Fire sale TouchPad returns to HP employee store; store promptly brought to knees by traffic | webOS Nation
 
 

Fire sale TouchPad returns to HP employee store; store promptly brought to knees by traffic 62

by Derek Kessler Wed, 28 Sep 2011 3:00 pm EDT

HP is building another 100,000-200,000 TouchPads to clear out their supplier inventory and make good on those contracts they signed. They also have some 300,000 employees around the globe. Those two numbers created a perfect storm today as HP opened up their Employee Purchase Program with fresh $99 and $149 TouchPads available as of 9:00AM Pacific Time. And by 9:01AM the store had been brought down by the crushing demand of several thousand employees at once all looking to snag themselves a TouchPad.

We don’t know how many TouchPads HP allocated to the employee store, but we can safely say that however no matter how many they set aside, the sold them all in a matter of hours, if not minutes. All one need do to verify is call the employee store phone purchase line, which one HP employee told us was experiencing “impossible wait lines.” If only somebody could point HP in the direction of a good enterprise services firm that could manage their servers under heavy traffic load.

What does this mean for when these TouchPads eventually make it to the consumer market? Well, we’re hoping that HP learned the lesson of retailers offering fire sale TouchPads last month and set aside a limited number for the EPP store, with the rest to go to consumer sales. There will be a few thousand fewer TouchPads available from the ambiguous 100,00-200,000 units expected to be produced (or already produced?), and given the demand exhibited by just HP employees, we’re expecting similar website crashing next month when they’re made available.

Thanks to the HP peeps that sent this in!

62 Comments

Absolutely amazing and a shame. If only HP would have given the TouchPad at least a year to get its footing -- without sensible price point and with robust marketing -- then maybe we would be talking about how long it would take for the tablet to get closer to Ipad in market share.... what a shame. A by the way, I LOVE my TouchPad. I am waiting to get a second one as a backup.

Wow

I hear the internal EPP website is still getting crushed....

oh wow, yes it is. i got my order in tho!! 32gb

That is an awesome episode of Big Bang...

I hope they remember I ordered one..... What are the odds they will honor their non employee orders.

They said they'd let customers know when more came in. Another statement they didn't mean.

LOL, someone still feels a petty downtick of the sad reality, somehow makes some sort of donation to to the vacuum that is HP's integrity tank?

I ordered one too, on 8/21/2011. I did call customer support and they said that those orders will take between 6-8 weeks. Let's hope that they honor those orders and not just wait to cancel it.

"If only somebody could point HP in the direction of a good enterprise services firm that could manage their servers under heavy traffic load."

This is such a sad statement -- not a good sales pitch for HP.

probably the first time in history of any company that their internal employee site got brought to its knees...

...i know i hardly use my company employee portal...

...but it is still kinda sad that it actually happened considering who it is....way to show your enterprise prowess hp

I'm not sure they actually have servers that can handle that kind of simultaneous load.

And the extra units are only going to the USA employee store. We Europeans are as much in the cold as the rest.

maybe SAP could help.

Yup, it must have been those Oracle DBs Larry had Mark put in! ;-)

The site got crushed.

I was on minutes after it began and the 32 gb version was sold out already. I got a 16 gb one after about 15 minutes of refreshing my browser and being kicked back to the home page, but I did get it ordered. All the guys in the cubes next to me got nothing, I think they're still on the phone trying to get one.

You weren't patient enough. The 16Gs were there on the hour. The 32Gs didn't show up until 14 min. Later

I just ordered a 32 GB on the HP EPP site at 4:10 pm EDST and it was a bit slow. Interesting that while there was a limit of 1, that limit only applied to the fire sale price...I could have ordered more than one at $399. Also, there is a new warranty...cracks by the speaker are not covered it seems

This Limited Warranty does not apply (1) to
damage to the surface of the product, including cracks or scratches on the LCD touchscreen or outside casing

so basically webos on yet another piece of sh-t hardware

I found that warranty document you quoted from. It's not new, apparently. It's dated March 8, 2011. :(

Rough, I had to have my 3 day old touchpad repaired for cracks near the speaker in the case. Some of these units were constructed poorly. Maybe its a case by case basis.

