The new HP takes off

The “new HP in Canada” – formed by the merger of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. and Compaq Canada – will offer enterprise customers simplicity and increased choice, said the company’s CEO.

In a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, HP Canada’s President and CEO Paul Tsaparis said that customer support and service levels for enterprise IT managers and executives will remain unchanged. Dealing with the integrated company will actually simplify the lives of Canadian CIOs by offering an expanded product line through a single corporate entity, he said.

Tsaparis said the new HP Canada now employs a staff of 6,900 across the country, and has doubled its number of software and systems architects. He also said that until the company’s four new business units – Enterprise Systems, Services, Imaging and Printing and Personal Systems – were fully integrated he could not speculate about layoffs, but he did not rule out the possibility.

In a Cupertino, Calif. press conference – part of the merged HP and Compaq’s “Day 1” launch on Tuesday – HP Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina and President Michael Capellas laid out the merged company’s new structure and product lines.

To start, Compaq’s Tru64 Unix operating system will be eliminated in favour of HP’s HP-UX, which will incorporate some Tru64 features. HP-UX’s larger installed base and broader ISV (independent software vendor) network led to the decision, they said.

HP will now be the master brand for all of the merged companies’ products, but the Compaq brand will be kept alive in the PC portfolio. However, HP’s Netserver IA-32 servers, Jornada handhelds and Omnibook notebooks will all be phased out.

All of HP’s professional desktop and notebook products will migrate to the Compaq brand in the next nine to 12 months, and the HP Vectra line will be phased out. HP’s e-pc products will survive and continue being sold under the HP name, the company said.

“Where there’s a tough call, we do what our customers would want us to do,” Fiorina said.

Onstage, Fiorina said that the company’s business and functional organizations are in place, complete with detailed product roadmaps and customer support and migration plans. HP is now the largest consumer IT company in the world, and the largest IT provider for small and medium businesses, she said.

While the new HP promptly unveiled its product roadmap, details about the 15,000 positions it plans to cut are still pending. HP aims to make the bulk of the cuts within the next six to nine months, Fiorina said. She noted that the company will also be increasing its headcount in some areas, citing imaging and printing, and professional services as two units in which HP may be hiring.

Fiorina maintained her sense of humour throughout the press conference, ending with a quip on the future of Compaq-sponsored sports arenas in San Jose, Calif., and Houston.

“It’s not going to be called the Fiorina,” she said of San Jose’s Compaq Center. “It is going to be the HP Pavilion.” Fiorina said Houston’s Compaq Center will also likely be named the Pavilion – also a brand of HP’s PC line.

-with files from IDG News Service

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