With all the negative news swirling around HP, it is easy to lose focus on the complex operations that continue to drive the $120 billion behemoth.
Every global supply chain was rocked by the Japanese tsunami and the Iceland volcano explosion impact on European air travel. HP’s mammoth supply chain which produces 2 printers a second and a server every 15 seconds and has plants and warehouses spread around the world has deftly adjusted to those and many other disruptions. It was the subject of a case study in my recent book, The New Technology Elite.
An even more impressive operational transformation is happening. While many large enterprises have been reluctant to move to cloud computing, HP has ploughed ahead and is poised to become the largest Salesforce.com implementation in the world. And the largest Workday (for HR functions) implementation. And the largest Fieldglass implementation (for contract labor procurement). And the largest DocuSign implementation (for electronic contracts). And other business processes are being continually moved to the cloud.
The move to the cloud could have been justified on IT economic reasons. But at HP the much bigger payback is coming from business process transformation. So, the Salesforce.com implementation has been driven by the need to provide the customer a more unified view across HP’s multiple business units – data center services, printers, software etc. The project is breaking down silos – so contracts, contacts, commissions will be in one place – needing better integration of sales with legal, HR, contingent labor procurement and with countless channel partners. It is providing better transparency to management across the sales and reseller channels.
It is also speeding up processes. The interaction with HP Financial Services has been collapsed to 10 minutes from what would take two or three days of paperwork back and forth. Salespeople are able to generate complex quotes much quicker with the integrated product, service and contract t&c data. The Salesforce implementation itself has gone through five upgrade releases in less than 2 years.
One of the other differentiations of the massive transformation is it is being driven by executives recruited from outside the high tech industry. John Hinshaw, EVP Global Technology and Operations, came to HP from the aviation/defense industry. Ramon Baez, the CIO who reports to Hinshaw came from the consumer products industry. They are bringing a fresh set of eyes to an industry where product innovation is often more valued than process innovation.
If you want to learn more, Salesforce.com is hosting a webinar on May 9 where Daryl Ganas, HP’s Director of Sales Operations will be discussing some of the transformation as it affects the sales function at HP. Registration is here, and the archive should stay online for a few weeks.