Two seeks ago, HP held its annual developer conference, HP Amplify, where it announced new partnership program enhancements and its new spring commercial device lineup. For the first time in four years, HP held its Amplify event in person, and I was fortunate enough to attend.
I could tell that many HP partners were relieved to be in person to hear about HP’s high-growth opportunities and strategy. That strategy is transparent and straightforward: modernize the core of HP’s offerings and adapt to new use cases, specifically hybrid work.
The focus on modernizing the core comes after a few years of being in a chip shortage, along with a transition toward hybrid work following an era of remote work after the start of the pandemic.
Let’s dive into my biggest takeaways from HP Amplify, starting with its new uniform partner program and partnership announcements.
Future partnerships under the HP Amplify program
HP announced that, starting in November 2023, all HP products, solutions and distribution across its portfolio will be integrated into the HP Amplify program. I appreciate that HP is offering an all-in-one solution for its partners, including what it has to offer from its acquisitions of Poly, Terdici and HyperX over the past couple of years.
Poly offers premium audio and video solutions for popular video call and meeting platforms like Zoom, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams. You can read principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy Melody Brue’s coverage of Poly’s solutions for hybrid work here. The inclusion of Poly in the HP Amplify program eliminates the need to have both a Poly subscription and an HP subscription by consolidating the two services. Although the integration of Poly is ongoing, it definitely adds value to the Amplify program as a total solution play.
Video call solutions are paramount for hybrid work, and I am interested to see how HP incorporates Poly into its software and PC offerings. Interestingly enough, most of the add-on cameras in the experience zone were HP, not Poly-branded. Until remote and hybrid work became mainstream, webcams did not matter much for PCs and notebooks. Today, webcams and software like HP Sense that enhance the video call experience have become incredibly important for today’s devices.
Similarly, we have only scratched the surface when it comes to enhancing video conferencing rooms and enabling remote and hybrid work experiences for company meetings. There are many reasons why in-person work is preferred by some, and that lack of reality is one of that is lacking. This is another area where the Poly acquisition should really help enterprises in conjunction with HP
Security in the era of hybrid work
Another critical area for development is modernizing security for hybrid work. By connecting to many different networks outside a company’s control, the PCs of hybrid and remote workers create security risks and make it more difficult for IT departments to manage device security.
At the HP Amplify event, HP announced HP Wolf Connect, an IT management connectivity solution with some unique features. HP Wolf Connect uses a cellular-based network so IT teams can manage a dispersed hybrid workforce. This should enable IT teams to better handle support and data breaches and optimize asset management for hybrid and remote devices.
As a part of HP Wolf Connect, Protect and Trace is the first software service capable of locating, locking and erasing a PC remotely, no matter the state of the PC. If a remote PC is turned off or disconnected, HP Wolf Protect and Trace is still able to locate, lock and erase the PC without ever touching the device. This feature of Wolf Connect should reduce the impacts of theft and loss and reduce the need for PC remediation or replacement.
I have been a proponent of taking preventative steps when it comes to hybrid work security. HP recognizes the need for more security measures for hybrid and remote endpoints like PCs, laptops and printers. I particularly appreciate HP’s strategy to address cybersecurity attacks on hybrid workers by shifting security toward isolating endpoints.
I loved HP Wolf Connect and it may have been the best thing I saw at the show.
Printers for growing businesses
HP also announced the new HP Color LaserJet 4200/4300 and the Color LaserJet Enterprise 5000/6000 and X5000/X6000 printing solutions, which are all aimed at growing businesses. For these devices, HP is using its next-generation sustainable toner, which boasts up to a 27% reduction in energy use and 78% less packaging.
The HP ColorJet 4200/4300 is designed for maximum productivity with two-sided color printing and scanning. The 4200/4300 series is also equipped with HP Wolf security embedded and preconfigured and the HP Smart Admin Dashboard so that admins can manage multiple devices from one display.
HP says the ColorJet Enterprise 5000/6000 and X5000/X6000 series printers come with industry-first customization with configure-to-order paper handling, automatic document feeding and finishing options. They also feature HP EveryPage, which ensures there is never a missing page. These extra enterprise features enable businesses to scale as their need for printing increases.
While many of our office tasks and documents have become digital, we still need to print certain documents. I appreciate how HP includes productive and powerful features for enabling hybrid workers and enterprise workflows with its new Color LaserJet printers.
Notebooks and mobile workstations for hybrid work
HP also announced its new commercial EliteBook, ProBook and ZBook commercial notebooks for hybrid work. For its EliteBook and ProBook lineups, HP is doubling down on HP Presence, its video-enhancing software. The EliteBook series is HP’s lineup for small and medium-sized businesses designed for hybrid flexibility. HP introduced the convertible EliteBook 800 G10 with 13th Gen Intel Core processors and the 805 G10 with AMD Ryzen 7000 processors.
It also introduced the EliteBook 600 G10 with 13th Gen Intel Core processors and the 605 G10 with AMD Ryzen 7000 processors for a more cost-effective workforce. Likewise, the ProBook 400 and 405 G10 have upgraded to Intel’s and AMD’s latest processors. HP should be able to offer even more video features with HP Presence with AMD’s Ryzen AI and Intel’s Movidius visual processing unit (VPU) in these new Intel and AMD processors.
HP also announced new ZBook Firefly G10 and Power G10 mobile workstations powered with the latest Intel 13th Gen Core processors, AMD Ryzen Pro processors and Nvidia RTX laptop GPUs or AMD Radeon GPUs. These are the first ZBook mobile workstations to have AMD Ryzen processors; I hope to see more. HP also announced ZBook Studio G10 and Fury G10 mobile workstations with 13th Gen Intel Core processors and Nvidia RTX laptop GPUs.
HP also announced the Poly Voyager Free 60 Series wireless earbuds, a new ergonomic vertical mouse and the Poly Rove wireless DECT IP phone. I was given the opportunity to use the Poly Voyager Free earbuds; I like that the earbuds’ controls are on the case as well as the earbuds themselves. I am much more inclined to use buttons I can see than ones I can feel, making the case controls very handy. If these earbuds could nail it in terms of comfort, which is a tough request because comfort is subjective, so that I could wear them all the time without even noticing, that could boost my productivity.
I believe HP is on the right track following its first in-person Amplify event in four years. HP recognizes where it is and what it must do to keep up with the changing PC model and the world of hybrid work. I like how it is unifying its products, solutions and distribution across its portfolio with its new Amplify program. I know I was in the minority as an analyst saying HP was on track as it bled market share, but after the event, I know the company converted more of us.
I also appreciate HP’s focus on offering the best experience for hybrid work. The webcam experience with HP Presence, manageability and security with HP Wolf, and diverse options with powerful Intel and AMD processors are huge wins for hybrid workers. I believe we are approaching an era of mobile computing that allows heavy workloads to be done on mobile workstations, either at the edge or through high-performance computing. Without powerful performance at the edge, remotely executing workflows for tasks like CAD work and video creation will be difficult.
HP is also focusing on the right innovative verticals within the PC market, enhancing its security offerings with remote IT management and implementing better video call solutions through HP Presence and its unified Poly offerings. All in all, I think the company is doing a good job in answering the needs of the market during an era when a lot of factors are changing rapidly.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.