2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
Massive IT powerhouse, especially with the EDS acquisition
Roster of big-name clients
Lots of restructuring; could be overshadowed by EDS
Strictly tech-focused consulting work
"Highly regarded in hardware provisioning"
"The most chaotic company I've ever encountered"
About HP Enterprise Asia
Two-headed tech consulting giant
In the grand scheme of all things Hewlett-Packard (HP), the firm's IT consulting unit, HP Services, is one small cog in an increasingly large machine. In the world of tech consulting, however, it's a very big deal indeed. The reason for that split perception is entirely a question of perspective: US$22.39 billion is huge revenue for a consulting firm, but that figure accounts for only around 19 percent of HP's overall revenue take of US$118.3 billion for 2008. Add to that the fact that the company acquired tech consulting giant Electronic Data Systems (EDS) for US$13.8 billion in August 2008, and the folks over at HP Services could be forgiven for worries about being left in the shadows.
However, both EDS and HP Services have retained their separate brand identities since the acquisition went through, despite several crossover areas of service (application services, infrastructure and outsourcing). Indeed, when added to the fact that both units have very different business cultures, it may well be the case that they will effectively continue to operate as separate entities.
Solutions for all
Many of HP's consulting services, including those provided by EDS, fall under its Technology Solutions Group, which is further divided into the Communications & Media Solutions Group (CMS). The CMS unit was established in February 2009 to provide consulting services to the communications, media and entertainment industries, and will be closely aligned with EDS.
In June 2008, the company also formed a new telecommunications-focused consulting division called HP Solutions Consulting Services (SCS), which now falls under the larger CMS division. Through these multitude of businesses, HP offers consulting services in areas including architecture optimization, education and training, infrastructure services, financial evaluation, outsourcing services, organizational change, product innovation, process improvement, and transformation governance. The firm also has a large CRM system consulting branch, helping firms implement SAP solutions.
In the Asia Pacific region, HP offers consulting services through dozens of offices, with operations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. While an exact headcount of HP Services staff in Asia is hard to come by, the newly acquired EDS alone employs roughly 30,000 people across the region.
Growing like a plant
Growth has been a major component of the HP ethos ever since the firm was founded back in 1939 by Stanford grads Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Taking an initial investment of just US$500, the pair got their business started by manufacturing electronics, and the company has rarely had occasion to look back since. It wasn't until the 1980s, however, that the firm became synonymous with computer hardware; it rolled out its first personal computer for the public in 1980, and went on to establish itself as a leading provider of print technology over the next couple of decades.
But that wasn't all the firm was up to the in the 1980s and 1990s. Having identified that technology was an area that required much in the way of advice and support—particularly as it pertained to utilizing it for business purposes—the firm segued into the technology services arena as well.
Today, HP is not simply one of the biggest technology companies in the world, it's also one of the most admired, according to Fortune magazine. In 2009, HP landed at No. 30 on Fortune's annual list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Of course, the gigantic size of HP undoubtedly helps the firm earn a lot of admiration points. In 2009, HP was also ranked No. 41 on Fortune's Global 500 list of the world's largest corporations.
Bigger and bigger with EDS
While the EDS acquisition was undoubtedly one of the major talking points in the tech business in 2008, it isn't the biggest deal in HP's storied history. That particular accolade belongs to the 2002 merger with Compaq, which propelled HP into the exalted realms of the tech mega-corporations. It also created a much more robust services division at HP, as the existing units from the two firms were combined under the umbrella of HP's Technology Solutions Group in 2005. Headed up by Executive Vice President Ann Livermore, the group was tasked with providing a sterner challenge to IBM's dominance of the sector.
That goal is another reason for HPers to cheer the EDS purchase: IBM's service revenue in 2007 (the last year prior to the EDS deal) came in at around US$54 billion. That same year, HP Services brought home US$16.6 billion, while EDS pulled in approximately US$22 billion. Combining the two firms under HP's roof created an entity to bridge the IBM gap. That can be seen in the firm's 2008 results, which rolled EDS' fourth-quarter performance into HP Services' figures for the year. The result: a 35 percent increase in year-on-year revenue, almost 25 percent of which can be attributed to just one quarter of EDS earnings.
Upon entering the fold in August 2008, EDS and HP announced more than 24,000 layoffs globally over the following three years to speed up the integration process. As of January 2009, EDS became a business unit within HP's Technology Services Group. EDS CEO Ron Rittenmeyer retired at the end of 2008, and going forward, the business unit falls under the control of Joe Eazor, who was named senior vice president of the division and now reports directly to Ann Livermore.