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New HP Thai chief optimistic after EDS acquisition




Despite the economic downturn, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Thailand has painted a rosy picture of positive business growth over the coming year, and is planning to aggressively penetrate the software and outsourcing services markets.


HP's recent acquisition of EDS, which does a lot of software delivery and outsourcing servicing, had driven the company to move forward, according to Alan Sedghi, the newly-appointed managing director of HP Thailand.


He noted that at present, 30 percent of the top 100 EDS customers were the same as the top 100 HP customers globally, thus there was a lot of room for growth for HP's software business.


In Thailand, HP has recently set-up a new business unit, EDS, adding a fourth business unit to the present three--the Technology Solutions Group (TSG), Personal Systems Group (PSG), and Imaging and Printing Group (IPG).


"There will certainly be interchange between TSG and EDS, and a certain number of people and activities will go to EDS rather than TSG," he said, pointing out that the TSG outsourcing team in Thailand that takes care of customers including Hutch, IT One and Thai Summit would move to EDS. HP was now in the process of recruiting a general manager for the EDS unit who would work closely with TSG.


The managing director noted that there would be no change in one organizational structure as the current teams had already worked well in tandem in the areas of both products and solutions.


Sedghi avoided commenting as to whether the political uncertainty had affected business, saying that HP strive to be a good business corporation and helped businesses here to grow with the value of HP's solutions.


"Challenges represent an opportunity for HP," he said. Citing IDC, he said the compound average growth rate (from 2008 to 2011) for communication, media and entertainment (CME), manufacturing and distribution industry (MDI), public service, financial and services insurance (FSI) of Thailand would be in the double-digit range.


As far as global growth was concerned, he said HP was in a unique position with its end-to-end solutions, which meant that no other company could compete with HP's broad portfolio of products and services.


HP was a very efficient operation, he noted, adding that the company aimed to save at least US$1 billion in operating costs in 2009.


He pointed out that there was some overlap in overheads due to the acquisition of EDS, but HP would integrate staff, mostly in the United States and European countries.


The company was also trying to reduce traveling costs and was always careful in terms of hiring people by looking for the most talented and best-performing staff.


The managing director noted that HP had no plans to reduce the number of employees in Thailand because it was still a growing business here.


Asked about his experience with software companies and consulting, areas that EDS worked in, the managing director said both would help him with HP. HP had a lot of software intellectual property in business technology optimization (BTO), business information optimization (BIO) as well as in CME.


"I'll be pushing all of those forward," he said, noting that HP's software business would continue to grow rapidly in Thailand, through a collaboration with partners, more than it has been before.


The company announced its worldwide revenues in 2008 of US$118.4 billion and hopes to achieve some US$127 to US$130 billion in 2009.


HP's software, services and PSG enjoy growth rates of 20 percent, 35 percent and 16 percent respectively, however the IPG and enterprise storage and servers had increased by only 3 percent and 4 percent. Sedghi reasoned that all of HP's business units were successful, but that the storage and servers were very competitive markets.



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