HP Workforce Solutions was launched last year, bringing HP’s services and solutions together to make life easier for businesses of all sizes. And, under the stewardship of experienced leader Dave Shull, it is set for significant growth in the coming months and years.
For businesses in all sectors, ensuring employees can be as productive as possible is a focus. It is well known that productivity growth in the UK has been slow since 2008, but business managers are investigating ways of unlocking that through operational efficiency.
This has been noted by OEMs, and in November 2022 HP launched HP Workforce Solutions, which brings together the company’s range of services and solutions – including PCs and printers – into one single organisation that is focused on providing services for businesses. “HP is different because we have the broadest set of equipment for employee productivity, whether it’s a PC, printer or Poly collaboration gear,” says Dave Shull, president of HP Workforce Solutions.
“I talk to a lot of customers and channel partners, and it’s coming back consistently that they want to focus on how to create services and solutions to make employees more productive in a hybrid world. As a result, there are three components to Workforce Solutions. The first one is Lifecycle Services: if you think about some of our customers, they have operations in 50 countries and the hybrid working environment is different in each one of those. Customers have said, ‘can you please just give me a single solution where I can take a PC, a printer and collaboration gear based on the persona of the employee, ship it to their home, configure it for them ahead of time, monitor it, make sure it’s working properly, fix it if it breaks, and then take it back at the end of the lifecycle and either dispose of it or refurbish it or whatever else is required?’ That is what we are doing.”
The second business is Digital Services. “This takes all the different bits of software that we have,” Dave says. “We have some unique endpoint software capabilities in Wolf Security. We have a unique ability to do remote dial in to our high-end workstations for media and auto design.
“In addition, we have Workforce Central, which captures all the telemetry data and provides insights to our CIO customers, and this also comes into Digital Services.
“The third business unit is our Managed Solutions. This takes all the building blocks from Lifecycle Services or Digital Services and bundles them together as a subscription or as a service offering, whether it’s a PC, printer or managed conference rooms and sell those to our customers.
“We do lifecycle services in 120 countries. We have many thousands of partners and thousands of SKUs for each of the services. That’s been a huge focus for us as channel partners have said that we need to simplify this business and tell a very simple story and help partners to really focus on what matters. That’s been a big effort over the last six months on our part.”
Dave adds that HP is now seeing the fruit of that effort. “We’re seeing some nice uptick with our channel partners in terms of their selling, and we’re seeing the rewards from the customers because when they understand it, it’s a lot easier to buy,” he says.
This is something, that, as a salesman at heart, is rewarding for him. “I love selling to everyone,” he says. “HP sell to everyone from the Global 100 down to SMBs with just one shop. I think that’s important for HP as a differentiator because we have such a strong base of channel partners. Being able to sell into the SMB space is critical and that means I need to take these sophisticated services and make sure that they’re prepackaged for our channel partners. A big focus of what I have the team working on now is how to take all this know-how and make sure that it’s a prepackaged set of tools for the channel partners. And we’re rolling that out step by step.”
Sustainability is also an important consideration for HP Workforce Solutions and is something that a lot of thought has gone into from HP’s side.
“It starts, of course, with how you create the product,” says Dave. “We talk a lot about that as a company: What materials do you put into the products? You want to make sure they’re sustainable, firstly, but where I’m excited is what’s going on in terms of extending the life of those assets, whether it’s stock, device recovery services or care packages, there are a lot of options we can provide.”
Dave adds that there will be announcements on this topic coming soon from HP. “Sustainability is a huge commitment for us at HP,” he adds. “What I hear from customers and from partners is they want to extend the life of the assets and that’s ultimately the most powerful thing we can do from a sustainability point of view. So, we have started doing that. For instance, we have device recovery services. We also have care packs that include carbon credits and we’ve had some healthy customer examples that have demonstrated some real carbon savings. There’s some real tangibility there and we’re standing up some real expansion around that as well.”
For Dave, the challenge of taking on the growth of HP Workforce Solutions is one he is relishing, after a career spent bringing innovative products and services to market.
Dave joined HP last year when the company acquired Poly, which he was then CEO of. “It was interesting going from Poly to HP and I had a lot of conversations with HP’s CEO Enrique Lores and the board, and I was convinced that there’s a pretty interesting growth story here,” he recalls. “So that’s really what motivated me to come over to HP and since November 1, 2022, I’ve been serving as the president of HP Workforce Solutions.”
Previously, Dave has had a diverse career, including being CEO of TiVo – which brought live pausing TV to the public – and the Weather Channel in the US, among others, before heading up Poly. “I love new challenges,” he laughs.
“I have a history of being at companies that innovated, and that’s one of things that attracted to me to Poly – they provided the first headset used on the moon by Neil Armstrong with Plantronics – and I love walking into companies that have a proud history. And in many cases, there’s an inflection point, and I think HP is sitting in the same situation. Obviously, its history goes back to the 1930s, but there is always innovation, such as now with AI – I think that is a genuine inflection point in this industry. And it’s going to be interesting to see how we respond and seize the opportunity.
“We’ve been using AI for decades in terms of things like telemetry and data analysis and but now I think the way we interact as human beings with AI is transformative. My human AI interface feels much more natural, and that changes the use cases considerably. HP are looking at it internally and strategically, there’s a lot of different options here that are pretty interesting.”
In his new role with HP Workforce Solutions, Dave has been racking up the Air Miles travelling around the world – including several trips to the UK – bringing the word about the company to as many businesses in the channel as possible.
“The channel engagement here has been great,” he says. “One of my first meetings with channel partners here was on a boat in the Thames. It was a phenomenal way to get to know the channel partners and being on a boat I had a captive audience, so I got lots of feedback about what we were doing well and what we could improve on.
“What I hear constantly from customers and channel partners is ‘HP, you see hybrid working on a global basis and can you please synthesise for me the best practises that you’re seeing and enable us as channel partners with sort of the tools to help customers figure out this hybrid working thing, whether it’s at home or in the office’. And there’s different challenges in both scenarios. We’re doing a lot of work defining, from an employee point of view, what the interaction points are and how do we help them become more productive.
“Our commitment to our channel partners is to provide tools that focus on employee productivity. We can enable a lifelong relationship through our channel partners with these customers and the UK is leading the charge.”
This is being seen from large corporates right through to SMBs. “We have a lot of SMB customers in the UK, and I’ve spent time with some of our channel partners looking at how are they doing print differently,” says Dave. “It’s things as simple of as if you don’t have people in the office all the time, how do you process invoices? How do you scan them? How do you print and get the signatures that you need? Our managed print business is doing a lot of document workflow analysis to define how we help our customers digitise print when they need it and transform it digitally when they need to.”
HP Workforce Solutions will continue to evolve and provide new and innovative solutions to customers, Dave adds. “With what’s happening with AI and Generative AI and everything else, I think there’s a pretty exciting story around the insights that we can provide to our channel partners,” he says.
“With this, it is a significant shift for HP on the consumer and corporate side. For channel partners, it means they can develop long-term relationships with clients with the full backing of HP’s products and expertise.”
Dave is understandably excited about the future for HP Workforce Solutions, and HP more widely, and sees plenty of opportunities for growth for the company, and its partners in the coming years. “Watch this space!” he says.