As HP continues its journey to reinvent the global manufacturing industry, it is critical to have visionary and experienced leaders charting the way. Michelle Bockman, former executive vice president at GE Digital, recently joined HP to lead its 3D printing market expansion efforts.
At GE, Bockman most recently led the company’s ambitious strategy to build a software-driven digital future for large industrial customers. With more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of functions and industries, she’s led global operations, managed engineering, driven sales and marketing, built new digital businesses – even ran an industrial manufacturing plant.
Bockman’s diverse experience gives her a fresh perspective on unlocking new value for customers who are reinventing their operations. We caught up with her to learn more about keys to driving the digital industrial transformation of production.
Q. Why did you choose this time to join HP?
A. We’re on the cusp of a new industrial revolution that could be greater than anything we’ve ever seen – ubiquitous connectivity, AI, robotics, the internet of things, 3D printing and more are all converging to drive unprecedented social and economic change. HP plays a central role in this revolution and is really leading the way with innovations in 3D printing, blended reality and other technologies businesses are embracing in their digital reinventions. Put this all together and we are poised to transform some of the largest industries on the face of the earth.
This is the place to be if you want to profoundly change the way people live, work and interact with one another. HP is one of the founders of Silicon Valley and has a strong heritage of reinvention which, quite frankly, also appealed to my entrepreneurial spirit. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this adventure in innovation.
Q. Tell us about your new role leading the expansion of 3D Printing for HP. Where will you be focused?
A. To grossly oversimplify, I have a broad responsibility to expand the overall 3D printing market for HP in partnership with our foundational customers, strategic partners, and materials ecosystem, and drive the development of new digital services for the 3D printing business. What this really means is focusing on customer outcomes by working deeply with market leaders such as BMW, Jabil, Johnson & Johnson, and Nike as they embrace 3D printing to transform their businesses, and applying these lessons learned to the entirety of our product portfolio, so we can really accelerate development of new applications and services.
It also means leading our global strategic alliances with SIs and software partners, and to drive our open materials strategy with the largest chemical companies on earth, as we’ll need to leverage the world to transform a $12 trillion industry. Finally, no digital industrial transformation is complete without developing the next generation of connected, digital services that unlock unique insights and value for our customers and partners.
Q. As a longtime industry veteran, where do you see the greatest opportunities for change?
A. 3D printing technology has been around awhile, but it’s poised for a real breakout. The combination of new technology such as HP’s Multi Jet Fusion, which is up to 10 times faster and half the cost of other systems, plus the radical expansion of new materials with a simultaneous plummet in cost due to our open materials platform, means the economic promise of 3D printing is finally ready to deliver. This is no longer technology just for prototyping or the R&D team. This is a platform for large-scale industrial production.
Couple the continued march of those innovations with the larger digital transformation unfolding across the entire design, production, and distribution workflow, and you have a massive opportunity to help companies innovate faster, be more agile in their manufacturing, and implement more flexible supply chains. This unlocks huge economic opportunity, new business models, and competitive advantage. I believe that those who invest in digital transformation will reap the rewards, and we are just scratching the surface of what this reinvention means for some of the largest companies and industries in the world.
Q. You’ve led a diverse range of functions over your career. What else can you share with us from your journey?
A. I like to solve really hard problems with smart, curious and passionate people in industries that are changing the world. That’s what drew me to mechanical engineering in college and continues to drive me today. Over the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to experience many facets of businesses – from leading large organizations through change to developing new products and services to direct and daily interaction with the customer. At the end of the day what we do really matters if it delivers value to our customers and, in my mind, also delivers value to the world at large. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the HP 3D printing team, which is striving to achieve exactly those goals.