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HP Plans To Cut Product Lines; Company Turnaround In 2016

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-what-investors-like-to-hear dept.

HP 184

dcblogs writes "Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman told financial analysts today that it will take until 2016 to turn the company around. Surprisingly, Whitman put some of the blame for the company's woes on its IT systems, which she said have hurt its internal operations. To fix its IT problems, Whitman said the company is adopting Salesforce and HR system Workday. The company also plans to cut product lines. It said it makes 2,100 different laser printers alone; it wants to reduce that by half. 'In every business we're going to benefit from focusing on a smaller number of offerings that we can invest in and really make matter,' said Whitman."

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zuh? (3, Insightful)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542585)

0_o 2100 laser printers? WHY?

Re:zuh? (5, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542703)

I don't get it either. A dozen models for each market segment should provide variety enough, methinks. So
-a dozen models for the SOHO market
-a dozen for the bigger ones that may serve as department printers (one per corridor and shared by everyone
-a dozen for oversize formats, so the CAD guys can print out big schematics
-a dozen really fast models for high volume printing...
. ...now I'm at about 50 models and running out of ideas. Maybe I'm a bit of an ignoramus, but I doubt I've just missed 95% of the market :-o

Re:zuh? (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542781)

10 middlemen retailers all with a policy "we will pricematch any competitors price for the identical model". Well, if walmart is the only retailer on the planet who sells model 13513.2362 then I guess they'll never have to pricematch, will they?

Also add some B+W only models, some multifunction models...

Re:zuh? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542825)

The big stores are still using that old trick? Used to be done for all the electronics back in the 80s.

Re:zuh? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542965)

Yes. And they still haven't learned that it just pisses customers off.

Some have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543023)

But the ones that learned this are retired. Those who now fill their shoes have to learn it all over again.

Knowledge is funny, that way.

Re:zuh? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543015)

Hell yes they are.

I went shopping for a flat-panel TV a few years ago. I had my eye on the Samsung 7 series, 52-inch. They have a "fancy" power indicator light that Samsung was proud of for some idiotic reason. It "looks classy" to marketing shills, apparently. I really gave a fuck. (Your sarcasm detector should have just exploded.)

So I shopped around online and at local retailers. MSRP on an LN52A7000 (close enough) was $3400. All the local shops wanted $3100, but Best Buy carried the LN52A7100, with the red power light, Circuit City (during their final days) carried the LN52A7120 with the blue power light, and everyone else seemed to have their own variant with different colored power lights.

I bought the base model with the white power light from Newegg for $1800. That's what they get for trying to screw over an internet-connected buyer. I figure it was a small, silent middle finger to all of those dipshits. The reason Circuit City is gone and Best Buy is soon to follow is because of that shit, and I, the customer will not tolerate it. FOADIAF, B & M.

Re:zuh? (1)

MrWin2kMan (918702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543063)

Well, she may either be misquoted or mispoke; Hp probably has 40-50 Laser Printers, but 50 'different models' or SKU's of each containing different powercords and localization for 50 different languages/locales.

Re:zuh? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543321)

It's possible what she means is that each SKU is actually a different product internally. Like each regional HP 'buys' a particular internal HP printer and that each region can customize the base model designed at the main design centre. Especially if they aren't actually modifying much of anything this becomes a complete waste of money.

It's also possible HP is losing money like crazy because they really do have 2100 different models of laser printer which are largely overlapping products competing with themselves and that's just wasting money. Because big companies really can be that stupid.

Re:zuh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543441)

That's not a misquote or misspeak. A SKU is a SKU is a SKU. Each SKU has overhead (inventory, QA, marketing, support, etc).

Re:zuh? (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543613)

I agree that many fewer models should be sufficient.
I am still using my HP LaserJet 4L (in my SOHO) which just passed its 20th birthday.
Refill cartridges for it are cheap now ($10) since they have been cloned.
I don't print much anyway.

Re:zuh? (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543833)

Let us take a fictional model as an example. We'll call it the laser jet 200.

