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HP Businesses Technology

HP Plans To Cut Product Lines; Company Turnaround In 2016 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-investors-like-to-hear dept.
dcblogs writes "Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman told financial analysts today that it will take until 2016 to turn the company around. Surprisingly, Whitman put some of the blame for the company's woes on its IT systems, which she said have hurt its internal operations. To fix its IT problems, Whitman said the company is adopting Salesforce and HR system Workday. The company also plans to cut product lines. It said it makes 2,100 different laser printers alone; it wants to reduce that by half. 'In every business we're going to benefit from focusing on a smaller number of offerings that we can invest in and really make matter,' said Whitman."
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HP Plans To Cut Product Lines; Company Turnaround In 2016

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  • zuh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:39PM (#41542585)
    0_o 2100 laser printers? WHY?
    • Re:zuh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:48PM (#41542703)

      I don't get it either. A dozen models for each market segment should provide variety enough, methinks. So
      -a dozen models for the SOHO market
      -a dozen for the bigger ones that may serve as department printers (one per corridor and shared by everyone
      -a dozen for oversize formats, so the CAD guys can print out big schematics
      -a dozen really fast models for high volume printing...
      . ...now I'm at about 50 models and running out of ideas. Maybe I'm a bit of an ignoramus, but I doubt I've just missed 95% of the market :-o

      • Re:zuh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:53PM (#41542781)

        10 middlemen retailers all with a policy "we will pricematch any competitors price for the identical model". Well, if walmart is the only retailer on the planet who sells model 13513.2362 then I guess they'll never have to pricematch, will they?

        Also add some B+W only models, some multifunction models...

        • by haruchai (17472)

          The big stores are still using that old trick? Used to be done for all the electronics back in the 80s.

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Yes. And they still haven't learned that it just pisses customers off.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Hell yes they are.

            I went shopping for a flat-panel TV a few years ago. I had my eye on the Samsung 7 series, 52-inch. They have a "fancy" power indicator light that Samsung was proud of for some idiotic reason. It "looks classy" to marketing shills, apparently. I really gave a fuck. (Your sarcasm detector should have just exploded.)

            So I shopped around online and at local retailers. MSRP on an LN52A7000 (close enough) was $3400. All the local shops wanted $3100, but Best Buy carried the LN52A7100, with the r

            • by haruchai (17472)

              I hear you - I have zero tolerance for those kinds of retailer shenanigans.

            • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

              Yes, but you sound intelligent. That is not the target market for companies like Circuit City and Best Buy. You walk around there, maybe, and walk out without doing more than using their powder room.

              The 450 people I worked amongst for several years go to those places to purchase something immediately, and bring it home.

              No matter how many close, there will always be a market for the "buy it and take it home today" crowd. Not until Amazon goes beyond their replacement for PO boxes and has it at your doorst

      • by mspohr (589790)

        I agree that many fewer models should be sufficient.
        I am still using my HP LaserJet 4L (in my SOHO) which just passed its 20th birthday.
        Refill cartridges for it are cheap now ($10) since they have been cloned.
        I don't print much anyway.

      • Re:zuh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:41PM (#41543833)

        Let us take a fictional model as an example. We'll call it the laser jet 200.

        We have:
        Laser jet 200: plain printer.
        Laser jet 200n: exactly the same as the 200 but with inbuilt networking. Only it's sold as a separate model, which means you need to find space in the warehouse for two almost identical pritnters.
        Laser jet 200dn: exactly the same as the 200n but comes with the optional duplex unit pre-fitted. Three almost identical printers in the warehouse.
        Laser jet 200dtn: as dn but with the optional extra paper tray in the box. Four almos identical printers in the warehouse. By now, inventory's a pig. What if you suddenly find nobody wants the dtn model but the dn model sells like hot cakes? You have a warehouse full of printers that nobody wants and the aggravating thing is each printer is 5 minutes work away from being turned into one everybody wants.
        Laser jet 200 MFP: printer is identical to the 200 but a scanner is bolted on top to make it a multi function unit.
        Laser jet 200 MFP(f): Now they've fitted a modem to give it fax capabilities.
        Laser jet 200 MFP(f) Special Edition: A 200 dtn with scanner unit and modem fitted at the factory.

