HP secret sauce to grow their $57 billion company is exposed
HP has revealed an incredible range of machines which will be making their way to South Africa just in time for Christmas shopping. The new range includes 2-in-1 devices, notebooks, all-in-one desktop with a curved display and even a Star Wars Edition based notebook. Truly something for everyone and more on the devices soon.
While the range of equipment is impressive, there was an underlying thread running through every HP executive presentation which has exposed the secret sauce to growing the HP Business. It was so obvious that any company can do it: Know-Thy-Customer.
Every company claims that they listen to customers and have an open-door-policy however HP seems to have gotten this just right.
“Customer feedback is key” said Michael Nash, Vice President, Customer Experience and Portfolio Strategy “we not only keep our eye on what the press writes, but we keep our eye on the Forums, what questions are people asking, what pains are they expressing and we take that feedback back to the design and technical team to see if we can do something about it”
Citing an example, Michael recalls that users were asking why when they switch off the backlight of the keyboard by pressing the F5, all the keys no longer light up except for the F5 key. This was done by design so that you can quickly find the F5 and re-enable the backlight. However, some users seems to be dissatisfied with this. HP followed those conversations and the engineers released an update to the computer BIOS so that those that want to can turn off the F5 light too.
This issue effects such as small number of users, however the fact that HP went to the trouble of doing this task is an example of why customers love HP.
The 5 Primary task of devices
After intense focus groups, stalking of Forum conversation and speaking to customers, HP has broken down customer usage of their devices to 5 primary tasks:
- Entertainment – devices are used to watch movies and play games
- Information – devices are used to stay informed be it via Social Media or Traditional Media such as news sites and blogs.
- Getting things done – devices are used to run the household and work finances, write a university term paper, as a reference when preparing a meal
- Connecting with others – Facebook, Skype, Email
- Empower user to do more – instead of outsourcing task, the devices enable the user to achieve the same task eg. edit photos and video can be done via software
Users naturally prefer to use specific devices over others to complete a task. Instant Messaging via the mobile rather than the PC, particularly those quick “in between things” tasks are simpler to run on a mobile phone than a computer. However when it comes to entertainment, a larger screen of notebook or a tablet is preferred.
Regardless of the tasks and devices we choose there are certain needs that are translated across the devices.
- Performance – we don’t want to wait on the device to boot – it must just switch on and be ready.
- Battery – Battery life is a must-have across the board.
- Audio – we we use our devices for entertainment we are demanding better audio. Audio is not just about how the device sounds but with voice activation software such as Cortana in Windows 10 and our use of Voice Applications such as Skype, the machines need to be able to have good quality “hearing too”
- WiFi – this is a must have but not just how the device connects, but its about speed of the WiFi, how reliable it is and how does it stay connected.
“we see consumer growing across pc, display, accessories and this provide HP with opportunities.” says Achim Kuttler, VP Personal Systems, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Kevin Frost Vice President & General Manager Consumer PC Business Unit agrees “over half a billion PC are over 4 years old. This means that they are twice as heavy, 60% thicker, battery is half length, this provides the opportunity for HP”
HP has over 50% of the Windows 10 devices in the market with a 75% positive sentiment so clearly the stars are aligning for HP the $57 billion company as their long term partnerships with Intel and Microsoft clearly paying off.
*TheTechieGuy was a guest of HP during the launch which was held in Barcelona, Spain.