HP on partners becoming competitors, the declining market and a pivotal year

Shares rise after CEO Meg Whitman's speech
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HP boss Meg Whitman says partners like Intel and Microsoft are becoming its competitors, and spoke about the company's turnaround at an analyst meeting.

She also spoke about what HP is doing to handle the declining PC market and expects 2014 to be a "pivotal year" for the company, following her positive comments from HP's Q3 2013 financial update.

The talk inspired investors - HP's share price rose from $20.46 and currently stands at $22.32.

Here's some of Whitman's key comments from the meeting:

ON COMPETITORS...

"We are seeing profound changes in the competitive landscape. Our competitors are expanding across the IT stack with integrated products and solutions. Our business-specific competitors are exerting increased pressure in targeted areas and are going after new markets. We also have some emerging competitors who are disrupting markets with new technologies and new business models. And finally, current long-term HP partners, like Intel and Microsoft, are increasingly becoming outright competitors.

But I will tell you every single one of these competitors faces many of the same challenges we do. They might exhibit themselves in a slightly different form, and I've got to say I like our assets better than most of our competitors' assets as we head into this new style of IT.

In order to tackle these market shifts and the changing competitive environment successfully, we have to do a much better job at execution, the basic blocking and tackling of business."

ON HP'S TURNAROUND...

"What we have done this year is fabulous and we are really proud of it, and we've got to do it all again next year even faster, even better.

Fiscal 2014 will be a pivotal year for us. I feel confident that we have the right strategy, the right set of assets, and the right leadership team in place to deliver. I've got real confidence that we are headed in the right direction, that we will turn this great company around.

In fiscal 2015, you can still expect to see acceleration, and by fiscal 2016 an industry-leading company. I see a future where HP leads the way in an era of breathtaking technology change. By successfully executing on our strategy, we expect to succeed on our journey and reaffirm HP's position as a market and industry leader."

ON DISRUPTION...

"HP's traditional, highly profitable markets face significant disruption. In Personal Systems for example, Wintel-based devices are being aggressively displaced by ARM-based PCs and mobile devices running competing operating systems. Tablets are growing while the traditional PC business is declining. And even though the number of personal devices globally is exploding, printing remains somewhat flat worldwide.

In our Enterprise group, the shift to cloud-related infrastructure, software, and services is significantly outpacing the need for traditional and virtualised hardware. And in our Software business, innovative, small vendors with as a service software business models are exploding at the expense of some of the traditional licensed models.

So those are just a few of the disruptive forces that we face. And I will tell you they are very tough, they are very real, and they are accelerating. However, as I have described, we also see tremendous opportunity to capitalise on these trends by leveraging the assets that we have."

ON IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE...

"I am still not pleased by the fact that we missed too many opportunities. We are changing the culture to become maniacally focused on the customer.

Good enough is the enemy of perfect. And we have got to up our game substantially in how we do things at this company, from how we interact to customers, to functional operations, to timely and industry-leading innovation. We've been a little bit too insular for too long and we don't always look carefully at how to optimise our end-to-end processes. And I have to say this has cost us with our customers and it's cost us with our partners."

ON HP'S PRODUCTS AND SERVICES...

"We have built the cloud that enterprises can rely on.

In services, it's all about the next generation infrastructure. We are particularly excited about our next generation of blades, and of course Moonshot, our disruptive server offering.

In storage, we have a platform designed for the 21st century, not the 20th century. With 3PAR, we have the most modern architecture, better common features from midrange to high-end, and the growth rates we are seeing here are tremendous. This is truly storage designed for the new style of IT.

In networking, we're bringing choice to the sector. We are the number two player and we have better engineering and better performance at lower cost, and it's easier to manage. 

In Software, the new style of IT is all about the next generation application and infrastructure IT management tools. We aim to deliver this entire suite of software portfolio options the way customers want to buy, whether that is on-premise, license or SaaS. And then there's HAVEn. This is HP's big data analytic platform which is getting rave reviews. 

In Enterprise Services, the new style of IT, it's all about the next generation of solutions to help our customers.

And last but not least is our Printing and Personal Systems business. The new style of IT here is all about making devices that delight end-users in the enterprise, devices that require no compromise between what employees expect in their personal life and what they expect at work. And in Printing, it is all about being the digital on and off ramp for the cloud."

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