For this year’s HP Reinvent global partner conference, having to rely on a virtual format didn’t translate to a shortage of news and insights for solution providers.
Far from it: HP Inc. used the online-only Reinvent 2020 to feature partner-focused messages from top executives including CEO Enrique Lores, while the PC and printer giant also unveiled an array of new offerings across both products and services.
“This is a defining moment for each of us, our companies and our industry,” Lores said in his Reinvent 2020 keynote on Wednesday. “We are witnessing the dawn of a new age, where our cyber and physical worlds converge to create amazing new opportunities.”
What follows are our five top takeaways from HP Reinvent 2020.
Disrupting the status quo
To thrive in 2020 and beyond, HP and its partners “need to challenge the status quo,” Lores said. “It’s no longer enough to be an expert in hardware or software. We need to do both.”
The COVID-19 pandemic “has accelerated trends such as workforce mobility, digital education and the rise of the subscription economy,” Lores said. “And even in our core PC and print businesses, people expect more personalized solutions.”
Ultimately, the shifts “present attractive opportunities -- and we should be optimistic about our future,” Lores said.
Lores pointed to the upcoming launch of HP’s new Amplify partner program, on Nov. 1, which he said “will enable your future success.” Amplify will aim to enable greater data-sharing between partners and HP, as well as emphasizing the value of a strong digital presence for solution provider businesses.
“It’s particularly important that we build capabilities to become more digitally powered and data-driven,” Lores said. “That’s how we will gain greater insight into the customer buying journey and create the type of personalized experiences they expect.”
Focus on services
Amplify will also feature a bigger focus on rewarding partners that can offer services, such as Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) and managed print services. And that focus was on display in the announcements and keynotes at Reinvent 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to accelerate the shift to contractual services models, and partners that respond to this demand will do especially well under Amplify, said Christoph Schell, chief commercial officer at HP, in an interview with CRN in connection with Reinvent.
“What I see happening overall is a more pronounced interest in services,” Schell told CRN.
“When you start talking about services, then ultimately you move very quickly away from transactional engagements and you go into services-led engagements, annuity-led engagements, outcome-based engagements. For a customer, that means you are moving from a Capex to an Opex discussion,” Schell said. “There is a clear preference right now with some of our accounts to have that discussion.”
This is a good thing for HP and its close partners, he said, because “we understand it well from the printing side of the business, and also we have invested early on the DaaS side.”
Regardless of the exact form that customer engagements take going forward, they’ll often “be more than just a transactional engagement,” Schell said. “There’s a lot more growth momentum [in services] than in transactional, in particular in the enterprise and commercial segments.”
HP’s DaaS offering combines PC leases that have monthly payments with software for proactive identification of device issues. At Reinvent 2020, HP announced several updates to its DaaS offering that aim to simplify and enhance the service for partners and customers.
One change is that HP financing for DaaS engagements will now be optional for sales through the channel. HP said that shift is in recognition of the fact that partners often look to arrange their own financing for their customers.
HP is also clarifying the three tiers of service available for customers--which consist of the base-level “DaaS foundation” offering, optional HP services and optional partner services.
HP said that the new DaaS framework should resonate with partners that are seeking to lead with their own services, and just want to include HP’s DaaS foundation as an ingredient in their own services offerings.
The move should ultimately draw a greater number of partners to DaaS, Schell said.
“We’re trying to cater to different types of partners. We learned this in the printing side, where we have different ways of indirect management service engagement for partners. And it’s the same on DaaS,” Schell said. “For partners that have their own services, you need to give them room--you need to give some flexibility to deploy their own services.”
Often, DaaS will be “an integrated service within their offering, which is not just for print or PC--but it includes a networking component, it includes a software component, it includes a cloud component,” Schell said. “If we make it restrictive to them selling our services, then we are likely to lose that business. So we are very interested to make that work.”
Business boost opportunity
Reinvent 2020 has also featured services announcements such as the new HP Business Boost offering. The subscription offering includes a wide range of solutions bundled together, from devices to supplies to support.
“I think we’re creating a platform with HP Business Boost,” Schell said. “Over time we will deploy more services capabilities on that--some of them from HP, and some of them from partners.”
HP’s Business Boost offering bundles together hardware, security, support and services, all provided to customers for a fixed monthly payment, the company said. Business Boost aims to enhance HP’s approach to serving SMBs with the help of solution providers, Schell said.
Up until now, “we reached [SMBs] with a product offering. You want to buy an HP printer, display, notebook, desktop? Great. We didn’t reach them for an outcome-based point of view,” he said. “We have to shift the discussion from a product-led discussion to an outcome-led discussion.”
Solution providers will have the opportunity to earn margin on reselling HP Business Boost, while also potentially generating revenue through adding their own services, HP said.
HP expects to make Business Boost available through channel partners in the fall. Monthly payments for Business Boost will start at $29.99 per month, HP said.
Launch of new WFH devices
On the hardware front, HP used Reinvent 2020 to unveil a range of devices that offer strong performance in a compact form factor that is ideal for work-from-home.
The announcements include numerous new laptops in the company’s ProBook series; new EliteDesk desktop PCs; several new monitors; and a new series of LaserJet Enterprise devices. For instance, HP led its new personal systems launches with the ProBook 635 Aero G7--a highly portable, AMD-powered addition to the company’s SMB-focused ProBook lineup.
The ProBook 635 Aero G7 will have a starting weight of just 2.2 pounds and will run AMD Ryzen 4000 Series mobile processors with AMD Radeon graphics. That will make the notebook--set to launch in November--the “world’s lightest AMD-based business notebook,” according to HP.
Meanwhile, HP announced a new portfolio of desktop PCs, the EliteDesk 805 G6 Series, that are sized to fit into tight spaces in work-from-home setups. The EliteDesk 805 G6 models will also be powered by AMD chips when they debut this fall.
Co-existing alongside Intel, AMD has been a longtime partner for HP--and has “really invested in their technology” in recent years, Schell said.
“The lineup that they have, I think, is strong—in particular on the high-end side of the portfolio. We’ve obviously been working closely with AMD on that portfolio,” Schell said. “And the way we work together is we try to maximize the impact of their components into our systems. And I think that the result is quite strong. It has already been quite strong, but now with these products that we’re announcing, I think we’re taking this to another level.”