It was difficult to walk around Cannes during the film festival without seeing a reference to HP, its huge banner printed outside the Palais des Festivals to mark the Majestic Barrier, the main hotel of the event.
HP celebrated 13 years as an official partner of Technology festival and it was there that the new head of EMEA Supplier Nick Lazaridis spoke with CRN and reaffirmed the commitment of six HP Inc month for the channel.
With a history of 20 years in the industry, certainly Lazaridis has accumulated rich history vendorland. He worked in Acer, Dell, Lenovo and HP now – holding various roles in the APJ region – covering countries including India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
He is currently responsible for all EMEA for the newly formed HP Inc. after the company split into two separate companies last November.
He explained that the region itself has been divided into eight sub-regions: France, UK and Ireland, Germany and Austria, Iberia, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe, MEMA and GWF (Nordic Benelux and Switzerland).
“My first challenge was to meet with clients and our own material, which has a large team of people behind me,” he said.
He explained that the company’s strategy rests on three pillars – the PC and workstation graphics printing – support its release last week of high-end 3D printers.
But the real focus is on innovation, he said. “HP went through a period in the past when we changed CEOs often, but Meg Whitman came on board and we’re back to our core DNA, which is innovation. When Bill and Dave (Hewlett and Packard) has invented its first product in its former garage and sold to Disney, innovation is key.
“We have a strong engine and a large number of patents (about 18,000), which were inactive during a dungeon CEO change. There are three years, HP laptops are very heavy and great when put against ultra laptops -minces and did not go well. but now that we have a lot of money on this and have the thinnest laptop in the world. ”
Continuing the theme of the product, Lazaridis said HP has bet big on two-in-one PC but the valve remains a huge market for the vendor. Despite the total tablet market with the greatest success in terms of lower sales according to market observers, HP was cushioned because it has not produced the consumption of compressed mass and played in the periphery.
“We also took away the phone,” he said. “There are hundreds of vendors that make phones, but only two of them are making money. After some of our competitors in the telephone game as a” me too “meant he would lose . instead, we are investing in new technologies such as 3D printing, we can not do unless you have a profitable business. ”
However, the channel is absolutely critical to the success of HP’s strategy, Lazaridis said.
“In terms of channel – which are omni-channel – Historically, there was only one channel, then added directly because some customers said they wanted a direct relationship with HP and we do everything for them, just as we do it with some clients the film industry we have here in Cannes.
“The channel is over 80 percent of our business. This is equivalent to 80 percent of a $ 52 billion. Many people told us that HP is the channel and out of us, would not exist. Although we have 50,000 employees, there are millions of people who work with us every day because of our extensive network of partners. ”
Lazaridis said the HP division into two companies in November was treated exactly right by HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler.
“In fact, we managed to grow the business for the division – which has carved a couple of thousands of people to focus on this and the firewall day to day during the company’s performance and the business of our members: what was happening, “he said.
“However, when he approached the time of the split, Dion made sure everyone was involved and it comes together. We got through it without dropping the ball and loyalty won. Many partners we said they feel and see that we support them. ”
“We exist to serve customers,” said Mike Lazaridis. “If we have market share, but not make money for shareholders or delivery to end customers, we are not winning. But we had a good wave of support as the new HP and where we are going. It is obvious that couples are never shy to tell us if we’re not on the right.
“We believe we are winning as well. It was a turbulent time, but the last three years have been the recovery, “he added.
“Meg [Whitman] came and realign the strategy. Everybody is full of energy that HP is now.”
Although HP is not obsessed with competition, he said it was the first provider to streamline its channel program with the first partner.
“The partners are now paid very simple and is a level playing field for non-selling value-added products,” he said. “Interestingly, our biggest competitor in the PC space is almost the same right after us. Re-launched its partner program and we basically copied copying is a form of flattery, I suppose!
“We are not obsessed with the competition. We watch our competitors, we have an advisory board and listen to our partners. The competition will always be there, but our goal is to play the game, strategy and we will end up winning . ”
HP said that he could not always control things like the price, but the goal was to help partners sell the value of your product to customers and get maximum value in return.
“We always think about what is the next evolution,” he said. “How can we meet everyone and ensure that the partners maintain success? They are our reason for being. “