Tech major Hewlett-Packard recently strengthened its storage and cloud product portfolios to tap small and medium businesses (SMB) as well as challenge competitors.

Speaking to Business Line at the HP Discover 2012 in Frankfurt, Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, HP India, shared her insights into the cloud computing market and the company’s initiatives to grab the SMB segment. Excerpts:

What are the emerging verticals for HP?

I would just say one of the emerging verticals which we would see is the cloud computing environment, and that is leading to the SMB and mid-market. So if you see, in India SMBs are growing and mid-market is growing and they are using more and more of IT. Banks and manufacturing in Government, those are the big buyers. But the SMB sector is going very well for us. We see it investing in IT as well as consuming IT over the cloud. So, both of them are helping us grow in the country.

Did HP make any concerted efforts to tap Indian SMEs?

If you see SMB, even the line-up we have announced in Discover 2012 is meant for mid-market and SMB. So, many products which HP is announcing are actually meant for that market. Earlier, we would not be having low-end servers, which were Gen8, now we have the product. With these products, we think we can penetrate the market better. With our partners, upcountry is the focus, and we are driving as much as we can to look at the upcountry business.

On training for cloud technology, what are the HP initiatives so far? Do you have any tie-ups with educational institutes?

We did announce the HP Institute in September this year where we looked at the gap between what education has and what industry wants to deploy. We announced a programme in the country where we see close to 55,000 students being touched by it. It is basically to bridge the gap between what the university teaches and help them get the balance through a certification and test process. We launched it with the University of Kurukshetra, it’s the first one which had signed on the day of launch. From a business perspective, what is working for HP?

India is a PC and printer market first. When I look at the top line, we do very well in the PC and printer business. We have more than 50-60 per cent market share and printers, maybe more. We have complete leadership position in the printer business. In PC, we lost market share sometime ago. We are No.1 by far in servers. Networking and storage, we are catching up. So when I look at it overall, we have a dominant share of each and every market we play in. Some of it gives us top line and some of it gives us gross margins. We are not a high-margin country as of now.

After tablets, when are you launching mobiles, especially smartphones?

We don’t have any plans for smartphones. We have huge focus on mobility solutions. When you look at the software stack which is actually meant for managing your data centre, all the alarms come to your phone. So, linking applications to mobility, we have done quite a lot of work.

Lenovo has overtaken HP in the PC market. Your views?

In India, if you look at it, we are No. 1 where the consumer market is concerned. Business desktops are a concern – that’s where we lost the market share. The desktop market we lost to Lenovo. When I look at consumer laptop and business notebooks, we are number one. The desktop market is shrinking right now.

Do you have any tie up with Aadhaar?

We have been working with Aadhaar. In fact, we have a number of contracts running with it. We work with it to provide equipment as well as services. So both ways we are working with Aadhaar. Aadhaar develops applications itself. It has been buying a lot of Proline servers from us. In fact, its Bangalore centre is completely HP. If you get to see that, you would know Aadhaar is completely into HP products.

What kind of opportunities can large Indian enterprises see from HP’s public cloud?

HP public cloud is currently not in India. I don’t know when we will be able to operate. What we do have is the enterprise cloud services in India which is hosted out of Bangalore and we started with it in May this year. We find customers have their main data centre but they want disaster recoveryput on the cloud. They like it from us because the main data centre is on HP equipment. They find the disaster recovery is there. We give services of checking out the disaster recovery and are always testing. We offer security solutions in the data centre. So, enterprise customers, who are using our cloud services, are primarily looking at security services and back-up services from us.

jaishankar.p@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 17, 2012)
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