At HP Reinvent, the focus is on the future

The jam-packed yearly event for partners and press showed HP’s vision for new technological and generational trends.

By Sunshine Flint — March 27, 2019

Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center was abuzz last week as the HP Reinvent partner forum kicked off with 1,400 attendees; new products to announce; radical advances to share; next-gen designs to reveal; plus a "time hop" exhibit that recreated the 80-year-old entrepreneurial garage digs of HP's founders.

But if there was one overarching message, it was about transforming the future: the future of work, of the supply chain, of manufacturing, the planet and, importantly, what all of those changes ahead mean for HP’s sales channel partners, distributors and value-added resellers of HP’s hardware, software and services. As attendees who filled the Grand Ballroom heard CEO Dion Weisler pledge, “Whether disrupting the contractual copier market, scaling device-as-a-service or reinventing workflows with immersive technologies like VR, we’re on the cusp of another exciting era of innovation.”

The forum was HP’s chance to introduce to its partners to the areas where it can best perform in today’s changing landscape and the actions it has taken to evolve, showing how that spirit of innovation spans all of HP's channels as the company responds to generational and technological trends.

Along with Weisler, the crowd heard from other HP executives who revealed exciting new initiatives and strategies, and throughout the forum the main topic was how transformations in print, personal systems and sustainability are moving HP and its partners forward.

As Weisler told the crowd, “The ability to keep reinventing is what sets the HP family apart.”

HP CEO Dion Weisler (left) and WeWork Vice Chairman Michael Gross at HP Reinvent.

Changing how WeWork works

Helping HP’s reinvention is its ability to identify and forecast the factors transforming the global economy and society. These megatrends are the key to understanding the 4th Industrial Revolution that is underway, from the rise of the as-a-service economy to technological advances like edge computing, and the need for sustainable and secure growth.

To take advantages of these new factors, HP is moving from a transactional model to an everything-as-a-service model; from selling one-off products to subscription-based businesses; from creating apps as printer accessories to building printers that are themselves the accessories to the smart apps — all in order to meet customer expectations and the challenges of what industry-watchers describe as “the digital economy.”

A newly-announced partnership with WeWork is a prime example  — the office-sharing company is built on the idea that usership, not ownership, is how the youngest generation of entrepreneurs and knowledge workers will operate. This sea change is already disrupting the traditional model of commercial real estate and has propelled WeWork’s rapid expansion into 100 cities. WeWork Vice Chairman Michael Gross joined Weisler on stage to discuss how meaningful experiences at work are a priority to this generation and the role of technology at work. By the end of the year, HP will manage all of WeWork’s print services and provide WeWork customers with seamless, secure printing capabilities wherever they choose to work.

“The digital transformation of our global economy and society is making everything more connected, more intelligent and more vulnerable,” said Kim Rivera, HP’s president of strategy and business management. “For those who can transform at scale, there are massive opportunities to connect people, ideas and experiences.”

“The ability to keep reinventing is what sets the HP family apart.”

— Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc.

Services that put security and sustainability first

This same sort of disruption is taking place across HP: At Reinvent, the company rolled out new contractual Device-as-a-Service (Daas) with Proactive Security that also covers other vendors’ software products, such as Microsoft and Adobe, and even non-HP PCs, using threat isolation technology to protect against malware. “We’ve taken all the endpoints and hardened them,” said Alex Cho, HP’s president of personal systems.

On the print side, HP is pushing forward everything-as-a-service (XaaS), a model that brings sustainability to managed print services, which helps HP’s customers reach their own sustainability goals by reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption, while lowering costs.

HP understands that its customers “click what they like, but print what they love,” according to Enrique Lores, president of imaging and printing. It will be much easier to love printing with HP’s circular economy model and its forest positive commitment. HP has already achieved its 100 percent zero-deforestation goal with its HP-branded paper in 2016 and now is expanding that to include its packaging by 2020 and ambitiously, any paper printed on HP printers. It has partnered with NGOs who aid in responsible forest management and planting of new trees. Another innovative way HP brings sustainability to office printing is with the new HP LaserJet A4 printer and EcoSmart black toner, which has a lower melt temperature and reduces the machine’s energy consumption.

Additionally, HP is invested heavily in closed-loop recycled plastics in its printers and cartridges. In fact, 100 percent of its toner cartridges and 80 percent of ink cartridges use closed-loop, recycled plastics, and 30 percent of the ENVY and Tango printers are built with them. The company recently introduced the HP OfficeJet Pro, a new portfolio of smart printers for small businesses made from recycled materials. “HP’s commitment to sustainability guides how we do business and drives the way our printers are designed, made and used,” added Lores.

"There are massive opportunities to connect people, ideas and experiences," said Kim Rivera, HP’s president of strategy and business management.

Product innovation shines

Attendees heard from Christoph Schell, president of 3D printing at HP, about 3D printing’s ability to transform the $12 trillion manufacturing industry, including the automotive, industrial, medical and consumer sectors. HP’s latest Metal Jet innovations enables companies to manufacture lighter products with fewer parts and print them on demand, instead of languishing in inventory-stocked warehouses.

In addition to painting a picture of the future, HP Reinvent was also a place where partners could get hands on with HP’s coolest new products, including the HP Reverb VR headset. The Windows-based, pro-edition device was among the buzziest topics in the press, who touted it’s sharper resolution at 4.6 million pixels per eye, larger field of view and Bluetooth connection with the included handheld controller. The enterprise version has commercial and professional applications for training, such as first-responders, surgical nurses and architects, but consumers will also like its lighter weight and comfortable fit. Likewise, the HP Elite Slice, which provides secure conferencing through HP PCs, was lauded for its ability to change the way office workers experience meetings and collaboration.

While products and services took center stage at Reinvent, HP didn’t shy away from talking about the issues at large in the tech industry and underscored its commitment to global education, sustainability, diversity and inclusion at every level of the company and beyond.

“We need to find people who think and act differently from ourselves, who bring new alternative perspectives and new attitudes that reflect the diversity of our own customers,” said Weisler. “Change takes courage and hard work and sometimes even makes us a little uncomfortable, but the results are absolutely worth it.”


Learn about HP’s 2019 Megatrends from Chief Technology Officer Shane Wall.