We have:
Laser jet 200: plain printer.
Laser jet 200n: exactly the same as the 200 but with inbuilt networking. Only it's sold as a separate model, which means you need to find space in the warehouse for two almost identical pritnters.
Laser jet 200dn: exactly the same as the 200n but comes with the optional duplex unit pre-fitted. Three almost identical printers in the warehouse.
Laser jet 200dtn: as dn but with the optional extra paper tray in the box. Four almos identical printers in the warehouse. By now, inventory's a pig. What if you suddenly find nobody wants the dtn model but the dn model sells like hot cakes? You have a warehouse full of printers that nobody wants and the aggravating thing is each printer is 5 minutes work away from being turned into one everybody wants.
Laser jet 200 MFP: printer is identical to the 200 but a scanner is bolted on top to make it a multi function unit.
Laser jet 200 MFP(f): Now they've fitted a modem to give it fax capabilities.
Laser jet 200 MFP(f) Special Edition: A 200 dtn with scanner unit and modem fitted at the factory.

Repeat for a printer aimed at small workgroups, larger workgroups and big departments. Repeat again for colour printers aimed at groups of varying size.

Re:zuh? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542705)

Their firmware and driver teams need adequate room in which to explore the wide variety of vexing bugs that you can get away with shipping...

Re:zuh? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543829)

Please mod up for truth, justice and the HP way.

Re:zuh? (5, Insightful)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542707)

A lot of times, sellers willl request a custom model of a product - like a super-cheap model to draw people into a sale for example. These models usually vary slightly from an existing model (maybe it prints slightly slower or has a different paper tray). apparently HP has let these get out of hand.

Re:zuh? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542739)

So that when a part on one breaks, you absolutely cannot find that part used or for sale somewhere else. Also so that when you're trying to print from a new printer, you absolutely must connect to the internet first to search for the relevant driver, which will not be found anyway.

It's part of the strategy that is obviously working out so well for HP and many other printer makers:

Step one: Make printers pointlessly difficult to use in all ways, frustrating users
Step two: The promised "paperless office" never happens
Step three:???
Step four: PROFIT!!!

Re:zuh? (4, Funny)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542939)

PC LOAD LETTER? What the fuck does that mean?

Re:zuh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543009)

Perhaps for the same reason that Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 came with "112 Video Games"?

Options:
duplex
network
extra trays
multiple memory sizes
color
etc.

Re:zuh? (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543169)

To create artificial scarcity on toner modules, and in turn keeping prices on consumables high.

Probably localized models (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543331)

As another poster has pointed out, those probably include localized models. Different display languages and power cords can make for a lot of different "models." Really, she should have called them "SKUs", not "models" to differentiate between actual different designs and minor changes to what gets tossed in the box.

Re:zuh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543385)

0_o 2100 laser printers? WHY?

gotta be a misprint.

They're also swapping out employee computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542587)

For Apple Mac's. Instead of lookalike computers, they'll actually be using Apple products. This alone should make them twice as productive.

The all new HP Mac (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543327)

Why would HP need to buy Apple products? HP already makes their own MacBook Pro [engadget.com] (which is appropriately named "Envy") as well as their own iMac. [extremetech.com] They don't need to visit the Apple Store when they can make their own.

Better for her to preside over downfall of HP... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542595)

...than the entire state of California.

Re:Better for her to preside over downfall of HP.. (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542661)

Yeah, it will be much better with Jerry Brown presiding over it instead...

Re:Better for her to preside over downfall of HP.. (2)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542723)

for her at least. HP has better prospects than California.

Re:Better for her to preside over downfall of HP.. (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542875)

"California CEO Meg Whitman told financial analysts today that it will take until 2016 to turn the state around. Surprisingly, Whitman put some of the blame for the state's woes on its IT systems, which she said have hurt its internal operations. To fix its IT problems, Whitman said the state offices are adopting Salesforce and HR system Workday. The state also plans to cut benefits and entitlements. It said it has 2,100 different forms alone; it wants to reduce that by half. 'In every state we're going to benefit from focusing on a smaller number of entitlements that we can invest in and really make matter,' said Whitman."

I donno if its going to be all that different.

HP doesn't need a long-term vision (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542605)

They need a short term one, specifically one that doesn't involve switching CEOs every year.

If you don't have stability at the top, you have zero ability to execute a long term goal.

Re:HP doesn't need a long-term vision (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542987)

They need to stop depending on short term visions, and expectations of them.

Although it sounds like eliminating 90% of their printer models would be an excellent place to start, and it shouldn't take four years to do that.

Re:HP doesn't need a long-term vision (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543103)

In the spirit of charity, I'd be happy to offer them the services of a magic 8-ball with an MBA from an online degree mill.