        Repeat for a printer aimed at small workgroups, larger workgroups and big departments. Repeat again for colour printers aimed at groups of varying size.

        • by hurfy (735314)

          And like someone above said, multiply that by the number of powercords or languages available. There is going to be several different versions for the needed cord/voltage at least.

          Still there must be a way to simplify it all and i am sure customer won't mind ;)

          I could never figure out what new model to buy so i bought the same as we had :)
          Still using my Laserjet 5 in the office after 762,532 pages (2 rebuilds)..... (for the guy above my 4L is now used at home)
          Also still using my Color Laserjet 4550n or do i

        • by compwizrd (166184)

          And then they have the SKU for the paper tray, which is perpetually out of stock. HP seems to be having allocation issues lately, I've had trouble finding even the M551n and the like, and sometimes I have to wait weeks for toner carts for some of our other units.

        • Whatever they inventory problems are, if I get to their site to choose a model, and there are 2000 models to choose from, I'm going to their competition. If I choose a model, but can't buy it because of geographical restrictions, and this repeats a few times, I'm going to the competition. If I see a model at a store, but I can't find that model anywhere else to compare, I won't trust it, and I'm going to the competition. If I can't find a review about the model I've choosen... Well, you got the idea.

          WTF wer

          • Re:zuh? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by jimicus (737525) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @03:36AM (#41546621)

            WTF were they thinking?

            This sort of mess doesn't happen as a result of careful planning. It happens as a result of shortsighted knee-jerk management decisions. Those management decisions probably work out OK in a strong economy, particularly if you are able to predict how many of each model you'll sell.

            The problem arises when you face a downturn. You've got an entire chain from building through to distribution devised around this idea of shipping 2,000 different printers (with, let's say 50 basic printers and 40 variants on each one). Which means your driver team is put together based on that assumption, your factories are tooled up based on that assumption, your warehouse processes are based around that assumption and your management team is built around that assumption.

            It'd make far more sense to have maybe 10 or 15 basic printers and a whole lot of optional extras - which is precisely what everyone else in the industry does. But in order to get your processes down to that level, you need to drastically cut staff, warehouse space, re-engineer your factories (or pay your contract manufacturers to do so) - and in so doing, an awful lot of middle managers who have been merrily building up their own little empire will push back. They won't do so obviously - well, some might but they can be dealt with very easily - they'll do so insidiously. Terrified for their own job, they'll do everything in their power to avoid making any change that might ultimately mean their team (and hence their empire) is no longer needed.

            You really need someone at the top who has the strength to push through this sort of mess and sort it all out - you can't trust the entire business to work with you to achieve it because in so many people's case, it goes against their best interests. Even then it's famously difficult to get right - there is a damn good reason why people who've succeeded in turning around massive companies are greatly respected, and it's nothing to do with their enormous salary.

      • Add another variable for them localizing their printers around the world, due to varying environmental conditions. Like printers in humid, tropical countries would be very different from the ones in the US, which is why you don't see the same models in both places. It's not the same as touchpads.

        However, I think they should spin off their non-PC computer business into a pure maintenance company, that would deal w/ customers w/ their legacy products, like ones from Compaq, Tandem, DEC and HP's own PA-RIS

    • Re:zuh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:48PM (#41542705) Journal

      Their firmware and driver teams need adequate room in which to explore the wide variety of vexing bugs that you can get away with shipping...

      • by slaker (53818)

        Please mod up for truth, justice and the HP way.

      • Their firmware and driver teams need adequate room in which to explore the wide variety of vexing bugs that you can get away with shipping...

        Or drivers they're not shipping; I am the unhappy owner an orphaned HP color laser printer (CLJ 1500). While Brother figured out how to support 64 bit Vista & Win 7, HP decided to "focus on things that matter." It is going to be a while before I look at buying HP hardware again. (Yeah, yeah, I'm sure HP is all bummed out about that.) But who knows, maybe they'll impress me with their visionary innovation some day.

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          As I can summarize an "Ask Slashdot" I submitted a few years ago, "caveat emptor". End I can translate that as "you should have looked up the specific specifications(sic) before considering purchasing whatever it is you purchased, retroactively. And given that he specifications were not available, nor clear in any way, it is entirely your fault."