Such a shame the launch was handled so poorly. Even more shameful is that hp doesn't see the potential. WebOS is finally getting the apps that hp should have had at launch. Coupled with more competitive pricing we would have had a winner. Now we just have more limbo.

dupe

so ridiculous HP can't even handle server demand from their own employees. f* you HP!

Well, they're probably using HP servers...

Thank goodness I was on their list to be notified when the Touchpads were back in stock. I should be getting that notification any time now, I guess.

Gosh I wonder if HP will reserve out some TouchPads for the remaining indy developers. It's a concept. Heck it might even indicate some credibility about wanting to keep webOS going. There's what, a few thousand at the very most devs left?

An HP buddy of mine managed to get a 16GB.

Said that the 32GB sold out in minutes.

He isn't sure when it will arrive, but he is getting the Technocel case for it, on my advice...

I just got off the phone with customer support and was able to order the 32GB at the EPP pricing. I was on hold waiting for an agent for about 30 minutes. The guy I spoke to said that they still have inventory of 16GB and 32GB but you have to be very patient in getting ahold of them..

I just checked the Employee Purchase website at 5:15pm (eastern) and both the 16GB & 32GB models are still available.

I don't see it as a huge negative that their internal ordering site can't handle the volumes. HP probably doesn't have their site sized for this % of employees all being logged on simultaneously and there would not be any good reason for them to add capacity just for this single event. Seriously, folks - criticize HP where it is justified (and this isn't it).

In comparison - during the firesale last month, we saw various external facing retailers experience performance issues and vendors allowed ordering of units that they didn't actually have (that went to backlog and had to be cancelled or delayed). That IS a valid issue where HP and others can and should be criticized.

I've seen other comments that the internal and external stores are one and the same - so please disregard the comment above. This is confirmed - non-employees saw poor performance on HP's site today.

HP knew they were selling is there... they should have been prepared.

At the opening of the EPP store at 9 a.m., they made the 16GB model available quite a while before opening up orders for the 32GB. I think a lot of people assumed that the 32GB had sold out ... I grabbed a 16GB since we had no information about how much stock was allocated to EPP.

I had at least two co-workers who gave up in frustration after 90 minutes or so, especially when the surge started taking out parts of the internal HP network as well. I was able to access the store from the Internet, which was much faster, but it still took around 10 attempts to check out before I got the order completed.

I logged in at 9 and immediately had problems, took about an hour of refreshing/re-entering to get to the checkout point for a 16 GB. At that point I got stuck in an endless loop that would re-route me from the checkout process back the main page, make me log in again, kick me out, crash page and start over, etc. They sent out an internal email recommending you clear cache before trying to access the site repeatedly - I tried that and not sure if cooincidence or not but it worked immediately after that, was able to check out right after that. Entire process was a 5+ hour ordeal, but I was multi-tasking, maybe someone else would have figured things out sooner.

I logged on promptly at 9:00am. The 16GB became available right away, but the 32GB still said out of stock. Around 9:10 or so, the 32GB became available at which time I snagged one. I was done probably around 9:30 or so. The process was slow, but it wasn't that bad. I know two other co-workers who had much more difficulty getting their orders through, but were eventually successful hours later.

With this firesale.......Ipad is hurting as they announced 25% production cut in most recently.

It could have been lot better if HP set the right price at launch then be a little bit patience.... and then it'll take off.

HP BOD and Leo were a bunch of idiots!

Someone mentioned that the internal store should not be judged for performance... What people don't realize is that the internal store and external store are one in the same. The only difference is that your account has your HP employee number in it which lets you look at the pages differently (huge problem here as several people didn't have their employee numbers in their accounts and didn't realize that they were seeing a different view than the rest of us... that is once we were able to get in)

I got one (I think) processed, but the other 6 cubes around me are still clearing their cache and refreshing, etc....

