HP is a brand that is synonymous with the digital revolution and has a history dating back to 1938 built on a rich heritage of innovation.
HP like any large organisation in a rapid growth market has had its peaks and troughs, but the fact is that the GSB business (which is the print technology bit which has grown out of their thermal inkjet technology developed for the desktop market) has grown considerably particularly throughout the period that the graphic market has slowly but surely shifted from screen printing to digital inkjet.
Throughout this period HP acquired new companies with a committed M&A strategy that proved to be highly successful giving them technologies for a number of differing applications and achieving a market leading position in many sectors.
However it is well known that HP has restructured recently with two businesses and has benefited from the leadership of Meg Whitman, ex Ebay CEO who has come in and done what analysts believe is an excellent job in restructuring and repositioning.
Widely regarded as one of Silicon valley’s top CEO's Whitman joined HP at a time where Bloomberg described the business being ‘in a tailspin’ with 4 CEO’s in 5 years. Whitman’s adept manoeuvring; restructuring and renewed strategic vision has placed HP in a much stronger position.
In a recent interview with Stanford Business she describes what she believes CEO's need to do when they join a company that needs to be turned around.
"When you join a company it might feel logical to make a list of all of the things that need fixing. But what I think is more important is to look at what is being done right then do more of it. If you focus on what is going wrong you will lose hearts and minds. You can get to the fix later. Also, I immediately sought the founder DNA, which is all about engineering, innovation, collaboration and social responsibility and reignited this."
For the full interview go here http://bit.ly/1KoWskO
I do think this change is clear and noticeable.
HP has increased their investment in R&D and engineers have been given the freedom to create. As well as splitting the business into two $57 Billion businesses.
HP Inc is the printer and personal systems business and is led by CEO Dion Weisler. This logical move will free up HP to be more focused. It's fair to say that it must have taken courage to make this decision. HP Inc contains the GSB Business and I have to say I have noticed a renewed focus on innovation as HP line up new products into multiple sectors including that of print technology.
I spoke with HP Inc GSB EMEA Marketing Director, Ronen Zioni about the development of HP, industrial print and the InPrint Show.
So you are exhibiting at InPrint for the first time this year – how is this event important for you?
“HP is a company that is always evolving and of course the technology we innovate is continually challenging our customers to change how they produce print. By providing new possibilities and placing them into new markets. It's an exciting time to be part of HP.
Industrial print is clearly a growth area and a market that HP is already active in so it makes sense for us to exhibit at the InPrint Show which is the main focus for industrial print technology.”
What technology and applications do you see as fitting industrial printing?
Within our GSB business we see four core areas that sit within industrial printing.
“First of all the HP Indigo and PageWide Press technology is continually providing innovative new answers in the world of packaging printing. With the growth in interest from consumer brands that are keen to deploy innovative packaging solutions, we can see the demand for digital packaging on the HP Indigo side and for high volume publishing production on the PageWide Press businesses to continue to grow. The success of the Coke campaign done on Indigo presses proved that you can enhance the impact of any packaging campaign by deploying a customised approach to promoting the product. This campaign not only showcased the value and prowess of Indigo technology but it also boosted considerable interest via social media proving that digital print for packaging really is at a tipping point for the brands like Coke willing to try something different.
Secondly, HP Latex printing technology has proven a hit in the design and décor world. The environmental performance and the ability to print onto wall paper and many other versatile surfaces gives designers a new found freedom to express themselves and their designs without the need to print a huge amount of stock. As our world becomes increasingly individualised, designers, retailers and end consumers are looking at ways to create new value and this technology truly enables them to do something different. This trend looks set to grow.
"We have 26,000 installations worldwide and have introduced three different generations of the product. We need to continue and innovate in order to increase capacity and offer our customers the widest range of products for them to cope with the growing demand for the products they produce with the latex technology. We have also developed an application that enables printer production professionals to monitor progress of the production from their handset adding value and automation performance making production more intelligent in the process."
“Thirdly, our flatbed UV technology-based portfolio provides the industrial sector with the ability to use the flatbed technology for printing onto a wider variety of substrates giving industrial printers great flexibility and options for shorter run prints onto surfaces from wood through to metal.
“The ability to deploy the Scitex technology to print onto a variety of different surfaces such as corrugated stock is an increasingly growing sector where HDR technology in many cases in tandem with other printing technologies such as screen or offset printing. This trend looks set to continue as customised print for industrial output is increasing in its popularity“
Lastly, HP has entered the 3D printing segment.
“We are developing 3D printing technology by deploying thermal inkjet technology and our experience of bringing game changing technology and many years of color management into evolving technological sectors. We are particularly excited about this technology as it will truly challenge the incumbent providers in terms of productivity and quality and we look forward to the reception it will create.” Concludes Ronen.
Dion Weisler answered this question from Forbes The full discussion is available here on Forbes http://bit.ly/1JIMPv0
Forbes asked Dion, “What size do you think the 3D printing market will be in 5 years”?
“The industry as a whole has not really solved the key problems within 3D Printing of speed, quality and cost. When you do that as we had done with digital printing within 2D printing markets, and when you do that and disrupt traditional manufacturing it becomes a multi-trillion dollar industry. It will first start in prototyping and bespoke manufacturing and it will evolve. Nothing has really changed since the advent of the assembly line – but if you wind back further everything used to be custom made. Take a horse; you would have shoes made specifically to fit. We are almost reversing that now, we are democratising manufacturing, putting it back into the hands of where it needs to be, to the artist. So when we can solve those problems of speed, quality and cost it sets up a really bright future and we are doing that by leveraging our core printing technology so it is the same technology that we are using in ink based printing into 3-dimensional printing and that has been 30 years of intellectual property. We have announced that the first products will come out in 2016 and over the next 5-10 years I think it will become a really core part of our business.”
The full discussion with Dion Weisler is available here on Forbes http://bit.ly/1JIMPv0
Ronen Zioni continues to discuss the importance of 3D printing to HP. “The Multi Jet FusionTM technology will enable us to print 10 times faster than other systems available on the market today and will be a game-changing introduction into the market. It is not just faster it is disruptive and will be more innovative than any other technology when it comes to materials range, print quality & accuracy. HP will continue to develop new technologies which will enable the different industrial segments produce products that were not seen as being previously possible and the next few years will be very exciting indeed.”
How important is innovative leadership to you and to HP?
Ronen continues, “It is both a crucial and a fundamental defining aspect of HP and has been given renewed focus when it comes to the split of HP. The new products we have brought to market so far this year really disrupt. The Page Wide technology we launched in May provides new opportunities for graphic production but it will also provide industrial printers with options as well. This takes the same technology as our OfficeJet Pro X and deploys it towards A1 size production and to great effect increasing both production speed and reproduction quality. Our customers are excited by it and as we continue to introduce new technologies into the market we now have products relevant for all segments including corrugated packaging and other industrial sectors.
So leadership for HP is incredibly important as we need to challenge existing economic models in order to create new added value and profit pools our customers are continuously after."
HP Inc will be exhibiting on booth #F61