          On behalf of HP, I can honestly say, go fuck yourself with an "adult" prosthesis and/or artificial appendage of your choice which would cause you very little pain

    • Re:zuh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by P-niiice (1703362) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:48PM (#41542707)
      A lot of times, sellers willl request a custom model of a product - like a super-cheap model to draw people into a sale for example. These models usually vary slightly from an existing model (maybe it prints slightly slower or has a different paper tray). apparently HP has let these get out of hand.
    • So that when a part on one breaks, you absolutely cannot find that part used or for sale somewhere else. Also so that when you're trying to print from a new printer, you absolutely must connect to the internet first to search for the relevant driver, which will not be found anyway.

      It's part of the strategy that is obviously working out so well for HP and many other printer makers:

      Step one: Make printers pointlessly difficult to use in all ways, frustrating users
      Step two: The promised "paperless off
    • by L3370 (1421413)
      To create artificial scarcity on toner modules, and in turn keeping prices on consumables high.
    • As another poster has pointed out, those probably include localized models. Different display languages and power cords can make for a lot of different "models." Really, she should have called them "SKUs", not "models" to differentiate between actual different designs and minor changes to what gets tossed in the box.

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      MY EMPIRE MY DUCATS!
      MY DUCATS MY PEOPLE!

      The more stuff you make, the more people either in house or outhouse (sic) you most likely control. The more people you control, the greater your internal empire. The greater your internal empire the greater your pay and the greater your chance of weathering the sandblasting reformer of DOOM.

      It has a sort of Dilbert defined logic which is logical if you're a mental patient who worships balloons.

      Were this New Person[tm] to want drastic change they'd "Pick an entrenche

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...than the entire state of California.

    • Yeah, it will be much better with Jerry Brown presiding over it instead...
      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        Believe me, after Arnold ran the state even further into the ground, we need someone with experience at the reins. Wanna-be politicians like Whitman and Arnold just don't cut it when there's extremely difficult times ahead.

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          I saw Red Sonja, and expected as much. One should watch Conan, Terminator, and Red Sonja before voting for a candidate. He may have a heart of gold, but he was a fierce warrior who seemed to have a somewhat tenuous hold on the concept of governance.

          Ronald Regan, on the other hand, was a handsome and well-dressed non-barbarian. So clearly he was a better choice as governor. Clearly.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        I'm sure it will since he's had plenty of practice in presiding over the downfall of California. I'm not even in the USA and I've heard of his fuckups last time.
    • for her at least. HP has better prospects than California.

    • by vlm (69642)

      "California CEO Meg Whitman told financial analysts today that it will take until 2016 to turn the state around. Surprisingly, Whitman put some of the blame for the state's woes on its IT systems, which she said have hurt its internal operations. To fix its IT problems, Whitman said the state offices are adopting Salesforce and HR system Workday. The state also plans to cut benefits and entitlements. It said it has 2,100 different forms alone; it wants to reduce that by half. 'In every state we're going to benefit from focusing on a smaller number of entitlements that we can invest in and really make matter,' said Whitman."

      I donno if its going to be all that different.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:41PM (#41542605) Homepage

    They need a short term one, specifically one that doesn't involve switching CEOs every year.

    If you don't have stability at the top, you have zero ability to execute a long term goal.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      They need to stop depending on short term visions, and expectations of them.

      Although it sounds like eliminating 90% of their printer models would be an excellent place to start, and it shouldn't take four years to do that.

    • In the spirit of charity, I'd be happy to offer them the services of a magic 8-ball with an MBA from an online degree mill.

      It won't offer appreciably worse leadership, and it is happy to work for only 50k/year.

      Just give me a call, HP, you know this one is a win-win!

    • by SpzToid (869795)

      Meg just announced the turn-around will take until "2016", so Meg plans to stick around for a few years, and if nothing else, this will be good for Meg and her purse.

      She said so, and you will just have to take her at her word (or SELL). I think the next few years will be good for Meg. But can she fix HP? Given so much (announced) job security, I'm fairly certain I could fix HP in that timeframe too. Or at least I'd get paid trying.

      At least if she ruins HP, I can choose not to buy HP. Had she 'won' Californi

      • by cplusplus (782679)

        Meg just announced the turn-around will take until "2016", so Meg plans to stick around for a few years, and if nothing else, this will be good for Meg and her purse.

