Yoooohoooo! Finally can share with you my time in Hong Kong at the HP press event. Indeed, this is ur scoop on what's in the pipeline and what you can expect to see in the pipeline for all the geeks and geekettes! :)
As promised, a nice palatable summary of what happened during the HP Press Event in Hong Kong. As previously mentioned, I was put up at Langham Place Hotel, in Mongkok. Yes, I really liked it, the room, the staff, the design and architecture, but the building was really out of place in a city where everything around it looked run down and dirty. Rose in a desert.
I must really say that I enjoyed this trip, generally. Although info was sardine packed during this event, so I hear from the rest of the media guys from Singapore, this is typical of a press event. (yes I’m ignorant, it’s my very first traditional press event).
I was accompanied by Justin (PC Mag), Andy (Hardware Zone), Billy (Digital Life), Lilian (IDC) and Phillip (CNet) for this trip here and we were chaperoned by Angela and Hsu Wei from HP to ensure we’d fulfill out obligations of moving orderly from one room to another, from one track to another. They were really a friendly bunch, easy to clique with and really, the company’s everything.
Left to right: Phillip, Justin, Angela (our HP host) and Hsu wei (back to us))
(another pic left to right of : Crazy Justin, Billy Teo, Andy and Philip)
When I was in the airport just as we touched down, Melvin immediately brought to my attention HP’s changed logo. Can see the diff? ….
Now Tuesday kicked started with a keynote by Chris Morgan, Senior VP of Imaging and Printing Group. The room we were put up in looked pretty snazzy – flat screen and projectors all over flashing the words, “Excite, Engage and Experience”. Nice slogan huh? Sets the stage.
Chris started off by talking about how much HP has grown and how they are a leader in this market. This followed on by See Chin Teik, SVP of personal systems groups.
Since I hate reading uber long figure-spewing posts, I shall attempt to summarize everything into bite sized pieces.
The Theme of this event was apt because this was in tandem with HP’s strategy of Engaging (expand regionally), exciting (in store shopping experience) and experiencing (integrate for user from beyond in-store to alternate experience).
HP has, moving on, a focus on improving its key leadership position in the following ways:
1) Expanding Geographically
a. HP currently has a retail footprint of 17,000 stores in Asia Pac and Japan, but will aim to hit 25,000 stores by 2010. HP has just sealed a partnership collaborative deal with Harvey Norman to work on OFIS, a service for the SMBs and personal printing services of office collaterals and personalized gifts respectively. We all know that HP has always been into printers but moving on, they will be entering the printing market. This made me think of Fedex kinko’s in the states, I fondly remember going to these small outlets to print my school materials and company’s collaterals. Thank God for 24 hours Kinkos!
2) Improving in store experience with partnership stores
a. By partnering with existing and new stores, HP will look towards having 200 “experience stores” by 2010 with in store, fully trained retail “gurus” to help ease purchasing decision by educating potential customers. Majority of these experience stores will be located in the busier cities of Asia Pac and Japan, and will share a synonymous “motif”.
3) Launch of HP Total Care System
a. This system comes with new HP laptops/desktops which helps ease the tedious process of updating anti virus software, updating versions, etc. This will seek to be a one stop program that caters to caring for your PC’s “health”. Consumer support, in other words will be beefed u so imagine a PC doctor at your beck and call, 24-7.
4) Promoting Home retail online innovatively
a. HP wants to focus on consumer opportunity especially in the segments of today’s young families who make up tomorrow’s workforce, today’s youth and today’s women - hurray, took someone that long to realize that half of the earth’s population is made up of estrogen oozing females. In fact, shocking but true, 66% of internet users are women and they make up 58% of online spend. (I can vouch that online shopping contributes significantly to this number. *hee hee*)
b. Snapfish was purchased in 2005 by HP to extend their footprint in this market. Snapfish now has 60,000 active users with over 2 billion pictures saved in its archive. I was shocked when none of the media representatives from Singapore admitted to having ever used snapfish. Perhaps because it was recently launched in Japan and Singapore, we don’t have a huge active user base, but as for me, I remember starting to utilize snapfish in 2005, when I went to the US. Snapfish, to me is intuitive, but I wouldn’t immediately call it out to be the easier photo storing website I have used before. However, what I can say though is that, kudos to them for providing its users unlimited storage space – all this without having to pay a single cent! (someone say hurrah pls!)
c. Understandably, HP’s strategy is to enable users to upload as many pictures as they possibly can, and the amount of pics uploaded will be proportional to the amount printed through them. Imagine this, assembling a photobook or personalized calander online and having it sent to your doorstep in no time. Good for those last minute presents, for sure.
