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A tale of two HPs: Hewlett-Packard splits into two digital businesses

The two Hewlett-Packard (HP) businesses are both digitally aligned. HP Enterprise is pushing hybrid clouds; HP Inc is taking the road to 3D printing

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has officially separated into two businesses to create opportunities in business IT and the emerging 3D printing market.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is a $53bn business building secure, cloud-enabled, mobile-ready systems for business.

Meg Whitman will head up HP Enterprise. Speaking after the split, she said: “The winners in today’s market will be those who apply the power of technology to fuel the power of ideas, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is built to accelerate this journey for customers. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the vision, financial resources and flexibility to help customers win while generating growth and long-term value for our shareholders.”

Helping traditional businesses compete with more agile startups is among the key initiatives for HP Enterprise, helping IT departments operate and deploy the infrastructure to for data-driven, digital business initiatives.

According to Andy Isherwood, UK and Ireland managing director at HP Enterprise, the company will focus on the transition to a hybrid infrastructure, security and workplace productivity. Isherwood said HP Enterprise will aim to build infrastructure for its customers based on hybrid and open technology, to enable businesses to choose where to deploy workloads.

HP Inc

Meanwhile, HP Inc has two large, mature businesses in the printing and personal systems (PC) divisions of HP. While PCs are in decline, the company hopes to create new types of PC and software, such as the Sprout, which, according to CTO Shane Wall, will lower the bar to enable more people to design 3D models, through what he described as "the democratisation of design".

In fact, 3D is the long-term focus for HP Inc. Design tools for 3D are generally quite complex and require training. The people who use AutoCAD tend to be professional designers. Democratisation of design for Wall would mean that, if a consumer wanted a new case for a mobile phone for example, she would go online and search for a design, download the design, personalise it using a device like Sprout with simple tools, then print it out.

“I have just disrupted the manufacturing chain. This is the whole reason we built Sprout and why we do 3D printing,” said Wall.

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