It won't offer appreciably worse leadership, and it is happy to work for only 50k/year.

Just give me a call, HP, you know this one is a win-win!

Re:HP doesn't need a long-term vision (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543207)

Meg just announced the turn-around will take until "2016", so Meg plans to stick around for a few years, and if nothing else, this will be good for Meg and her purse.

She said so, and you will just have to take her at her word (or SELL). I think the next few years will be good for Meg. But can she fix HP? Given so much (announced) job security, I'm fairly certain I could fix HP in that timeframe too. Or at least I'd get paid trying.

At least if she ruins HP, I can choose not to buy HP. Had she 'won' California, well that's something else and I'm more pleased she lost that election, despite her hundreds of millions spent trying to buy the right to govern it. HP might be more in Meg's league of management skills however; but I have my doubts.

I no longer work there, luckily (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542611)

God, I'm glad I got India'd out of a job in '04.

Re:I no longer work there, luckily (1)

chinakow (83588) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543759)

You mean Canada'd? right? That is where they told me my job went.

Re:I no longer work there, luckily (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543951)

Indification?

About time (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542649)

HP printer firmware seems to get flakier every year. 2100 model variants? Do you really need more than 20?

Re:About time (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543043)

HP printer drivers are so immense your PC will actually WEIGH MORE after downloading them.

HP can't die soon enough for me.

Re:About time (2)

mattb47 (85083) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543257)

Amen!!!

Brother, Samsung, Canon, Epson, etc. drivers usually install in a quarter (sometimes a tenth!) of the time. And usually take up a quarter to a tenth of the drive space.

Especially on the all-in-one models.

And functionality just isn't that different or better with the HP models. Just immensely more annoying to install.

HP's printer software is a disaster.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543603)

+1 for brother printers. Hell even when they're networked, just install as a local printer using a new tcp/ip port and typically the driver is self installed in seconds. HP always takes way longer.. even longer than Dell printers

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543861)

Canon all-in-one printer scanners always suck driver-wise, whereas my Epson is doing its job and scanning when I need it to scan, even over its IP/ethernet interface. The last HP printer I owned was an ancient, reliable HP deskjet inkjet. It never broke down. I just stopped using it. Though I also started buying cheaper Chinese replacement ink cartridges. Multiply that by everyone, and that can't be good business for HP.

Still too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542655)

1,050 printers is still way too many.

They should just have 3, A laser, a color laser and an inkjet.

they make their dough on toner and ink anyhoo!

Re:Still too many (2)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542769)

They should just have 3, A laser, a color laser and an inkjet.

they make their dough on toner and ink anyhoo!

They've got 2100 laser printers. Imagine how many models including the ink jets!

Re:Still too many (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543715)

Three is way too few. They need Corporate high volume, corporate medium volume, and corporate low volume. (High and medium being multi-function copy machines, low being a beefy printer). These should all be laser. Then they have various graphic-design oriented printers, from high volume to low volume, with variations in paper sizes. Lets say high, medium, and low volume, with "low volume" overlapping with high end consumer. Drafting/plotting printers for blueprints and such. Then maybe 7 consumer printers. That's 13 right there, disregarding color/monochrome, and injet, bubblejet, and whatever the hell else exists (I rarely print at home, so I only know what we have at work). (My math doesn't add up because of the overlap I noted). So far fewer, but definitely more than 3.

Oh, that's encouraging... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542685)

Wasn't their bold plan for not sucking supposed to be offering 'enterprise' IT consulting? And now they admit that their own organization couldn't change its own asses toner cartridge with both hands and a map?

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (4, Insightful)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542709)

My thoughts exactly. The headline should have read "IT Company Has Bad IT; But Don't Worry, CEO Says It Will All Be Fine In A Few Years"

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542741)

No, that was like two hours ago. Their new CEO scrapped that plan and has a completely different one.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (1)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542927)

We're sorry. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543731)

We're sorry. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.

HP Compaq. Continuing in a long proud tradition of downsizing its way to greatness.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (2)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543003)

Whitman's claim is so much bullshit. Its her standard claim for any situation and she's throwing around Salesforce and Workday as if they will actually solve issues. What she really means is that she's outsourcing a bunch of internal support people in addition to the external support.

Workday is mostly a SaaS product, as is Salesforce.

