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As-a-service offers take centre stage at HP Reinvent

HP shares details of more services that partners can take out to those working at home during the pandemic

One of the key themes at HP Reinvent has been around the idea of services, with the vendor rolling out several innovations to help partners reach customers in the emerging ‘new normal’.

The vendor has been one of the early advocates of desktop as a service (DaaS), but it has also looked to arm partners with offerings that can reach customers in the current situation.

The move by many workers to home has seen surges in demand for laptops and increases in PC use, and HP is confident that users will stick with those products in the future.

Mike Nash, global head of customer experience for personal systems at HP, said that the company had charted a rise in PC usage as people started to increase their use the devices for work, gaming, streaming and keeping in touch with friends and family.

“This is really about making sure that we’re able to support different ways of working and supporting a wide variety of end users and IT, as well as really deliver things more as a service,” said Nash.

“The number of hours being spent on PCs, even when you compare the generation of millennials to Gen Z,  has gone up from 27 hours a week to 31 hours per week,” he said. “The total pie is growing and the PC is getting a huge part of that.”

He said that Gen Y and Z were using their PCs around 25% more than they were before the pandemic started.

“The PC is providing incredible useful tech to work and support our work and home lives,” he said, adding that while the PC was important before the pandemic, it was now essential.

The vendor is launching Business Boost, a monthly subscription service covering technology, security and support aimed squarely at the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.

“This is about a set of offerings for SMEs for personal systems, including DaaS,” said Nash.

Andy Rhodes, general manager commercial PCS of HP personal systems, said that surveys had shown that many employers were allowing staff to work from home and there had been an increase in security attacks.

Rhodes went on to say that many home workplaces might need to be upgraded to ensure they could enable employees to be productive and secure, with recent research revealing that home workers want faster PCs and faster internet. “The new ways of working have also stressed the importance of being able to be productive at home,” he added.

On the print front, there were indications that the as-a-service approach was widening. Anneliese Olsen, general manager and global head, HP print category, said that service models had been a key factor to some plans the vendor has announced at the virtual conference, mostly driven by the shift to working from home.

The vendor has also seen its ink subscription service, Instant Ink, expand significantly during the past few months, and is now adding toner into that model so those using more powerful printers can take the services approach.

Dave Prezzano, general manager and global head of HP print services and solutions, said that eight million people had signed up for its Instant Ink subscription services, which had delivered them “peace of mind”.

“Since Covid-19, demand for Instant Ink has only increased, and that’s why HP is proud to expand our Instant Ink subscription service to include tone. We will deliver the convenience our business customers rave about when their toner levels are low, and they will be automatically shipped a new cartridge before they need them,” he said.

He added that toner would be added to the subscription service this autumn to support home workers. “It is [about] looking for solutions that enable productivity and empower productivity,” he said.

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