        She's a billionaire, and is the 913th richest person on the planet [forbes.com]. I don't think she's in it for money. It's probably more of a hobby. Maybe that's a good thing?

        • by bloodhawk (813939)
          It can both be a good thing and a very bad thing. A companies long term goal is success and profitability, quite often that requires someone motivated to make the hard decisions and those decisions can make a lot of enemies and create a lot of hate which someone that doesn't have their own future riding on it can often be more likely to avoid or simply walk away when the going gets tough. I hope she is someone that simply likes a challenge regardless of pain or HP could be in for many more years of stumblin
        • by raehl (609729)

          She's a billionaire, and is the 913th richest person on the planet [forbes.com]. I don't think she's in it for money. It's probably more of a hobby. Maybe that's a good thing?

          That's still 912 places short of #1. She's just trying to level-up like the rest of us.

  • God, I'm glad I got India'd out of a job in '04.
  • HP printer firmware seems to get flakier every year. 2100 model variants? Do you really need more than 20?
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:47PM (#41542685) Journal

    Wasn't their bold plan for not sucking supposed to be offering 'enterprise' IT consulting? And now they admit that their own organization couldn't change its own asses toner cartridge with both hands and a map?

    • by Sez Zero (586611) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:49PM (#41542709) Journal
      My thoughts exactly. The headline should have read "IT Company Has Bad IT; But Don't Worry, CEO Says It Will All Be Fine In A Few Years"
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      No, that was like two hours ago. Their new CEO scrapped that plan and has a completely different one.

    • Whitman's claim is so much bullshit. Its her standard claim for any situation and she's throwing around Salesforce and Workday as if they will actually solve issues. What she really means is that she's outsourcing a bunch of internal support people in addition to the external support.

      Workday is mostly a SaaS product, as is Salesforce.

      So, expect more HP layoffs, and not much more.

      • Yep. Salesforce and workday won't save your organization from misery. Unless you know that your tools are actually hindering your operation, switching tools is not going to save you. And that's coming from someone who works at Salesforce....

        Personally, I see this as bad news from the top. Whitman is advertising some minor operational details as if they will save the company. And, as someone else said, a terrible indictment of HP's IT consulting business. I fully expect Whitman selling off the printer busi

        • In my cynical moments, and in a comment lower down, I suggested that the move to Salesforce and Workday was prompted because of the donations given to Whitman by the CEOs of both organizations. Of course, that could be stretching it, but it just seems like such an odd announcement for her to make. I could easily see Salesforce being the ones excited to advertise that size of company switching their CRM, but HP?

          I just hope that these miracle savings will go in to restructuring in a good way, and not in to mo

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Why does anybody think that Meg Whitman has any skill whatsoever?

        Despite having one of the best funded campaigns in history, she managed to lose California race for governor. Despite inheriting the reigns of eBay after a fantastically lucky growth streak, she managed to lose Billions of dollars on a badly botched "purchase" of Skype while managing to distract said company from its core competence: selling stuff. (she managed to buy Skype without buying any source code rights.... WTF?)

        I have zero confidence

      • Take it from someone that has been implementing ERP systems for years. Salesforce and Workday are fine products but they are not a magic pill. No software is going to save companies from making stupid decisions. I've said this before but HP is the worst run company in Silicon Valley. HP's problem is not a lack of ERP software it's a lack of leadership. Sure, you can get some savings by way of operational efficiencies but then what? Printers are about the only thing that makes money for HP and Whitman comes

  • Computers are Dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:50PM (#41542729) Homepage Journal

    Pretty much everybody who needs a PC already has one, and will go as long as 10 years between replacements. Servers are still big business, but nowadays data centers want to buy cheap white boxes [wikipedia.org], since any reliability issues are handled by cloud software. So name brand computers are dead.

    When I worked for Sun's hardware division, I believed that the company could turn itself around by firing all the sales idiots who thought x86 systems were a passing fad. (Which earned my emity because I worked on some fancy x86 systems that were easily the best on the market.) Now that I've been out working on cloud systems for 3 years, it's become obvious that the brand of computer an app is running on matters as little as the specific processor. Commodification of everything is the new normal.