So, expect more HP layoffs, and not much more.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543873)

Yep. Salesforce and workday won't save your organization from misery. Unless you know that your tools are actually hindering your operation, switching tools is not going to save you. And that's coming from someone who works at Salesforce....

Personally, I see this as bad news from the top. Whitman is advertising some minor operational details as if they will save the company. And, as someone else said, a terrible indictment of HP's IT consulting business. I fully expect Whitman selling off the printer business, refocusing on PCs, and slowly grinding HP into the ground, while taking credit for every million-dollar savings that was achieved by cutting its workforce to the bone.

Too bad, because I still have good friends at HP. I don't think that bodes well for them.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#41544077)

In my cynical moments, and in a comment lower down, I suggested that the move to Salesforce and Workday was prompted because of the donations given to Whitman by the CEOs of both organizations. Of course, that could be stretching it, but it just seems like such an odd announcement for her to make. I could easily see Salesforce being the ones excited to advertise that size of company switching their CRM, but HP?

I just hope that these miracle savings will go in to restructuring in a good way, and not in to more corporate jets and executive bonuses.

Re:Oh, that's encouraging... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543955)

Yeah sounded like she was blaming a bad IT dept. which is probably true, but one of many management problems. HP's general management is SNAFUBAR, especially post Carly Firiona & her MBA ass clown parade rendered the whole HP organization dysfunctional, just going out of their way to sink that ship.

Computers are Dead (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542729)

Pretty much everybody who needs a PC already has one, and will go as long as 10 years between replacements. Servers are still big business, but nowadays data centers want to buy cheap white boxes [wikipedia.org] , since any reliability issues are handled by cloud software. So name brand computers are dead.

When I worked for Sun's hardware division, I believed that the company could turn itself around by firing all the sales idiots who thought x86 systems were a passing fad. (Which earned my emity because I worked on some fancy x86 systems that were easily the best on the market.) Now that I've been out working on cloud systems for 3 years, it's become obvious that the brand of computer an app is running on matters as little as the specific processor. Commodification of everything is the new normal.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542879)

In plenty of countries white boxes dominate the home and SOHO market share but over 90%.
I've yet to see a single person who uses branded desktop computers, and I've worked as home tech-support, cibercafes, and plenty of other places.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543455)

I work for a company that builds all of its servers from scratch, but I have a name brand PC under my desk. I don't know the reason, but I speculate it has to do with scale. Setting up to manufacture desktop computers in house isn't worth it because there aren't enough of them to matter.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543779)

Everywhere I have worked has name brand computers. It's just generally not worth building from scratch, and most companies who don't do tech as their core business want to treat computer issues as NMFP. Even my home PC is an HP, though I will admit I regretted the purchase. "Name brand" computers are cheap. Nearly top of the line can be had, on sale, for just a few hundred dollars.

Re:Computers are Dead (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542951)

Nonsense, the variant of processor can matter, but software must be written to take advantage of it, and what more, to provide a true advantage. Compiling something with the Intel compiler, where x87 code is used for AMD processors, isn't a true advantage of Intel processors -> those AMD processors support those SSE instructions, and a quick recompile / change of the flags destroys your temporary advantage.

What makes many other types of processor quick ass over the x86 variants? Typically fun things like double-digits of registers or special instructions that can do in one cycle what x86 do in ten. But you can't rest on your laurels. You can't ship a new chip with a slight speed boost, while others are trouncing your platform, and cross your fingers that companies are too heavily invested in Sparc to transition to a different chip. Your sales guys cut better deals, with happier customers, when the stuff they're selling isn't crap. Cut back on R&D or tech too much, and you turn into another oem who is competing on price alone (a dangerous place to be). When people look to your company, they need to know that the tech is as safe as houses, the deal they're getting isn't bullsh*t, and that the support contracts won't be outsourced to someone who hasn't personally built one of the servers they're supporting.

Re:Computers are Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543285)

What makes many other types of processor quick ass over the x86 variants?

Um, nothing? X86 processors are the fastest in the world, with the possible exception of IBM Power7.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543397)

Like the Sun sales guys, you're focusing on all the technical issues and ignoring economics. Commmodity systems are cheap. Economies of scale make them cheap to buy, and the fact that they run standard software on standard OS's makes them cheap to own. In a cloud environment, you just dion't care that they're less powerful — you just buy more of them.

