Hewlett Packard may be on track to be a $100bn company this year, but chief executive Mark Hurd has said there is a much bigger, $1.1 trillion market to pursue.
In a keynote address at the HP Technology Forum in Las Vegas, Hurd told an audience of HP customers, partners and employees that the company needs to continue to reduce costs so it can invest more in innovation.
In an emotional moment in his 30 minute address, he expressed confidence his 167,000 employees are up to the challenge. "I know of no CEO who is prouder of their company as I am about HP," Hurd said.
HP's capital spending has remained relatively flat in recent years while its budget for IT maintenance and continuing operations has continued to rise. Hurd pledged that HP would increase capital spending by four times, with a goal of getting HP to a point where maintenance and operations are just 30% of the IT budget and innovation on new technology is 70%.
HP is in the midst of a capital project to reduce the number of datacentres it operates, from 85 worldwide to just six, in order to improve the efficiency of its own operations.
Hurd said HP also has a goal of reducing the amount of energy used for power and cooling by 50%, which he said would save enough energy to power the city of Palo Alto, the city of HP's headquarters, for a year. "Green is not just about being environmentally friendly, it's [about] a great outcome. It's also about the efficiency we gain and the money we save at the same time," Hurd said.
Despite cost saving efforts, HP is also hiring staff. Hurd said the company hired approximately 1,000 new sales people over the last 12 months, two thirds of them in the Technology Solutions Group which sells to medium and large enterprises.
Hurd said that all the innovation HP designs into its personal computers, servers and other products will not make a difference if the products are not well distributed. He said the company needs to hire more and better sales people and handle more accounts to better serve their customers.
The Technology Forum is cohosted by HP user groups, including Encompass. Nina Buik, president of Encompass, said the forums help HP customers, particularly small to medium sized businesses, make the company to listen to them: "HP is going to listen to FedEx, Motorola or General Dynamics," Buik said. "But if you take that layer of SMBs who, collectively, probably do the largest spending for HP products, this is where their voice is heard."