    • In plenty of countries white boxes dominate the home and SOHO market share but over 90%.
      I've yet to see a single person who uses branded desktop computers, and I've worked as home tech-support, cibercafes, and plenty of other places.

      • by PTBarnum (233319)

        I work for a company that builds all of its servers from scratch, but I have a name brand PC under my desk. I don't know the reason, but I speculate it has to do with scale. Setting up to manufacture desktop computers in house isn't worth it because there aren't enough of them to matter.

        • In fact, around here most people buy white box desktops. But when a company wants to buy some computers, the lowest bidders are always branded.

          Scale makes all the difference.

      • by NemosomeN (670035)
        Everywhere I have worked has name brand computers. It's just generally not worth building from scratch, and most companies who don't do tech as their core business want to treat computer issues as NMFP. Even my home PC is an HP, though I will admit I regretted the purchase. "Name brand" computers are cheap. Nearly top of the line can be had, on sale, for just a few hundred dollars.
    • Nonsense, the variant of processor can matter, but software must be written to take advantage of it, and what more, to provide a true advantage. Compiling something with the Intel compiler, where x87 code is used for AMD processors, isn't a true advantage of Intel processors -> those AMD processors support those SSE instructions, and a quick recompile / change of the flags destroys your temporary advantage.

      What makes many other types of processor quick ass over the x86 variants? Typically fun things like

      • by fm6 (162816)

        Like the Sun sales guys, you're focusing on all the technical issues and ignoring economics. Commmodity systems are cheap. Economies of scale make them cheap to buy, and the fact that they run standard software on standard OS's makes them cheap to own. In a cloud environment, you just dion't care that they're less powerful — you just buy more of them.

        Once got into an argument with a Sun sales guy over an x86 system I was using for an internal wiki. He called me lazy because I ran Linux on it instead o

      • by slew (2918) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:19PM (#41543625)

        Nonsense, the variant of processor can matter, but software must be written to take advantage of it...

        The amount of software that is written to take specific advantage of a processor architecture is going down in this era of the cloud. Unless the thing you are doing is so trivial that it doesn't matter, or vast that you can fill your own datacenter with it 24-7, odds are today your software will (eventually) want to run on a cloud platform (e.g, like Amazon AWS/EC2). In a cloud environment, you don't own the computer, you rent a virtual computer. The cheapest rentals will likely be the most commoditized platforms. Specialized software which need specific variants of processors is not only is less cost effective to develop, but also to execute.

        FWIW, As for the other arguments, x86 is mostly dead in the cloud world. Everyone is x86-64-AVX That means in addition to the 16 standard integer registers there are 16 256-bit SIMD registers in the IAS which are quite competitive with Sparc (0+7g+8i+8o register window). Besides, today processors have many more physical registers and do top-of-stack caching so ISA registers don'tt mean as much as it used to mean (e.g, the sandy bridge i7 architecture has 160 integer registers available for renaming).

        Also, all those arguments about magic instructions are mostly not relavent anymore. Everyone pretty much has the similar stuff. For example, the latest rabbit out of the Sparc bag have been a dedicated security co-processor (given that many of their servers are web-host front-ends, maybe a co-processor that does AES/DES/RSA is a reasonable thing), although not clear that it's net any better than say an i7 with x86-AES-NI [wikipedia.org] acceleration instructions + a highly optmized AVX RSA implementation unless all that's all your server is doing is RSA (usually there's some other code running).

    • by fm6 (162816)

      I neglected to read TFA. If I had done so, I would have noticed something that made my point for me: Whitman is tossing internal applications and replacing them with cloud applications. Which certainloy run on white box systems. So why should I buy an HP brand server if HP itself doesn't use them?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tom229 (1640685)
      I have no idea how this has been voted up. The statements in this post are pure fantasy. First off, on what planet to people keep their PCs for 10 years? It's more like 3... at the most; for both home and business. And on the business side you're much better off sticking with a vendor like HP both for their warranties and the ease of deploying their OEM images over the network.

      Secondly, white boxes are all fine and dandy for large data centers but you're leaving out a pretty big section of the pie there
      • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:55PM (#41543959) Homepage Journal

        Maybe I got voted up because people can see for themselves that all this is happening. Maybe the people you know buy new computers every few years and maintain their own in-office networks — but that's not the trend, not by a long shot. There's resistance to moving away from these things, but the fact remains that they cost a shitload to maintain. And what do businesses worry about these days? Cost. Then they worry some more about cost. And then if they have some spare time they worry about cost.

