Today marked one of the biggest one-day HP events ever to hit the Middle East, with its Road To Innovation show stopping off at the Jumeriah Beach Hotel in Dubai.
As well as hundreds of delegates, customers and guest speakers, it was also the first time that executive board member and company COO, Bill Veghte, had visited the region.
Veghte has spent the last three days travelling the region in order to demonstrate the company's commitment to emerging markets, as well as personally address major customers which may have previously not had access to such high profile board members.
Also, when speaking previously to CNME, HP's managing director for the MENA region, Eyad Shahibi, hinted that more and more executives would be visiting the UAE this year, potentially culminating in a personal visit from the CEO herself, Meg Whitman. If Veghte's enthusiasm for the region is anything to go by, you can be confident that Whitman's travel plans may well be underway already.
"Meg is absolutely unique -- she's tremendous," said Veghte, during his only UAE interview, exclusively with CNME.
"To survive and fit into this company, you need to be of a certain sort. You need to know that this is the biggest IT company in the world and that it's built on a culture of innovation."
Veghte could not have spoken more highly of Whitman and HP following his move from Microsoft, where he spent 20 years before his switch to HP in 2010. Veghte, alongside Steven Sinofsky, was instrumental in the roll-out Windows 7, possibly the most successful version of the operating system to date, shortly before his move, begging the question, why take on the challenge after 20 successful years at Microsoft?
"HP is a people company, make no mistake about it. When I joined, I was receiving hundreds of messages from people I hadn't even met, congratulating me and welcoming me on board. This is the type of mentality that fits with my personality, you need to be of a particular mold, and I feel at home here," he said.
"In the early days at Microsoft it was very similar to that, but for the last five or so years leading up to my move, it wasn't about that anymore. Don't get me wrong, Microsoft is a fantastic company and they're doing fantastic things, but nobody is innovating and focusing on such a broad portfolio which is so completely platform agnostic, channel driven and customer targeted as HP."
Veghte was also keen to praise Shahibi and his team for the work which had been done over the previous few years, claiming that Whitman and the board is expecting big things from the Middle East team in the coming years, as it helps companies productively make the transition into the new style of IT.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.