You might be referring to my comment above. Fair enough - I added a reply to my comment above setting the record straight.

glad to see you are all hard at work, I would sack the lot of you .... Oh wait....... :p

Does anyone else find it funny that there was little to no productivity from HP (US) employees today. No fault of their own but why would HP allow this activity to take place during work hours. Why didn't HP just make the sale available on a Saturday or Sunday. If I was a shareholder I would wonder why people are being paid to shop.

Don't get me wrong I have a tremendous amount of respect for the HP employees and a $99 TP is the least that can be offered to them for their hard work but HP is still in business and losing a day of productivity across all divisions is not a smart move for anyone.

Can you imagine Bob in cube b17 answering a call while the guys in the surrounding cubicles all frantically hitting F5?

So let me get this straight: HP is exiting the hardware businesss so they can focus on consulting and cloud services...but they can't keep their own web store online for employees? Maybe they should go into the hardware business...oh wait...

It is not true. HP is *not* exiting the hardware business. I'm disappointed I didn't get an EPP one in the UK.

As of right now (4:45PM Pacific) there are still 32GB models available on the HP EPP site.

And of course (surprise surprise) all the units were only available in the US.

When are the rest of the world supposed to get a look in?

They still have 32GB models available as of 7:20PM Pacific. I guess a lot of people put 'em in their carts and changed their minds.

I think is good to clarify the situation with the HP site, when you size a site like this you used the historical information of concurrent users but they didnt consider a "peak" like this in just hours so they didnt size the HW for the ammount of users they received during these firesales. Even if HP produce the HW, the shopping site will not buy more HW than what they need just for this situation, they are losing money on each TP to also buy addittional servers for a firesale...

The unfortunate part though is that the ENTIRE production HP shopping site was down for the better part of the day. I think the lost sales (on everything but the TP) was horrible. Will some businesses not make their quarter because of it? If so, heads should roll.

Tomorrow's headlines: "Employee TouchPad fire sale takes down HP shopping portal while Steven fiddles."

Not a good thing, no matter how you look at it. The saying "any press is good press" does not apply to HP these days.

27 months later and my phone still lacks a voice memo app. What work were they not doing? Really.

For those who are lucky and able to buy a TouchPad, you can go to www.TouchPadPlus.com and follow their Step By Step Instructions with SCREENSHOTS to boost up the performance of your TouchPad.. It is a lot better than just the pure TEXT instruction.. You won't get lost.. It simply works.

Make sure to tell you colleague!!

Took all day but finally got a 32GB order in around 4:30 EDT.

Sidebar: HP sells this great load testing tool called LoadRunner. Think we might use it on our own B2C site? Duh...

You would be ignorant to think that this doesn't happen to every single retailer at some point. Keep in mind, although they limited the purchase to 1/3 of a million employees, many tech sites distributed the details of the sale and the date and time. Hpshopping was being bombarded by outside requests for those who thought they might have a shot at placing an order even though they were not HP employed. The add to cart option for the Touchpads actually popped up the night before setting off more chaos to purchase from the outside.

Make all the valid excuses you want, but this poorly-planned event (at least on the IT/portal side) killed sales for regular customers on the HP shopping site. No one considered that a lot of employees plus outside customers would be hitting the site yesterday? C'mon...

exactly..

Thanks for atleast calling my excuses valid! I've seen the exact same thing happen to Apple prior to new releases. Sometimes these heavy hits bring out issues that were not easily forseen. I do agree that there should have been some type of separation in place for the employee link that would not have any chance to affect HPshopping as a whole.

It's nice to see that the employees at HP were working hard...at buying a TouchPad. Fail.

I sure hope you're not pointing the fail at the rank and file employees. They scheduled the employee-only sale during "standard" business hours in the U.S. Who's to blame for that? And if you know anyone that works for HP, chances are they are working from home before and after standard business hours on just about every day of the week (and weekends for some). So lost productivity during that time is more than made up for on a daily basis with the majority of the workers.

hp touchpad on gossip girl premiere episode .. And was shown 3 different times in detail

http://www.phonesontv.com/2011/09/27/gossip-girl-s05e01-yes-then-zero-se...

got a touchpad a month ago from dad when they went on firesale my dad is a manager at Costco and got me one before they opened.