5) Going GREEN!
a. HP loves the environment so a big portion of its strategy is to reduce the carbon footprint. It will do so by focussing on energy reduction in products. Many of the models are Star Energy certified, so you save money as well as the Earth.
6) HP’s PhotoSmart Portfolio and Vivienne Tam Women’s Note
(yes no prizes for guessing why I'm smiling ear to ear....)
a. Wooohooo, for those of you who, like me, hate wires lying obsoletely around, HP’s new portfolio of printers will boast of being wireless across 66% of these new printers, enabling one to print from any printer, anywhere in the house, without a need to be connected to the PC itself. Indeed, the focus on going wireless will surely enhance consumer usability. Unfortunately, this isn’t new already but I’m sure this will receive a hearty welcome (if the price is right).
b. With lots of consumers doing in house printing and collateral self-production, Hp bring a brand new set of leading printing products. HP’s new all in 1 colour printer range seals the deal. No, it’s not to say that single function printers will be a thing of the past, it’s affordable, easy to use and efficient – its just that there is a rising demand for multi function printers in the homes.
c. YEEHA Females out there. Digital products not fashionable? Easy, intergrate Fasion with technology and voila, you got a winner! This Peony design adds truly adds life and vibrancy to the old plain notebook.
What’s more, it fits the one the go lifestyle and slips into your handbag. Apart from Sony’s Vaio, which comes the closest to being a beautiful laptop that women aren’t embarrassed of carrying, I can surely now say that HP’s collaboration with Vivienne Tam on the soon to be launched Women’s “digital clutch” will be to die for. No joke, I seriously feel for it at first sight, call me a sucker for beautiful things, but I truly agree that a female’s laptop is the extension of herself. Of course for office use, I’m carry a waaaay too heavy, boring laptop (no complains huh…) but if given a choice I’d love to own the first of this Vivienne Tam collection. The only question now, at what cost? No one there could put a finger on the cost yet, so I left feeling “dry”..
d. Ming went crazy out the recently launched mininote and lined up for a couple of hours at Sim Lim Square just for it’s launch. Think he purchased it for 1 to 1.2k thereabout. With this new peony design attached with the brand name of Vivienne Tam, who’s to guess how much this swanky device would cost. Think women would take to it – it’s a lifestayle product, definitely not suited for power users.
e. This new laptop will be sold in Vivienne Tam boutiques, so women who never ever considered getting a laptop can actually have first hand experience with one, and perhaps purchase one as a fashion statement. Goodbye Manolo Blahniks, hello HP sexy note. J
7) Collaboration with Electronic Arts (EA)
a. Partnerships with Electronic Arts in Hong Kong to have an “experience” store. Allows for customization and immersion.
b. That night we were brought to The Peak for a visit to EA’s experience store. The gang and I got to experience SPORE, a PC game that is something like Sim City, but allows for your own customization of your avatar… Scarey but true, these alien like creatures really allow you to exercise your creativity when you build them from scratch. Personally, for me, not something I’d take a keen interest in, but nonetheless, I hear many kids have taken it to their liking. Lilian’s daughter is apparently into it and Andy said that his daughter would like such weirdo stuff. Hmmm.. I think it’s just the generation gap (I’m feeling olllddd)
8) Retail Point of Sales (RPOS)
a. Small business owners who want to increase efficiency of payment collection, profits reporting, ordering and reordering of goods as well as customer relationship management, not to fear, HP’s RPOS is here. This system allows for payment by cash as well as credit card payment for shop owners, plus allows them to manage “loyalty” points with ease. Customised reports can help you manage inventory and sales better, thus being more efficient and streamlined. I won’t write too much about this because, for selfish reasons, I’m just not interested in this at this point of time. The track for this was creative, but extremely long.
By that end of the way, I quote, Any turned and said to me, “I’m at one bar left” – which cracked me up because trust a guy, to put things in perspective, in that way. In other words, he meant “I’m spacing out”. The last track was not boring, just that at the end of the day, you don’t have much life left after being tossed around in a sea of info.
I'm putting a teaser food pic here of us enjoying the yummy lunch. Haven't had much time to blog abt food, but rest asured in my post, i'll be ALL about the food we had. Yea so eat ur hearts out...