Once got into an argument with a Sun sales guy over an x86 system I was using for an internal wiki. He called me lazy because I ran Linux on it instead of Solaris. I explained how the I needed certain standard Perl libraries that were widely used on Linux but which were utterly broken on Solaris. I offered to go back to Solaris if he'd help with the resources I would need to get those libraries working. Never heard back from him.

I'll say it again, commodification is everything.

Re:Computers are Dead (4, Interesting)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543625)

Nonsense, the variant of processor can matter, but software must be written to take advantage of it...

The amount of software that is written to take specific advantage of a processor architecture is going down in this era of the cloud. Unless the thing you are doing is so trivial that it doesn't matter, or vast that you can fill your own datacenter with it 24-7, odds are today your software will (eventually) want to run on a cloud platform (e.g, like Amazon AWS/EC2). In a cloud environment, you don't own the computer, you rent a virtual computer. The cheapest rentals will likely be the most commoditized platforms. Specialized software which need specific variants of processors is not only is less cost effective to develop, but also to execute.

FWIW, As for the other arguments, x86 is mostly dead in the cloud world. Everyone is x86-64-AVX That means in addition to the 16 standard integer registers there are 16 256-bit SIMD registers in the IAS which are quite competitive with Sparc (0+7g+8i+8o register window). Besides, today processors have many more physical registers and do top-of-stack caching so ISA registers don'tt mean as much as it used to mean (e.g, the sandy bridge i7 architecture has 160 integer registers available for renaming).

Also, all those arguments about magic instructions are mostly not relavent anymore. Everyone pretty much has the similar stuff. For example, the latest rabbit out of the Sparc bag have been a dedicated security co-processor (given that many of their servers are web-host front-ends, maybe a co-processor that does AES/DES/RSA is a reasonable thing), although not clear that it's net any better than say an i7 with x86-AES-NI [wikipedia.org] acceleration instructions + a highly optmized AVX RSA implementation unless all that's all your server is doing is RSA (usually there's some other code running).

Re:Computers are Dead (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543435)

I neglected to read TFA. If I had done so, I would have noticed something that made my point for me: Whitman is tossing internal applications and replacing them with cloud applications. Which certainloy run on white box systems. So why should I buy an HP brand server if HP itself doesn't use them?

Re:Computers are Dead (3, Insightful)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543605)

I have no idea how this has been voted up. The statements in this post are pure fantasy. First off, on what planet to people keep their PCs for 10 years? It's more like 3... at the most; for both home and business. And on the business side you're much better off sticking with a vendor like HP both for their warranties and the ease of deploying their OEM images over the network.

Secondly, white boxes are all fine and dandy for large data centers but you're leaving out a pretty big section of the pie there. "The cloud" isn't the blanket solution for everything yet. Virtually all small and medium sized offices run internal windows domains, most still find reasons to need exchange, have internal MDM software, and alot of industries still require older server/client software. Im also seeing more of a desire to have high availability systems which is creating demand for SAN storage.

Computers aren't dead, "the cloud" (aka. web services) is nothing new, and tablets don't replace anything.

Re:Computers are Dead (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543959)

Maybe I got voted up because people can see for themselves that all this is happening. Maybe the people you know buy new computers every few years and maintain their own in-office networks — but that's not the trend, not by a long shot. There's resistance to moving away from these things, but the fact remains that they cost a shitload to maintain. And what do businesses worry about these days? Cost. Then they worry some more about cost. And then if they have some spare time they worry about cost.

When you say that the cloud is nothing new, you're assuming that "cloud" is just marketspeak for "servers". Wrong. It's about SaaS and other technologies that make access to applications a kind of commodity. Saying "this is nothing new" is like somebody in 1981 saying "PCs are nothing new, we've had computers for more than 30 years." What's new here is not the basic technology, but the economics and infrastructure that makes that technology more available.

Which is why HP (as mentioned in the article) is trying to save money by shifting to cloud-based CRM and HR instead of continuing to run their own servers. Ironic, really.

BTW, you mention the need to run an Exchange server? Every office I ever worked in that had its own Exchange server had major problems because the damn thing is hard to administer. If I had been there as an IT guy, I would have insisted that they go to an Exchange provider and let them worry about that shit. Cloud, cloud, cloud.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543971)

First off, on what planet to people keep their PCs for 10 years? It's more like 3... at the most; for both home and business.

