Hewlett-Packard Co.s merger of its PC business with its printing group has kicked off industrywide speculation on what it means for the company and its customers. In an interview with eWEEK Senior Editor Jeffrey Burt and Staff Writer Shelley Solheim, Cathy Lyons, senior vice president of the Palo Alto, Calif., companys Business Imaging and Printing division, talked about the decision.
How will the reorganization benefit customers, both on the product side as well as on the sales side?
Our fundamental philosophy is that customers are still looking for some extreme value-add in their IT products, and that includes not only the hardware but also the solutions and services and support and how that all plays together. We do not view this as a commodity business, so, therefore, we continue to look for ways to add value for our customers.
In the business environment, from a customer perspective, businesses, particularly small and medium businesses who really want to look and act like a big business on a small scale, have professional needs just like a big business. Well be looking at better ways to support our SMB customer with a common experience.
How would you compare this with the merger of the enterprise systems and the services groups last year?
There are some similarities. If you look at the way we combined that in the past, and looking at how we are better able to service the enterprise space, what you see here is a mirror image, looking at concentrating on [the] consumer, small and midsize businesses, as well as medium and large businesses.
Is this a shift in strategy or direction for HPs PC business, away from market share and more toward profits?
From a PC strategy perspective, it is a very visible recommitment, or another sign of our commitment to the PC business.
Will there be layoffs or any sort of reorganization of the sales force?
I cant really predict on that front, but this particular combining of these organizations was not motivated by head-count reduction or re-engineering along those lines.
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