        When you say that the cloud is nothing new, you're assuming that "cloud" is just marketspeak for "servers". Wrong. It's about SaaS and other technologies that make access to applications a kind of commodity. Saying "this is nothing new" is like somebody in 1981 saying "PCs are nothing new, we've had computers for more than 30 years." What's new here is not the basic technology, but the economics and infrastructure that makes that technology more available.

        Which is why HP (as mentioned in the article) is trying to save money by shifting to cloud-based CRM and HR instead of continuing to run their own servers. Ironic, really.

        BTW, you mention the need to run an Exchange server? Every office I ever worked in that had its own Exchange server had major problems because the damn thing is hard to administer. If I had been there as an IT guy, I would have insisted that they go to an Exchange provider and let them worry about that shit. Cloud, cloud, cloud.

        • by tom229 (1640685)
          "Cloud" is just market speak for hosted service. Hosting services can make a lot of sense in various situations, but not in all. And, IMHO, if you can afford it, it's always better for a company to take ownership. Should a company spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing its own robust CRM? Probably not, but that doesn't mean computers are dead, or there's significantly less need for branded server hardware. There's many needs for software outside of applications like customer management. Active di
          • by fm6 (162816)

            Dude, if you're going to argue with someone, argue with them. Don't just contradict.


          • "Cloud" is just market speak for hosted service.

            Well, no it's not. It also means using white-box commodity servers to serve a large software application. The savings from using commodity servers is put back into the software development to make it more robust to handle the less reliable commodity servers.

            If you're large enough, you develop the software yourself; if you're even larger, you design the commodity hardware yourself, which allows you to drive out cost while increasing performance in the th
        • I would have insisted that they go to an Exchange provider and let them worry about that shit

          Then you still have the worry but there's fuck all you can do about it apart from wait. An organisation near me with 20k users hosted by MS were just small fry that had to wait more than a week to get their email. The problem was a DNS typo at the MS Exchange server farm fixed in seconds, but it took a bit over a week for the ticket to make it through the queue. Over that time the IT people in the organisation di

          • by fm6 (162816)

            What's you're point? That you can avoid incopetence by never outsourcing anything? The way you avoid incompetence is by not dealing with incompotent people.

        • Maybe I got voted up because people can see for themselves that all this is happening.

          More likely you got modded up for the pointless anecdote about how you hates salesdroids, were working on (what you thought was) the "hottest" machine, and how you knew more than/stuck it "the man". Because the rest of your post is, as the grandparent says, pure fantasy.

          And what do businesses worry about these days? Cost. Then they worry some more about cost. And then if they have some spare time they worry about

      • First off, on what planet to people keep their PCs for 10 years? It's more like 3... at the most; for both home and business.

        Not sure what industry you're working in but I'd have to say the fantasy is yours in this case, Most businesses these days keep their systems as long as possible, six year old computers are common. For most use cases it makes no sense to upgrade every 3 years. Most computers are simply more powerful then the average user needs, by far. Proper maintenance, like keeping the computer free of dust, and a maintained UPS lets most computers last for many years. After mainboards when to solid caps their failure ra

      • First off, on what planet to people keep their PCs for 10 years? It's more like 3... at the most; for both home and business.

        Well, I've always been a computer geek. From 1982 until 2007, I updated for a faster computer every two years on average.

        Right now I'm typing this on that same 5-1/2 year old system, and I don't see any need to upgrade it for the foreseeable future. It's still fast enough for most anything I do, and the latest systems aren't drastically faster (especially on any particular single-threaded task I'm most likely to be waiting on).

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      Pretty much everybody who needs a PC already has one, and will go as long as 10 years between replacements.

      Not if that PC is an HP... :p

  • Saleforce? Hah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realmolo (574068) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:55PM (#41542807)

    When a company starts thinking that Salesforce (or any CRM, or any single piece of software) is going to save them, that means they are DOOMED.

    The fact that HP doesn't know this says a lot about how clueless they really are about IT, software, *and* business needs in general.

