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Published: October 03, 2016

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With the recent entry of GE into the additive manufacturing market, there is another industry heavyweight joining HP to ignite the next industrial revolution.

We see it as a strong vote of confidence that GE is investing $1.4 billion to buy two European 3D printing companies, Germany's SLM Solutions Group and Sweden's Arcam. Both make high-end 3D parts from metal powders, as opposed to HP’s first-generation 3D printing solutions which use polymers (industrial-grade plastics). In terms of current technologies and types of materials used, our paths are parallel and don’t intersect.

Following on the GE news, German software giant SAP announced it is teaming with United Parcel Service to create a global on-demand 3D printing service focused on seamless, distributed manufacturing.

As new companies enter the industry, it not only helps drive awareness and boost innovation, it signals that the 3D market is ready for prime-time.

Ultimately, such partnerships will drive demand for HP’s Jet Fusion 3D solutions for final part production. That said, this collaboration will help drive innovation in the industry and move 3D printing from prototyping to manufacturing more quickly.origami_tcm245_2345985_tcm245_2345973_tcm245-2345985.jpg

Both developments are strong validations of our strategic vision and of our bold decision to embrace an open platform for 3D printing. Let me explain:

    Leadership
Published: March 08, 2017

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When technology companies use the word “disruption,” they often apply big-idea hype to a new product or service promising to shake up the status quo.

Rarely does the industry turn the notion of disruption inward and apply it to its own biases and operating systems, especially when it comes to gender parity in technology.

At HP Inc., where I serve as Chief Diversity Officer, we’re doing it every day. Our goal is to reinvent the standard for diversity and inclusion by embedding it into everything we do and today is no different as we celebrate International Women’s Week. Diversity and inclusion are important every week of the year, and this week reminds us to celebrate

the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.InternationalWomensDay-web.jpg

At HP, we have a legacy of diversity and inclusion to maintain and grow. I’ll take a second to share some of what we’ve accomplished so far as a young company, since they differentiate us in an industry with a workforce that’s predominantly white and male.

HP is counted among the top tech companies with women and underrepresented minorities in executive positions, where 27 percent of HP executives, director and above are women. After the company separated in late 2015, HP increased its women executive ranks by 4 percent. And our executive leadership team is today comprised of 21 percent underrepresented minorities, with executives representing seven different countries of origin.

Women make up more than 55 percent of broader employee functions, including Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing. That’s compared to industry averages that top out at around 30 percent, according to a recent CNET report. At HP, women represent approximately 20 percent of general and software engineering positions. The tech industry average, CNET reports, hovers at around 16 percent for all women in technical roles.

I don’t trot out these statistics so that HP can rest on its laurels, but rather to show how much work there is to do. HP’s culture and our values dictate that we must demonstrate the change we want to see in industry and beyond.

These changes start with recruiting outreach and hiring efforts. We’re casting a wider net in our search while continuing to educate our talent acquisition teams about unconscious bias and cultural competence. We’re implementing aggressive strategies that ensure we have more diverse talent pools to choose from when hiring at the executive leadership level and in succession planning. 

 

To be clear, we’re not doing this as a “check the box” exercise. We really are hiring, and talent is our only criteria.

 Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton BrownChief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton BrownIt doesn’t end there. Once hired, we want to send a strong message to everyone who works for HP around the globe: You belong here.

By nurturing inclusion and mutual respect, we all can win at our jobs, and in the marketplace. HP’s unique culture not only drives innovation in our businesses, but it also shapes how employees feel about the work that they do each day. It affects their level of commitment to HP’s mission and how empowered they are to innovate and take risks.

The HP Way – our shorthand for the cultural touchstones that guide the company—is a recipe for developing well-rounded employees who aren’t just employees. We want our people to come to work and fully be who they are and bring their unique perspective to the conversation.

These efforts, of course, are part of HP’s reinvention story. But they are also part of my own journey. I’ve had remarkable opportunities to grow my skills and my career, starting at Boise State University, where I was an NCAA Scholarship recipient and lettered in women’s basketball.

I believe that my subsequent 20-year career in global marketing, branding and communications goes hand in hand with championing diversity and inclusion at every level of an organization. Nowhere is this more imperative than in tech, an industry that lives and dies on innovation.

At HP, we know that diversity drives innovation, because better ideas come about through give-and-take between diverse stakeholders and constituencies. It drives performance, too. A McKinsey report on diversity highlighted that companies in the top quartile in terms of ethnic and racial diversity are 35 percent more likely to outperform those who do not.

The fostering of openness, courageous conversation and trust helps level the playing field so we can get down to business and drive results.

