Russ: This is the BusinessMakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessMakers.com coming to you from the 2012 Business Matchmaking event at Houston, Texas. I've got with me Todd Dennis, with Hewlett-Packard. Todd, welcome back to The BusinessMakers Show.
Todd: Thank you, Russ; it's good to be here.
Russ: You bet. So we did this before, but let our audience know, what's the relationship and the commitment HP has to business matchmaking?
Todd: HP was one of the charter sponsors of business matchmaking. Started nine years ago.
Todd: Combination of SMA global, HP and Department of Commerce at the time. We believe in growing small business. We also believe in supplier diversity and have commitments to that.
Todd: In addition to that, many of these small businesses that attend these, we find that we get excellent products at very competitive prices from, so we bring our procurement teams to participate, just like all of the other vendors do, as well.
Russ: Wow, wow. Okay, so when you're talking about supplier diversity, you're talking about the different services and products that HP needs to do business. There's a special commitment to buy a significant portion of those from small companies?
Russ: That's pretty cool.
Todd: Small companies, historically underutilized businesses, veteran owned businesses –
Todd: - women-owned businesses, things like that.
Russ: Okay, really cool. Now you're in the personal systems group.
Russ: And that means pretty much that your core target market is small business as well, right?
Todd: It's a big part of our market.
Todd: I wouldn't say it's all of our market, but it's certainly a very important market.
Todd: And is important, Russ, because right now, in terms of personal systems, most of the growth is occurring in that space.
Todd: And is a very profitable space and it's a very important space for HP.
Russ: Okay. Well I've gotta think that, boy, it's kind of an extraordinary time to be in the business of making personal computers, too. In fact the whole digital market right now, Todd, seems to be very exciting and very challenging at the same time. Do I have that right?
Todd: Yes, you do have that right. It is a very exciting time to be in the industry.
Todd: That's one of the reasons why I like technology and I think HP XL Senate, because we've got people that are very flexible and can adjust to change well. There's always been a lot of change in technology.
Todd: The difference between this time, Russ, and maybe what we've seen in the past, is the rate of change.
Todd: Very, very fast. Very dynamic and it's a fun time to be in the industry because if you're bored, you won't be for long.
Russ: Right, well, I mean I sorta have a background in the hardware business and stuff and there was a period of time – maybe now this dates me, it might've been more than ten years ago – but a large, established technology company that had a significant market share seem to be somewhat immune to having to change things in the next quarter or the next six months – but from where I am, Todd, it seems like men, these things can change in 30 days right now. Somebody can pop up with a new, faster processor and a group of partners come together and overnight can really impact the company. Am I getting that right?
Todd: Well, I think change is very rapid. I don't know if I would put it within 30 days or overnight, but it's certainly a very rapid rate of change. We do have new people coming into the market that have not been there before.
Todd: And as well as we have some people that have been there before and now they're changing some of their business models and doing other things. It's really around the digitization of the economy and it increases the rate of change.
Russ: Right, well it must be a somewhat exciting to be Meg Whitman and just suddenly take on the helm and be the commander of the ship under these conditions, my goodness.
Todd: Yeah, well she's stepped in and is doing a great job, so far. We're on the right track. I don't know if you've heard about the Converged Cloud Infrastructure Initiative that HP has.
Russ: Briefly, but share that with us, a bit more.
Todd: So we believe that – particularly related to small business – one of the trends that we see in small business is that applications and functionality used to only be available to companies that were larger and had an IT staff.
Todd: Now are becoming available to much smaller companies.
Todd: For example, CRM systems.
Todd: And much more cost-effective. So we wanna play a role in that and we have some initiatives around how we can build out the cloud and we can bring world-class engineering talent to do so.
Russ: Okay, we the cloud is fascinating. I continue to feel we underestimate the change that it's caused but that's a perfect example where a company like HP can offer these big company functional capabilities to small companies, for sure.
Russ: All right, well Todd, I really appreciate you spending some time with us, once again, and I commend HP for your commitment to business matchmaking in general and small business in general.
Todd: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Russ.
Russ: You bet. That's Todd Dennis with the Personal Systems Group of HP and this is the BusinessMakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessMakers.com.