Not sure what industry you're working in but I'd have to say the fantasy is yours in this case, Most businesses these days keep their systems as long as possible, six year old computers are common. For most use cases it makes no sense to upgrade every 3 years. Most computers are simply more powerful then the average user needs, by far. Proper maintenance, like keeping the computer free of dust, and a maintained UPS lets most computers last for many years. After mainboards when to solid caps their failure rate has been significantly reduced in desktops. Laptops are the most likely to be replaced due to heat and impact related deaths.

Re:Computers are Dead (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543925)

Pretty much everybody who needs a PC already has one, and will go as long as 10 years between replacements.

Not if that PC is an HP... :p

Sounds like a decent move (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542747)

Honestly, most people are just confused by all the stuff that's out there anyways.
Over 2000 printers? For consumer stuff, offer
* inkjet
* laser
* color laser
Maybe an MFC offering for some of the above

For extra stuff, just have addons that can easily be plugged into the printer. You don't need to manufacture two printers to allow ethernet, just make one include a module

Add something similar for corporate printers, along with the ability to add trays/duplexers/etc as normal...

Yes, there might still be quite a few different models, but I fail to see why they'd have 2100

Re:Sounds like a decent move (1)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542901)

I would only make two models of printers: laser black and white and laser color. Inkjet is dead. You don't see companies offering dot matrix printers anymore, inkjet is on its way out.

Second, I would standardize on a single model of toner cartridge, meaning HP would only need four types of toners in stores: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

And the modular idea is the way to go. A module for scanning, one for faxing, one for wireless, one for ethernet, etc. People will then be able to buy and install the modules they want. That way the printer they want is cheaper and then later if they want to upgrade they simply buy and install a module.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543067)

inkjet is on its way out.

You obviously don't sell ink.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543093)

" would standardize on a single model of toner cartridge, meaning HP would only need four types of toners in stores: cyan, magenta, yellow and black."

If it was big, some people don't want to pay $100 a big cartridge they would replace every 5 years (because they don't print that much), and if it was small, some people would not want to pay $25 for a cartridge they have to replace each week (because they print a lot). So you need choices.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (1)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543429)

That can still be a single model of cartridge, one full, one half-full, one quarter-full. The manufacturing cost of a 100g plastic part is nearly the same as a 50g plastic part. It's the mold itself and the processing that's costly. That would also cut on the packaging costs. Just put three checkboxes on the label and check the appropriate one when packaging.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543709)

The comment about different amounts of toner in the cartridge is probably correct in terms of how it would work out, but alternatively you could redesign the printers so that the toner cartridge projects partway out of the printer's case, with the height of the thing varying depending on how much toner it held.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543127)

That would make too much sense. And sense doesn't translate well to profits for an established business with a large customer base bent on replacing the existing products in their customer's hands with new products that do exactly the same thing.

On the other hand a small startup could do this so long as they could get people to trust that they would be around long enough to support their products (regardless of whether or not they actually would be).

Just two models? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543153)

I would only make two models of printers: laser black and white and laser color.

So, are you going to just make compact desktop models, just high-end high-volume model, or just pick one-point in between? Are you just just going to make directly-connected models, or wired network models, or wifi models?

Or, along with color vs. black and white, are there multiple axes of variation you need to cover that are going to require more than one model of printer in each the "black and white" and "color" categories?

Re:Sounds like a decent move (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543171)

I think you're underestimating the number of featuresets that the market will demand. At work, we really do kind of need the 5 trays of variously sized paper and the collator unit. At home I can use a 50-sheet tray that's built in to the printer, and I don't want to pay for the extra hardware that it would need to interface with the collator and extra trays, because at home it will never get to use it.

And while I like my little color laser at home for a lot of things, my inkjet does a much better job of printing on my DVD blanks, and I think it does a better job with my vacation photos too.

Re:Sounds like a decent move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543231)

Modular is the way to go, indeed.

I propose making those separate functions (printing, imaging, telephony/transmission) completely separated into "modules" called devices. Then we can make those devices network-capable (wired only!) and use as many or as few of each of them as we want. And if wireless networking is desired, a separate (and standard!) wireless network bridge device can be used.

Y'know, like putting together a real fucking network.