As one of Silicon Valley’s storied founding companies, HP is well qualified to lead the way toward reinventing mindsets. We have the most diverse board of directors of any tech company in the country. And our leadership—from Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio’s challenge to agency partners to Head of Global Legal Affairs Kim Rivera’s initiative with our legal partners—have demonstrated the depth of our commitment to affect change.  

A great way to dive deeper is by exploring our updated Diversity and Inclusion website. It includes a personal message, where I talk about our efforts and the opportunities for growth at the company for current and potential HP employees.

We are proud of the impact we have been able to have so far, and now is the time for us to continue to make HP a place where women and underrepresented groups can fully be themselves and do their best work. We hope HP can become a beacon for change as we aim to foster inclusion, compassion and understanding around the world.

Let’s get started.

Published: January 17, 2017

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The first Gen Z-ers will earn their undergraduate degrees this spring.

Nothing like the revelation that someone born in 1995 is legally buying alcohol AND entering the workforce to make you want to relive the glory days. In fact, by 2020, this group will constitute 36 percent of the global workforce.

And 2017 brings other revelations. Every January, the World Economic Forum’s annual meet in Davos lets us ponder what is possible.

And as Gen Z comes of age, it’s incredible to imagine how their world will change. While mainstream culture still grapples with millennials, Gen Z will catalyze major societal shifts in the next 30 years; from food and healthcare, to Internet access and infrastructure.

Among the WEF’s strategic initiatives, two megatrends will particularly influence the world that a fifty-something Gen-Z-er lives in come 2050: rapid urbanization and hyper-connectivity. These two dynamics will create a barely-recognizable human experience by integrating our physical and digital experiences into one blended reality.

 

New urban environments for new expectations

The WEF’s Future of Urban Development and Services project has opened eyes to the challenges and opportunities of rapid urbanization.

By 2050, Gen Z will be fifty-plus, an age group that is the biggest demographic in the world. By that same point, the UN estimates they will be part of a global population of 9.6 billion, with two-thirds living in urban areas.

On average, they will spend three years in any one job and have a total of 17, and they will live in 15 different places. No wonder this group also tends to rent things more often than own them.

Even more vital is how these digital natives have grown up: With a mobile phone in their pocket, the internet at their fingertips every day, and five screens constantly available - smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV and desktop. And all of which increasingly have some form of artificial intelligence built in.

Cities can be reinvented for this new urban reality. Smart buildings, more immersive and ambient computing technologies, and connectivity built in to virtually everything.

But as this generation ages, they’ll tell you it’s sometimes hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Which is perhaps why the people who comprise this next generation may find themselves living in places like The Great City outside of Chengdu, China - a greenfield city built for just 80,000 people with no cars, 48 percent less energy and 58 percent less water use than traditional cities, and generating 89 percent less landfill waste and 60 percent less carbon dioxide.

 

Connecting everyone

Two-thirds of the world will live in urban areas by 2050, but 95 percent of them will be in what, today, we consider emerging markets.

 If we are to reinvent future cities, we must connect absolutely everything and everyone.

 Again, the WEF’s Hyperconnected World and Internet for All initiatives are appropriately focused. By 2020, there will be 50 billion networked devices, and by 2021 4G coverage will reach about 75 percent of the global population. The thirty years beyond that will see not only cars, thermostats and refrigerators connected to the Internet of Things, but an explosion in the Internet of ALL Things: connected sidewalks, furniture, and even disposable items like trash bags.

 Connecting humans themselves is the most exciting.

 By 2050, this on-demand generation will be part of an enormous fifty-plus age group that will need more access to high quality care. With things like hearing aids, pacemakers and wearables, humans are already somewhat ‘bionic.’ But by 2050, the warehouse worker that resembles Iron Man won’t be the stuff of comic books. And restoring a blind person’s vision will simply be science, not science fiction.

Perhaps the most impactful part of this hyper-connected future will be advances in remote care. A Gen-Z-er that takes a job with a biotech company this summer may outfit doctors with augmented reality glasses for hands free information; or create the AI-enhanced robot allowing a surgeon in New York to operate on a patient in Nigeria.

But creating all of these new experiences also requires a new way of designing and building the world around us. Current supply chains and economies aren’t equipped for this on-demand, sustainable future.

This week, our CEO is in Davos taking part on a panel that looks at the fourth industrial revolution, a massive societal shift that will transform how we create, deliver and consume things. In its wake, cities will change, demographics will be reinvented, and new experiences will take shape.

The common outcome in all these trends is our persistent trek toward blended reality: the intertwining of our digital and physical worlds; man and machine combined to make life better.

Gen Z’s future is looking bright.

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 The World Economic Forum annual meeting continues through January 20. Follow me and the HP Newsroom on Twitter for all the latest from HP at the event. 

