NEW DELHI: You’d imagine that covering ten countries in five weeks would fatigue the most intrepid business traveller. Not Gary Budzinski, Hewlett-Packard’s Senior Vice President and worldwide leader of HP Technology Services, who is looking none the worse for it. Budzinski is the technology solutions provider’s “people person” -- driving customer satisfaction through support services. His buzzwords -- speed and simplicity. His favourite subject -- the “HP experience” and how to make it available to every customer. This unconcealed loyalist even wears an HP lapel pin on his suit jacket, and asks, “Would you like one too?” The blue on the pin is unmistakably an HP brand identity standard, but the company is increasingly making an effort to be seen in the right shade of green. The global information and communications technology (ICT) industry may have less skin in the game than others when it comes to carbon emissions, but Budzinski believes that with the dependence of the world on IT only growing, the ICT industry can take a leadership role in addressing some of the world’s critical climate change challenges. This IT industry veteran says Green is in HP’s DNA, and that is only one of the many reasons why an HP printer flies off shelves every 5 seconds. “Now that’s wild,” he chortles. Here are excerpts:
How serious is HP about the colour green?
Green is the way we do business. On the consumer side our focus is primarily on PC and printer life cycle management. On the enterprise side, we have a portfolio for green data centres including servers and storage devices. The amount of power consumed by servers, because of cooling of hardware, is critical. We have also made great progress with our virtualisation offerings with new technologies and services that enable customers to drive down IT costs with better cooling and better energy consumption. We recently bought EYP Mission Critical Facilities and their expertise is in planning and designing next-generation data centers; we now develop design solutions that will balance performance with energy efficiency.
Greening of the data center movement is the hottest thing today, isn’t it?
HP Data Center Transformation solutions, which offer a set of integrated solutions that encompass hardware, software and services, are designed to transform the data centre through consolidation, increasing energy and space efficiency and automating processes. When HP went through its own data centre transformation, building modern centres to replace the old ones, one of the drivers was the amount of power that we could save. We actually saved enough to power up the city of Palo Alto, our headquarters, for one year.
What are the drivers today for going green -- is just about playing to the gallery?
There certainly are legislation issues, which are complex when you’re in multiples geographies. Every geography has a different level of lobbying activity that goes on. But the fact is that going “green” is an inevitable business outcome. If you want to save money on energy you do it. Today up to 70 per cent of a company’s business environment is driven by its IT structure. So going green has got to be part of the solution. HP itself is on all the Industry policy making committees. We set the standards.
Is product life cycle management an important part of your solution? Will this increasingly be driven by legislation?
We’ve been researching product life cycle management of everything from PCs to servers from day one. There are some compliance compulsions in different countries, but it was just a matter of how we did business. There are also a lot of business drivers like verified privacy; clients want a certified method of destroying data. So that was built back into what we did. Today we try and use fewer parts or use less zinc or copper and recycle more. On the services side, we’ve gained expertise in design of infrastructure. Most data centres today are at their end of life so it is crucial that we learn to manage that on behalf of clients. In mission critical facilities we have to deal with erosion in poor environments all the time, so there’s a lot of thought that goes into how long you can support it without putting the company at risk and end of life cycle disposal.
Why haven’t you branded your Green solutions, like say GE has done with Ecomagination?
We have a pretty robust Green solutions strategy, only we don’t go out and call it that because we’ve built it more around business outcomes or IT outcomes that clients want. Maybe we should actually brand it. Should we say “the computer is green again”?.
What is going to be the next big eureka moment for you?
Automation is beginning to be the big differentiator in this business. We are developing automation tools and technologies to support complex, multi-vendor environments throughout the entire IT support life cycle. It’s about real time monitoring and quicker problem diagnosis. How can we allow clients to detect issues and automatically call home and then have faster dispatch by optimising the delivery route? It’s about automating the monitoring of the data centres where it used to be heavily manned. You get efficiencies through automation because you’re trying to support more data storage devices with less people.
Even with the PC at home where you’re constantly building up Internet capability, how can you get the right protection software at the right time and not have to go on-site to do that? We are here to support a product from sale all the way through end of warranty and sometimes after, so I have to have a very coordinated, standardised system of support processes. Innovation in our industry translates to absolute cost or absolute quality. Automation will improve the customer support experience.
And what is that ‘HP experience’?
We have a great brand. In different parts of the world, different clients say “we know what dealing with HP feels like,” but we want to draw that into one common experience. We’re in the people business and we want to be the blend of high tech and high care and that’s the magic we’re trying to create. Every customer should say, yes, this smells like HP.
Is IBM worried yet about the newly formed HP-EDS combine?
EDS was an extremely strategic acquisition for us. The companies’ collective services businesses, as of the end of the 2007 fiscal year, had annual revenues of more than $38 billion and 210,000 employees. EDS, under HP, will be one of the market’s leading IT outsourcing services providers. If you look at the portfolios of what they do and what we do it is complementary, with very little overlap. Even with customers, only 100 of our customers overlap. Our competitors are probably getting worried and the customer will only benefit from the combined scale. We are pumped.
7 months ago