Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Hewlett-Packard yesterday introduced new products during the HP Expo in Shanghai, China. Jonathan Browning for The National
Hewlett-Packard yesterday introduced new products during the HP Expo in Shanghai, China. Jonathan Browning for The National

HP offers tailored service to UAE

Hewlett-Packard plans to introduce a new support service for individual customers in the Emirates, as it seeks ways to offset a global slump in sales of computers and printers.

Hewlett-Packard plans to introduce a new support service for individual customers in the Emirates, as the world's largest PC maker seeks ways to offset a global slump in sales of computers and printers.

The American company is currently rolling out 80 products and expects to begin the new service as early as next month.

The Emirates would be the only country in the Middle East and Africa to have such a scheme, where technicians would come to people's homes to fix devices within 24 hours of getting a call.

"It's typically used for corporate business," said Salim Ziade, the general manager for HP's personal systems group in the Middle East. "If you sell [computers] to Mercedes-Benz or Emirates [Airline], they expect a technician will come and fix it on site. This is not the consumer-level service, typically."

HP's increased focus on service schemes comes as global revenues for its computers, printers and other products have fallen dramatically, and as competitors eat up the company's market share with more affordable or innovative products.

During the first quarter this year, HP's earnings dropped nearly 44 per cent compared with a year earlier. Revenue fell 7 per cent, to US$30 billion (Dh110.19bn), as demand for both HP's commercial and consumer businesses softened.

Yet one of the company's few areas of revenue increases included services, which inched up 1 per cent, to $8.6bn.

"HP has moved toward more services and higher-margin technologies", such as software and data-storage offerings, said Mark Fabbi, a technology analyst with Gartner, the market research firm. "But the underlying culture and approach of the company has changed little. They are still largely silo-driven and they are still seen as a tactical provider of 'things'."

Still, experts say that such service schemes could hold good possibilities for HP as added channels of revenue.

A similar programme has already been pilot-tested in India, "quite successfully", said Mr Ziade.

HP is also trying to offset declining sales in developed markets by courting customers more aggressively in emerging markets.

The company is currently the top computer-seller in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, with more than 19 million units shipped last year, according to market data from NPD DisplaySearch.

While this equates to nearly 5 per cent growth compared with 2010 for this region, it is significantly less than the growth rates of either Samsung or Apple, which ranked second and third, respectively when looking at the sales of traditional computers, monitors and tablets.

In the Middle East over the past two years, HP has doubled its staff, to more than 2,000 employees. It also moved into a bigger office in Abu Dhabi this year to accommodate a growing staff that is now about 50.

Still, Mr Ziade said the greatest challenge for HP in the Middle East today was to find the right talent to meet the demands of both business and residential customers. "You need to catch up very fast with a massive increase of customer expectations. Investing in training is number one."

nparmar@thenational.ae

twitter: Follow and share our breaking business news. Follow us

iPad users can follow our twitterfeed via Flipboard - just search for Ind_Insights on the app.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National