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La Vanguardia: “HP goes beyond the limits of the printing business”

September 14, 2018

Enrique Lores, President, Imaging, Printing and Solutions

Photo courtesy of HP

Enrique Lores, President, Imaging, Printing and Solutions

This week, HP innovation was profiled by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. HP Imaging, Printing and Solutions President Enrique Lores sat down with Reporter Norberto Gallego to discuss topics ranging from HP’s print reinvention journey to the company’s market leadership and commitment to driving sustainable impact across its businesses.

The interview is available in Spanish here. An English translation of the interview is below.


English translation:

HP goes beyond the limits of the printing business

The company opens new routes based on their technologies

By Norberto Gallego


November marks the third anniversary of HP Inc., after its historic split from Hewlett Packard.  Over the last nine months of the current financial year it has chalked up revenue of $43.1 billion, showing an enviable 12% growth.

“We’re lucky to be present in two big market segments (PC and printing) where we have demonstrated that by investing in innovation it is possible to grow and be leaders across practically all categories.”  The person saying this is Enrique Lores, President of Imaging and Printing Solutions at HP, which contributes three out of every four dollars to the group’s earnings.

However, he adds “if we think about where we want to be in five or ten years, this won’t be enough.”  One of the factors supporting growth will continue to be the technology developed over the years to meet the demand for printers, but that could have other applications.

“A cartridge of ink has technology built in that consists of handling liquids at a picoliter scale (a trillionth of a liter).  Just as we use this technology to inject a droplet of ink, we can also use it to analyze other liquids with great accuracy; it is something we have demonstrated at a molecular level in the laboratory and it’s not far off from reaching the market.”

Last week HP published its participation in a pilot initiative in the United States in which a printer-dispenser will be used to speed up tests for new drugs.  It’s just the start, Lores warned in August.

A priori, we don’t tend to associate HP with this unusual line of work, but it isn’t associated with additive manufacturing technology either (better known as 3D printing), which the company launched worldwide in 2015 from its center in Sant Cugat.  Other business lines that are changing the profile of HP right now are digital art and, from this year onwards, textile printing.  On a more conventional level, it is ultimately betting on A3 format machines, which open what Lores describes as a “contractual opportunity.”

Services are another strategic pillar.

“We have noticed that in both the business and consumer markets, fewer customers are willing to buy a printer, make replacements and take direct charge of security.  Our catalogue of services enables them to forget about these problems but when we started managing the existing printing devices of many companies, they asked us to do the same thing with their PC fleet, so that is how our DaaS (Device as a service) proposition was born.”

Does this mean that the reborn HP is shedding its skin?  Lores recognizes that in a few years’ time, large part of the company’s traditional business will continue to be of a similar size to the current one.  The answer to this lies in services and new applications.

These changes translate into a review of the attributes of the brand.  Lores surprises us with an unexpected comment.  Until recently, he says, it has been taken for granted that a brand must be neutral in relation to the discussions going on in society.

“Except in environmental issues, which we take very much to heart, HP has not given its views on other issues of public interest, but the world has changed a lot nowadays.  We have discussed this at executive meetings and reached the conclusion that the company must take on a position on the major concerns in society, mindful that not everyone will agree with our position.”

In practice, he adds, “we are seeing that the brands that are gaining ground in recent years are those that have adopted a position on public affairs, which sometimes upsets the authorities.”

HP is a global brand and Lores is one of those people who think that trying to remain neutral would be counterproductive: “People expect to know what companies think about social issues that matter to them. We have taken the first step by demanding clear commitments from providers about diversity; we will go deeper into this policy.”

“People expect to know what companies think about social issues that matter to them”

Architect of the split

Enrique Lores was born in Madrid, he studied in Valencia and joined Hewlett-Packard as soon as he graduated, where he has developed his whole professional career.  He moved to the Palo Alto (California) headquarters in 2008, after working for several years in Sant Cugat.  In 2014 he steered the team that was responsible for splitting the 60-year-old company into two enterprises, one of which maintains the HP brand.  With this wealth of experience behind him, he is currently President of one of the company’s two branches, namely Printing, which generates revenues of over $20 billion.