Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), famously founded in a residential garage in 1939 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, has expanded into a wide range of segments. HP and its subsidiaries manufacture personal computers and enterprise computers, thin clients (networked and server-dependent systems), printers, workstations, tablets, retail point-of-sale systems, calculators and other technology accessories, software, Web services, scanning devices, technology support and services for both consumer and commercial markets. HP's clients include individual consumers, but over the past decade or so, HP has shifted its focus to primarily serve large enterprises -- including global government, health, and education sectors -- small -- and medium-sized businesses. In addition, HP's Enterprise Group division offers servers, business critical systems, networking products of many types, storage solutions (converged and traditional), technology consulting and support in cloud, data, and mobility. The Enterprise Services division provides consulting, outsourcing, and support services to business process domains, applications, and infrastructure. HPs Software division offers enterprise IM solutions, ITM software, and security intelligence / risk management solutions. Within the HP Financial Services segment, the company provides services for asset recovery, financing, leasing, utility programs, and specialized financial services geared to SMBs, educational systems, and government entities.
Business Level Strategies
Business level strategies are used to answer the question: How will we compete? HP evidences Cost Leadership and Differentiation business level strategies. After several decades of struggle and a staggering number of re-designs, HP offerings are coming in at lower, highly competitive prices than those of companies like IBM. The lower pricing is reflected in the low total cost of ownership of systems and the built-in flexibility. For instance, HP's slate tablet is priced lower than Apple's iPad. The HP-UX servers are usurping IBM mainframe territory a companies like Kumho Tires, which is based in South Korean. This type of conversion to the advanced HP-UX system is an example of HP's differentiation strategy; HP has accelerated efforts to maintain their product offerings at the leading edge of innovative and disruptive technology. The business-level strategy most important to the long-term success of the HP is cost of ownership. Differentiation is particularly difficult in the technology sector as the pace of innovation is exceedingly rapid, and consumers are hyper-vigilant with respect to the most recent features of the technology they purchase and use. For this reason, built-in flexibility of offerings is a challenging route to competitive advantage; however, the cost of ownership business strategy is a variable that HP can pursue.
Corporate level strategies answer the question: What business are we in? HP's overarching corporate strategy is offering high quality products and services in diversified computer systems industry of the technology sector. HP has recast its core competencies to a substantive degree several times, and each evolution has required adjustments in the divisions and departments; research and development, (R&D) for example, drives a level of innovation that is felt across most other segments of the business. In recent years, HP's corporate strategy has included globalization. Expanding the R&D department into Ireland enabled the company to add personnel and commit to the growth of technology-related needs in the new complex global environment. The most important corporate strategy to the long-term success of the HP continues to be the production of high quality products and services that attract and maintain market share. In this age of active social networking, it is easier than ever for consumers to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of products and services -- companies that produce shoddy goods or have abysmal customer service do so at their own peril.
Any business in the diversified computer industry operates in an extremely competitive environment. HP has about a dozen rivals in the domestic market and about an equal number of rivals in the international market -- from both public and private firms. The domestic competitors of HP include the following: International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Dell Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Xerox Corporation, Seagate Technology Public Limited Company, Apple Inc., NCR Corp., EMC Corporation, and Toshiba Corporation. International competitors of HP include: Canon Inc., NEC Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, Ricoh Company, Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, Fujitsu Technology Solutions (Holding) B.V., Oki Electric Industry Company, Limited, and Acer Incorporated. With this many competitors in nearly as many specialized segments of the diversified computer systems industry, it is challenging to identify any single significant competitor. The establishment and growth of…