  • by NikeHerc (694644) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:00PM (#41542865)
    640 printers is enough for anybody.
  • by twasserman (878174) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:25PM (#41543139)
    For the past 10 years or so, going back to Her Worship (Fiorina), HP has been cutting staff. Total layoffs through Hurd, Apotheker, and Meg are now up to 100K. HP has decimated its R&D capabilities, to the extent that they are essentially incapable of creating innovative products, which partly explains their 2100 printers. Too many of the people who are left are lifers who know how to keep their jobs. Anyone who is capable of finding a job elsewhere has done so.

    If you are looking for a job, HP is a company without an interesting mobile strategy and a cloud strategy focused predominantly on IT services - not very attractive for entrepreneurial types, who have many other excellent opportunities.

    Finally, the 100K HP departees are not likely to purchase HP products or to recommend them in their new settings. That's a very large pool of people who are going to advocate for competing products.

    So the turnaround projected for 2016 is unlikely to happen, but it's a pretty fair bet than Meg Whitman won't be around HP when that day arrives.

    • by TBB303 (1358473) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @06:43PM (#41544393)
      An ex HP contractor here. I had a good 3.5 years at HP, and even though I got a lot of crap here on Slashdot last time I commented on HP related news regarding how ugly the way they terminated my contract in the end was, I haven't been suggesting everybody I know to avoid HP products like plague; x86 ProLiants are still pretty good hardware, I've always preferred HP displays both at work and at home, and as long as you avoid their consumer models, you'll get yourself a pretty good laptop from them. Those products I can definitely recommend still. However, the company was working against itself already during the time I spent there. Managers were mainly concerned in staying out of the way as long as their performance indicators seemed fine, and while us higher level Unix support folks were seemingly given free hands in solving the customers' problems, that freedom was an illusion, as I learned a couple of years after leaving and hearing all the stuff said about my working methods (example: using SSH tunneling via an SSH proxy dedicated for this purpose by the company) by people incompetent to make such judgements. And that's where I see HP's biggest problem - during the years of growth, so much incompetence has found its way in in that the company has been forced to lay off A LOT of people. Unfortunately for HP, the same incompetence has prevented the company from telling the difference between competent and incompetent workforce. Layoffs are a simple numbers game for them. I feel pride for the way I improved the support process during my stay and how I was part of a highly skilled team, each member with his own strengths that made the team greater than the sum of its parts; I still remember my teammates with warmth. But HP had already grown too big to be efficient by the time I worked there, and this resulted in an organisation that doesn't know where it should and wants to go; and excluding Whitman (of whom I have no experience), the recent CEO's and high level politics definitely haven't made me optimistic about the future of HP.
  • Doomed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squidflakes (905524) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:27PM (#41543175) Homepage

    Its been said, but I'll reiterate.

    Salesforce is not an IT tool, it is a Customer Management tool. The whole point of using Salesforce is to make your sales and customer service people more efficient so you can do more with what you have or do the same with fewer people.

    Workday is the same thing, only it replaces any internal HR databases with its own SaaS solution in order to allow your HR people to manage more people, or in order to manage the same number of people with fewer HR people.

    At the end of the day, both of these projects are about outsourcing internal functions, possibly to save money, possibly because Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff the CEOs of Workday and Salesforce respectively were big contributors to Meg's failed gubernatorial campaign.

    I'm cynical, especially when it comes to the continued flushing of HP down the toilet.

  • by LaRoach (968977) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:33PM (#41543233)
    ...all I can say is sell your HP stock! They're doomed.
    • by js33 (1077193)

      ...all I can say is sell your HP stock! They're doomed.

      ... for what it's worth anymore. I paid $29.59 a share and today it closed at $14.91 :-(

      They were once a company I admired for their quality printers and calculators, but ever since that ill-fated acquisition of Compaq, it's just been downhill. What a misdirected, aimless company. Make something half-way decent and reliable like you used to, not 2100 different models of laser printers, and all those crappy laptops and desktop computers that never wer

  • As long as she doesn't go anywhere near public office ever in her entire life, or any company that I or a friend are working for, or any institution that will have a significant impact on my life, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
  • HP should outsource all their IT to HP India. It worked so well for the rest of us.

    It'd be interesting to see how long it'd take them to go out of business.

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