computers. This structural change is part of a four year turnaround journey that began when current CEO Whitman took up her role. Separating the personal computer and printer business from its corporate hardware and services operations allows each specific company to “concentrate its financial resources solely on its own operations.�

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“We are in a multi-year journey to turn HP around, and we have put in place a plan to restore HP to growth. We know where we need to go, and we’re making progress,” states Whitman. HP has had to adapt to a rapidly changing tech market, where in the past decade advancing technology has meant a decline in PC and printer sales, two of the organisation’s core products. With laptops replacing desktop PCs, and cloud based storage reducing the need for hardware, HP had to reassess their business model to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern consumer. Splitting HP into two companies will allow the Hewlett Packard Enterprise business to focus on growth where it is most likely, including data centres and IT infrastructure. “We continue to drive product innovation in our core markets, with a focus on cloud, security, and big data,” says Whitman.


As one of the world’s top providers of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, ZTE is committed to technology innovation to keep the company at the forefront of the global ICT industry, delivering superior products, solutions and services to clients in more than 160 countries, generating value for shareholders and business partners.

DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION To create a higher-performance operational structure optimized for the evolving industry landscape, ZTE reorganized into three primary business groups and divisions: Operator Solutions, Mobile Devices and Enterprise Business. The new corporate structure will sharpen the company’s strategic focus and channel increased investment to grow the three primary operations.

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“We see big opportunities ahead, and we are well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities with our remarkable set of assets and strengths. We have the people, the plan, and the foundation in place to help us succeed on the next phase of the journey.” HP SOUTH AFRICA HP’s operations in South Africa are headquartered in Sandton and caters for everything from home office products to small to medium business and corporation and enterprise clients. The division is headed by Pieter Bensch, who was appointed Managing Director of HP South Africa earlier this year. Bensch was previously with Oracle, where his various roles included vice-president of Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), vice-president of customer support for MEA and, finally, then since 2010 vice-president and MD of Oracle SA.

HP BUSINESS INSITITUTE South Africa has suffered from a specialised skill shortage for some years - a problem which HP is dedicated to helping solve for the next generation of IT professionals. Offering development courses and learning programmes to staff is now the norm for HP SA’s employees. “HP is meeting the need for local IT skills development through multifaceted training and development programmes,” says Bensch. “For example, each employee has a personal development plan in place; the company makes virtual and live technical and business training available; and the HP Business Institute extends the benefits of this high-end training to local SMEs and aspiring IT professionals.” The HP Business Institute, which opened in 2007, has already launched over 1000 learner ships and engaged over 90 SMEs participating in over 826 short courses.

Bensch believes that these kinds of initiatives not only boost saff morale and IT service standards but also the improvement of the IT sector nationwide. It is HP’s ambition to grow a localised skills pool and improve their own productivity and ability to deliver, too. RESPONSIBLE SUSTAINABILITY Companies the world over have been forced to reexamine the way they do business in order to become more environmentally sustainable. HP is not one of them. That’s because HP set out an objective as far back as 1957 to integrate sustainability into its business strategy. “We consider human, economic, and environmental impacts across our entire value chain as we develop our products, services, and solutions, manage our operations, and drive interactions with our customers, partners, and communities,” says CEO Whitman. Framework entitled HP Living Progress was introduced in 2013, designed to not only tackle the world’s environmental challenges but to ‘empower our people to pursue human, economic, and environmental progress in all of our work.’ “With a rapidly growing global population and finite resources, ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option,” says HP. “Through HP Living Progress, we make the environment stronger as we grow by improving the efficiency of our supply chain, operations, and products and solutions, as well as by making community investments that help tackle sustainability challenges. “We reduce our climate impact through energy efficiency, including use of innovative HP technology and consolidation in our data centres. Smart building design, lower impact business travel, and clean energy are other focus areas. In 2014, we increased our installed capacity for on-site renewable energy by 150 percent.”

HP became the first global IT company to set GHG emissions-reduction goals for all three parts of its value chain by adding an ambitious products goal. It also received the highest possible CDP carbon disclosure score—100 points—and an A rating on carbonreduction performance. HP doesn’t stop there. Across all of its locations it is extremely dedicated to improving on all aspects of its supply chain and day-to-day operations, and not forgetting producing products with smaller emissions and focusing on less carbon-intensive devices. As the company splits into two organisations, this is not a focus that will change for either on the exciting path ahead for HP.

Oliver Moy Publisher For enquiries email okm@aubusinesscoverage.com African Business Coverage Issue 9