Apotheker's new HP strategy: more emphasis on enterprise services, less on personal computing [rumor] | webOS Nation

Apotheker's new HP strategy: more emphasis on enterprise services, less on personal computing [rumor] 28

by Derek Kessler Sat, 15 Jan 2011 5:06 pm EST

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd was very successful with the implementation of a number of cost-cutting procedures that led HP to have the highest revenue of any tech company on the planet (profit is another story). Though Hurd’s ouster was supposedly over purposefully improperly filed expense reports, HP’s choice for his replacement tilted a hand towards where the board wanted HP to go.

If you’ll recall, current CEO Leo Apotheker came to HP two and a half months ago after a stint as CEO of German enterprise software giant SAP. According to Wall Street Journal sources “briefed on the matter,” Apotheker is working with the board to craft a new strategy for HP that will place more emphasis on HP’s more profitable enterprise software, networking, and cloud storage and computing business than on the not-quite-as-profitable Personal Systems Group (where our friends at Palm reside).

Now before you get all concerned, this is pretty standard practice for any company, and HP’s not about to abandon the consumer market any time soon. The enterprise services market is one of ridiculously lucrative nature, and HP is smart to focus a good portion of their efforts where they’ve had and expect to continue to have tremendous success. The consumer electronics market, where HP’s Personal Systems Group and part of the Imaging and Printing Group are focus, is highly competitive and subject to the whims of the fickle consumer (whereas enterprise customers tend to be more pragmatic and predictable).

Don’t think that this spells the end for Palm and HP’s vision for an interconnected webOS future. Far from it - even if the Personal Systems Group gets less attention, focus, and cash from the upper echelons of HP, it’s still a profitable business (HP is the largest consumer PC builder in the world) and rolling in oodles of cash.

Apotheker’s looking to focus HP where it’s proven to be successful, and it’s up to Palm and the Personal Systems Group to make webOS successful, and more importantly, profitable. With HP’s scale and reach, we can see that being an attainable goal, though it’s going to take a lot of money to get to that point.

Surprisingly, HP took the step of speaking up about the Wall Street Journal’s report, stating on their corporate blog:

“Speculation today about HP is being passed off as fact and is not accurate. HP is formulating a bold, solid plan for its future, a plan it will share with its employees, shareholders, customers and partners in due course, and certainly not in response to speculation.”

So, as always, we recommend you season this with a liberal helping of metaphorical salt. We wouldn’t at all be surprised to see HP focus more on enterprise services under Apotheker, after all, that is his specialty. But it’s important to remember that HP is an enormous company, and focusing attention on one area doesn’t necessarily mean that another is going to languish.

Source: Wall Street Journal, HP Data Central; Thanks to Jason for the tip!


Just Great....

just give me a super device

why even post this... It's a rumor! Why even put doom and gloom stuff when it's not even true, I guess info is that slow?? Kinda sad

this may very well be a good thing for WebOS.... More $$ in the bank from enterprise profits, could allow for "take a chance on new & crazy ideas" elsewhere in the Co. IMO

this could also make room for better integration of WebOS into enterprise.

Why act like this is surprising? HP is more interested in enterprise than CE. What did you expect? That is who they are.

I don't like hp. Kudos to them for not killing webOS but I hope they let their palm people do their palm thing.

What a load of ass. Why can't someone from either HP or Palm come out and say we got phones and a bright future for WebOS. Dammit I need a new phone! My duct tape pre won't last :/

Well webOS is software, so maybe it does benefit webOS.

is his head really shaped like that?

I agree more $$$ means more of everything...Palm is bound to benefit!

interesting. hopefully they hit a home run with webOS products :)

HP must pursue the enterprise market to compete on several levels, most notably the RIM market. Cloud syncing with business applications like Lotus notes and Microsoft Office are essential to competing in the business IT community. HP needs to deliver IT solutions that are secure and fit the profile of enterprise computer requirements. While Palm users get pissed off if they have to pay 99 cents for an app that they think should be free, the enterprise customers will pay millions to have their data securely risk managed in the cloud.

PAAAAALM! Feb. 9th, that is all.

HP is going to be saying what they are doing with WebOS on Feb 9th, which isn't all that far away.

After 2/9 it will be clear that Personal Systems Group products will benefit from being part of this huge company. Maybe the line is already blurred and Palm-deveoped products are being designed for enterprise use as well as consumers (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9202800/Enterprise_apps_find_a_sp...). Connectivity and cloud-based systems are the future and HP knows it and is in the best position to lead the way. We will get to go along for the ride!


I'm a firm believer that the gap between enterprise and consumers is gradually thinning. Of course, the average consumer may not be as concerned about security issues, and other enterprise intensive solutions, but overall, it seems to me that there is a huge category of everything else that enterprisers and consumers share. What benefits the enterprise user is going to also be - and more than we think going forwars - a benefit for the consumer. And the big kicker is that the consumer will start to know it. So go on with your bad selves HP! Enterprise away!


All running webOS/Windows (for the lappy) in a seamless ecosystem. Apple has succeeded with this and is making money hand over fist. HP is setup to offer the same products (plus a printer!) with arguably a better OS that if planned and executed correctly will be very competitive and as a result popular.

HP would be fools if they don't attack this market hard. So much money to be had.

And another thing, HP is scaring the developers with talk like this. I can't believe these people get paid so much money yet they can't figure out what the hell to say to the masses to get them excited about their product. Every other word out of these guy's mouths should be about how they're making products that developers are going to love. For chissakes, they're gonna get $.30 for every dollar... that's FREE MONEY!!!

good informative article. thanks for keeping those less likely to scan the tech news feeds in the know about our favorite OS.

it's a good thing you are tech guys and not accountants. Cutting costs has zero impact on revenue. In fact, if HP is a leader in sales and not in profit too I would question the idea that Hurd was successful at trimming expenses.

focusing on the enterprise market is a sound strategy.

sometimes games are won by playing small ball rather than trying to hit one out of the park

Can't say it doesn't make sense. Profit margins are much higher in enterprise and long lasting customer relationships can actually be established and maintained. Not to mention that their recent m&a puts them in great position to go that path.

Hopefully they'll spin off palm and/or their entire personal computing instead of shelving it or putting it in perpetual "to be announced" mode. Who knows? This may end up being the perfect excuse/reason to license webOS to the likes of HTC, Samsung, etc. Should be interesting.

I just want a damn phone with cutting edge technology and is high quality hardware. Us Pre users deserve it for all the wait and none of the selection of other OSes. Pixi is not a choice. It's a compromise! :p

I love my Pre but it's time we got a little bit more real estate and a device that isn't so fragile. C'mon HP. Get your act together!

I'm not jumping to conclusions.. This is going to play out very nicely.. *grabs popcorn*

Don't worry. HP will not divest of consumer products. The whole point is the pull through of HP products and services as a result of HP's work to engage the customer with consulting & services. It will yield more sales of PC's, Servers, Networking gear, Printers, Slates & Mobile Devices.

dumb.... Businesses are struggeling in this market & not @ the point to make a capital investment... Jus keeping the doors open is hard enough... Individual consumption is @ an all time high... (funny since unemployment is still 9.+) this is cause of unemployment ins keeping the cash flo going... Businesses don't have sh!++ie economy ins.. Foccus on the individual & you can't go wrong its more rational for someone to use their personal gadgets @ the work place rather than ppl using gadgets from their work @ home.