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Why HP is failing and Dell is winning

Rob Enderle | June 2, 2015
Rob Enderle explains why he'll be passing on the HP event this year.

PCs remain a strategic part of Dell

One of the most pronounced messages was how PCs remain a strategic part of Dell and a core component of their end-to-end market strategy. Dell provided a strong roadmap to the future with details I'm not allowed to share.

In contrast, Whitman has flip-flopped on her plan/promise to keep PCs and now plans to spin them (and printers) out along with most of the company's debt, all but assuring that the divested company will fail. Ironically, at HP PCs have been one of their most successful divisions, but Whitman has decided to renege on her original promise to keep the company together, all of which is in sharp contrast to Dell's message.

Dell has a consistent corporate strategy

The final message that Dell drilled into us was that the company is cohesive. It starts with a corporate strategy that Michael Dell personally shared with the audience. Each division and function then dovetailed underneath.   Particularly exceptional was the Dell investment and M&E organizations, which form a powerful team that helps fund innovative startups and then, if appropriate, husbands them into Dell acquisitions.

Dell's acquisition process is unique in that it identifies the assets that they value and protects them during the process. HP in contrast is more like a group of mini-kingdoms under an empress where the strategy, if it exists, is ad hoc and bottoms up and the acquisition process is comparatively rushed and famous for destroying the companies acquired.

HP remains clueless

So with the IBM piece in 2013, I pointed out that all HP had to do was see what IBM presented and then pivot to address the exposure, but they were apparently unable to do either. Two years later, it is now Dell setting HP up, apparently with HP's own help, and the end result will be a bunch of pissed-off industry analysts primed to look for and write about HP's shortcomings. I expect HP will be as clueless this time as they were last time, but only you folks attending will know for sure.

If you go to HP Discover, drop me a line and let me know if they stepped up this time.


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