 

 

Published: December 14, 2016

diversity_image_christophblog.jpg Some things will get no argument from me. Such is the case with the article entitled “Diversity: Better Business – Not Just the Right Thing to Do. It was written by Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer for Nielsen, who asserts that by leveraging the power of diversity, organizations can achieve superior results.

Today, we talk about the need for diversity because in order to get on better, we need to understand each other better. What better place to bring people of different races, cultures, ethnicities, ages, gender and disabilities together than in the workforce. But companies and their constituencies benefit from a diverse workforce in another way.

As Talton says, when companies bring people with diverse views and experiences to the table, not just to be counted but to truly have a voice, profitable new opportunities can emerge. As an example, she points to P&G, who heard from their African-American Employee Resource Group (ERG) about a trend developing among African-American women toward “natural” products. In response P&G developed a new line of products. 

Research from McKinsey & Company also indicates that a more diverse workforce performs better financially. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians; those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians.

McKinsey says that unequal performance of companies in the same industry in the same country suggests that diversity is a competitive differentiator. Market share shifts toward more diverse companies. “We live in a deeply connected and global world. It should come as no surprise that diverse companies and institutions are achieving better performance,” according to McKinsey.

 

HP commitment to diversity

HP’s understands how diversity keeps us from becoming insular and exposes everyone to new ideas and attitudes, which helps growth and helps us service our range of customers better. That’s why our commitment to diversity runs throughout the company in a number of initiatives. “Everybody In” is the overarching program run by Lesley Slaton Brown, HP’s Chief Diversity Officer. Brown is spearheading our efforts to ensure that everyone in the company takes an active role to increase diversity and foster inclusion. We’re proud that among our 50,000 global employees, we currently reflect the diversity of all our clients and partners, and that our Board of Directors is one of the most diverse among U.S. companies.

Having lived and worked in many different countries across different industries, I have seen the benefits of diversity first hand. As head of the Diversity Council of our Americas organization, I’m working with my team to ensure that diversity is a priority as we fill open positions and that how we coach new talent reflects an understanding of each individual’s very diverse needs.

We also strive to be an instrument of change beyond our own company walls. Recently, our Chief Marketing Officer, Antonio Lucio, called upon our agency partners to improve the diversity of their workforces by hiring more women and minorities, and asked for plans on how they plan to execute on this request.

Someday in the future, diversity won’t be an issue. It’ll be business as usual. But until then, HP is 100 percent committed in doing our part and ensure our company embraces everyone. Not, as Talton says, just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s also the smart thing to do.

Published: December 06, 2016

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Are SMBs printing in-house more than outsourcing? Recent studies indicate this is the case. 

A few years ago, in the aftermath of the recession, Photizo Group, a marketing intelligence group focused on the imaging industry, teamed up with 1105 Media, a provider of integrated business-to-business information and media, to conduct a survey of printer users among US small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).

The purpose of the survey was to determine future SMB print usage needs and in particular if factors other than the economy would lead to “permanent, irreversible changes to the printing market.” The survey included responses from printer users in 386 small and medium businesses. The research focused on changes in printer volume from a similar survey conducted the previous year. Among respondents, while 51 percent said that there was no significant change in year-to-year page volume, 27 percent reported an increase in page volumes over the course of the year. Only 18 percent reported a decrease.

Top factors attributed to businesses whose printing volume increased included:

  • More applications than the previous year
  • Business expanded, same number of workers
  • Bringing print jobs in house

Another indication of the trend among SMBs to move printing in-house comes from IBISWorld. In its “Quick Printing in the U.S. Market Research Report” issued in January this year, the market research organization points out that advances in the computer technology are enabling consumers and small businesses to complete tasks previously serviced by the Quick Printing industry from the convenience of their homes and offices. To this end, new high quality color printing technology is enabling SMBs to produce the sophisticated sales, retail and marketing materials that allow them to differentiate their services and compete against larger players in an increasingly competitive global market. 

As an example, earlier this year, we announced our HP OfficeJet Pro printers that deliver affordable, professional color and big performance in a compact package for small businesses. We also introduced HP LaserJet printers with leading laser performance, print-shop quality color documents as well as best value for black-and-white printing

 

SMBs turn to Managed Print Services to control and reduce office printing costs

Despite continued reliance on print, controlling printing costs continues to be a concern among SMBs. A Quocirca study of SMBs across Europe indicated that cost control is the top print management priority they face, yet they do not have the resources to devote to print management. According to Quocirca, SMBs estimate that on average they spend 15% of their IT budget on printing, but many lack the insight into usage in order to manage print costs. Overall 70% of today’s SMBs do not have the tools to track or monitor printing.