All-in-one sells to lazy people, stupid people, and anyone drinking Apple-flavored kool-aid.

Is it really too much to ask to get a small, ethernet-connected device that can send a fax from a network? Really? No printer or scanner attached, just a postscript engine and a faxmodem. Why is this difficult?

The same question applies to the concept of a network-connected scanner. Every time I plug my phone into my computer it pops up a fucking window asking me where I want to put the pictures it imports. Why can't I do that from a networked scanner? Scan to the scanner's internal flash memory, then raise an SNMP alert so anyone with the included monitoring software gets the alert. Optionally, you could include some job-originator data to make sure that only the person who started the scan got the alert.

INGDRS. (It's Not God Damned Rocket Science)

I Will Get This To You In 2016 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542779)

Now that's some clever job security!

Saleforce? Hah (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542807)

When a company starts thinking that Salesforce (or any CRM, or any single piece of software) is going to save them, that means they are DOOMED.

The fact that HP doesn't know this says a lot about how clueless they really are about IT, software, *and* business needs in general.

Re:Saleforce? Hah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543199)

No, it means their CEO is a former consultant. If their CEO was a former plumber, they likely all would be getting new toilets.

Re:Saleforce? Hah (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543545)

maybe they should hire a plumber as CEO, plumbers know how to work with shit and HP makes shit

2,100 different laser printers (5, Funny)

NikeHerc (694644) | more than 2 years ago | (#41542865)

640 printers is enough for anybody.

Randy Mott (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542883)

A few years back, I remember reading glowing stories on HP's former CIO in InformationWeek. Mott was leading a multi-year project [informationweek.com] to slash the number of in-house applications, the number of data centers, and IT employees, and to migrate to the corporate data warehouses to use HP's new technology NeoView.

Mott didn't survive the rapid turnover in HP CEO's office. He is now the CIO at GM.

Re:Randy Mott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543323)

I work at HP. I know people who were there during Randy Mott's reign. According to them he was a joker with no clue who caused a mass exodus of technical people because of hos policies, including the plan to migrate all of the data centers to Houston (which just happens to be his home town). Strangely, a lot of guys who didn't live in Houston didn't want to move there. Who'd have thought?

Now he's at GM I believe he's introducing similar policies, with similar results. gg Randy.

printers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542959)

Do they really still make printers?
It must be 8 years ago since we abandoned HP printers, and we never have been happier...
What a shitload of flaky mechanisms, flaky drivers, bulky software and trouble did we avoid.

2016?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41542977)

that's an eon in 'internet time', by then the tartars will have flowed again across the steppes!

No surprise that IT systems are at fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543111)

The company I work for loves HP and we buy tons of stuff from them. They're our official vendor for servers, storage systems, etc. Dealing with them is a huge headache. They take forever to return quotes, then ordering takes forever. I recently tried to buy some fiber cables for our SAN and it took three days to get us a quote, even though we gave them the HP part numbers and the quantity. Their excuse? "It took us a while to look up and apply your corporate discount." You'd think they'd have that programmed in their computer and it'd be calculated by the time the screen refreshed. They are a computer company after all. I told a colleague that if we had ordered the cables from NewEgg (or any other tech web store) we'd already have the cables before HP even gave us the quote. It was two weeks before we finally got our fiber cables.

You'd think a huge computer and software company would be more efficient at this, but HP is borderline incompetent. I think the only reason they are still in business is due to sheer inertia.

fewer = better? (1)

h8sg8s (559966) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543125)

Apple makes 12 HW products by my count. I think Meg may be onto something here.

Re:fewer = better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543477)

Apple makes ZERO hardware products by my count. The Chinese make all of Apple's branded products, Apple makes nothing themselves except software.

Re:fewer = better? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543835)

Yes because the Chinese factories that Apple uses can never be the same as the ones HP uses. Do your homework.

Re:fewer = better? (3, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543589)

One of the first things Steve Jobs did upon his return to Apple in the 90s was kill off all the random, overlapping, redundant, confusing product lines... Which each cost money to develop, produce, support and market. He drew a cross on the whiteboard and wrote "pro laptop" in one corner, "consumer laptop" in another, pro desktop and consumer desktop in the others. And that was their strategy. The point was to FOCUS a company that had lost its way, and HP certainly looks like a company that has lost its way.