The need for better cost control, along with rising printer security concerns, is driving SMB Managed Print Services (MPS) adoption. In fact, Transparency Market Research forecasts the MPS market to reach nearly $95B billion by 2024, rising from $26B in 2015. And as the desire for mobile printing continues to rise, MPS provides the integrated tracking, reporting and security required for SMBs to better monitor and control printing wherever it originates. 

All indications are that printing will continue to be a major business process and competitive advantage for SMBs. Today’s cost-conscious printers and MPS offerings are enabling forward-looking companies to handle this once outsourced service in-house.

Published: December 01, 2016

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Recent news on regulations by the state of California to reduce methane released in the air by cows caught my attention.  Is it time to revisit opportunities to convert methane to electricity and use the electricity locally by a collocated data center?

In the mid-2000s, driven by our passion to reduce the total cost of ownership of a data center by a factor of ten and connect the rest of the world (60 percent yet to avail data services), we proposed a blueprint for a net-zero data center. Our contention was that beyond improving demand side efficiency, it is imperative that cloud data centers be supported by a local supply side micro-grid of power and cooling. In that vein, given a supply-demand framework, we proposed a net zero data center that was powered by multiple local power generation sources.

In order to create such a local power micro-grid, we sought out renewable resources. Given the diurnal cycle associated with sun power and vagaries of wind, we needed to add a base power generation system that was local and unwavering. We discovered cow manure. We proposed that primary source of base power for data centers ought to be manure from dairy cows. We also saw the 2nd law of thermodynamics synergies between cow manure and IT equipment.

United States dairy cows produce 55 kg of manure per day. Methane produced by anaerobic digestion of manure from 2000 hay fed dairy cows is sufficient to generate a 1 MW of power using a methane powered electric generator. An example of such a generator is the General Electric Jenbacher engine. The power generated by 2000 dairy cows – approximately 1 MW  is sufficient for 1000 homes or a 1 MW modular data center (10 compute racks of 10 KW each). Many of the dairy farms in the USA have 10,000 to 20,000 dairy cows and could use local power user to justify the investment in an anaerobic digester and electric generator. A data center at a dairy farm is a good match given the high and steady power requirement by the IT equipment.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAmJAAAAJGMyYWE0ZmM4LWQ2ZDQtNDhiMi05Y2E2LWM5ZmEwNTg3MjY3YQ.jpg

Furthermore, there is a symbiotic relationship between IT and cow manure. It stems from the ability to utilize the waste of one to enhance the other.

  • The “soup” in the digester – the technical term for manure in slurry form that is held in the digester (a large vessel) – needs to be kept warm much like the stomach of a cow to further digestion. The heat generated by the IT equipment – low grade from a 2nd law availability perspective - is perfect match for this need. The heat can be transferred to the “soup” by circulating the coolant at 35 C to 45 C (114 F) from the IT equipment.
  • The exhaust from the electric generator is high grade and can be used to run an absorption refrigeration cycle for cooling the data center.

Climate Change Regulations

It is time to revisit this idea to extend the cloud and connect the rest of the world – 60% of the people yet to board the IT bus. Indeed, it is imperative that we provide affordable data services to the billions who, much like us, want to use data services to improve their quality of life. They want to avail train reservations, and do online banking, as they can ill afford to spend the time waiting in line in train stations and banks. The digital divide that exists today must end.

Furthermore, state of California is considering regulating the  methane otherwise produced and released in the air in dairy farms to combat global warming. This regulation may economically hurt many farmers. Therefore, in California, a server farm at a dairy farm can be a win-win for IT and agriculture.

Countries such as India are a shining example of cooperative milk production through distributed farms where farmers can even sell a liter of milk to the dairy. The cooperative model can also be applied to create cooperative manure collection – or locally called “gobar bank” – to fuel a local network of data centers. Otherwise powering data centers in India using current supply side grid will take away the power that is needed for other purposes.

New Zealand has 6.3 million dairy cows, or approximately 3 GW of power, to create an independent local cloud network of data centers in New Zealand.

For more on this topic, see my interview with Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat here:

Cows and data centers: What HP’s chief engineer thinks about fusing the real world with technology

and papers published by the HP team:

http://www.hpl.hp.com/news/2010/apr-jun/HP_ASME_PAPER.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220725375_Sustainable_Ecosystems_Enabled_by_Supply_and_Demand_Management

 I thank my brilliant colleagues in data centers and sustainability research at HP Labs for their passionate contributions in sustainability and in developing this line of thinking. They are now at HP Inc, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and at universities and great companies around the world. It has been a pleasure, a humbling experience, and a great honor, to work side by side with them.