HP in permanent decline (5, Insightful)

twasserman (878174) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543139)

For the past 10 years or so, going back to Her Worship (Fiorina), HP has been cutting staff. Total layoffs through Hurd, Apotheker, and Meg are now up to 100K. HP has decimated its R&D capabilities, to the extent that they are essentially incapable of creating innovative products, which partly explains their 2100 printers. Too many of the people who are left are lifers who know how to keep their jobs. Anyone who is capable of finding a job elsewhere has done so.

If you are looking for a job, HP is a company without an interesting mobile strategy and a cloud strategy focused predominantly on IT services - not very attractive for entrepreneurial types, who have many other excellent opportunities.

Finally, the 100K HP departees are not likely to purchase HP products or to recommend them in their new settings. That's a very large pool of people who are going to advocate for competing products.

So the turnaround projected for 2016 is unlikely to happen, but it's a pretty fair bet than Meg Whitman won't be around HP when that day arrives.

Becoming a "brand" not a company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543447)

Yep.

  HP will soon no longer be neither designing, nor manufacturing any of their own products. Already the lion's share of their manufacturing is farmed out to Foxconn and other outfits in China. Pretty soon "Hewlett Packard Development Company" will become just Hewlett Packard, Inc." as product development also will be farmed out to China and the name will be used as a product "brand" only... just like Magnavox, Westinghouse, Zenith, Emerson, Polaroid, Philips, RCA, Sylvania, Bell & Howell, and a host of others.

And not too far behind HP's footsteps is the once great name of Motorola too.

Re:HP in permanent decline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543517)

Wait.. HP "has" a mobile strategy.. Stop the Presses!

Re:HP in permanent decline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41544015)

Worse than having 100k pissed off ex-HP workers is having products so bad they defame themselves. I live in an HP town. I did some work at a local real estate company occasionally, and one day when I came in, I was surprised to see they had replaced every one of their computers with HP PCs. They wanted to support a local company, you see. Cut to three months later, and all the HP PCs were gone because such a massive percentage of the computers failed outright, and the ones that didn't fail were so much slower than the ones they had replaced (even though they were newer models with newer processors) the company had no choice but to give up on HP entirely. HP ate the entire cost, since the computers were all under warranty and a contract that let the company send them back.

Doomed (4, Insightful)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543175)

Its been said, but I'll reiterate.

Salesforce is not an IT tool, it is a Customer Management tool. The whole point of using Salesforce is to make your sales and customer service people more efficient so you can do more with what you have or do the same with fewer people.

Workday is the same thing, only it replaces any internal HR databases with its own SaaS solution in order to allow your HR people to manage more people, or in order to manage the same number of people with fewer HR people.

At the end of the day, both of these projects are about outsourcing internal functions, possibly to save money, possibly because Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff the CEOs of Workday and Salesforce respectively were big contributors to Meg's failed gubernatorial campaign.

I'm cynical, especially when it comes to the continued flushing of HP down the toilet.

Having just gone through a Salesforce effort... (4, Informative)

LaRoach (968977) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543233)

...all I can say is sell your HP stock! They're doomed.

Kodak ... HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543239)

I wonder what the similarity ...

Buy in Canon gear, and rebadge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543253)

..fire your own workers, just like Xerox will be doing with their remaining engineers next year when the HCL "partnership" hits the iceberg and they have no A3 multifunction devices to sell of their own and no money left.

It'll be much cheaper. No R,D&E costs at all, just Sales, Marketing and Accounts.

Hey, maybe Whitman won't suck for HP (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 2 years ago | (#41543653)

As long as she doesn't go anywhere near public office ever in her entire life, or any company that I or a friend are working for, or any institution that will have a significant impact on my life, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

So Long HP Home Division (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543717)

For the home consumer, HP once meant high quality laser printers and top notch calculators. Then Carly Firiona came, merged HP with Compaq, and proceeded shit on everything and everyone. Its been downhill ever since. And btw, the real HP calculator division died over a decade ago, all that remains are crappy ass Taiwanese junk. TI & Casio are far better values today. Palm/Handspring floundered with Treo & Web OS, acquired & killed by HP. Now always-internet-connected smartphones , mainly Apple iPhone & Android, are drowning/killing all other competing smart devices. Innovation-wise this sucks big time.

i would like HP to cut its product offerings to 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41543793)

And bring back carly, just to fire that stupid bitch all over again.

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