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Sun 14 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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HP talks shop

HP in the region is working on increasing service provision to customers, even as it integrates ProCurve with TSG.

HP in the region is working on increasing service provision to customers, even as it integrates ProCurve with TSG.

Technology giant HP will work to improve its service and support offerings to customers across the region in the next year to come. According to John Hoonhout, managing director and TSG's lead at HP Middle East, significant investment will be dedicated by the company to improving its regional offerings.

"There are a bunch of things we are doing. Probably the most important is that when it comes to servers and storage, a lot of the support is delivered through our partners while some is delivered by HP directly. So we are putting a lot of focus on making sure that we really enforce the certification standards that we have in place for our business partners that provide the service. There is a strong governance model in place to ensure that the partners we are working with are qualified to deliver the required services," says Hoonhout.

The ProCurve networking business is now exceeding people's expectations. It is a very successful business.

He adds: "One of the drivers of customer satisfaction and turn-around time is spare parts availability, which is a complex thing to do in the region, there are various customers and different countries. So we are making a significant investment to markedly improve the spare parts availability and turnaround time. That is probably the most important customer satisfaction topic that we are working on. This will be rolled out in the next year, and customers will start to see a significant difference by the end of 2009."

The company is also working on improving general regional customer knowledge on the selection, deployment and management of systems and solutions across their particular IT infrastructure.

"We have an education business that trains and certifies people across different areas of subject expertise. It is the fastest growing HP education business in EMEA. There is definitely demand and this is not only to certify our own personnel, but also the customer's personnel and our partners. We provide these services to all three segments. This is an ongoing area of focus for us," states Hoonhout.

He adds: "Another thing that we are doing much more proactively is at point of sale, and I am not talking consumer but enterprise products like servers and storage. At point of sale, we are attaching services to these products. Typical services  include after-sales support, and making sure that the right service level is achieved."

Hoonhout states that the company will be working on bettering its refurbishment and recycling activities in the region going forward.

"The refurbishment part is not something we are able to offer in the Middle East at this point in time. But there is a substantial global effort by the company to recycle and re-use scattered IT equipment to minimise the impact on the environment. I think we can do a much better job when it comes to communicating our over-arching climate strategy," he says.

According to Hoonhout, the company focuses on the lessons it is learning inhouse in order to pass it on to its customers.

"We are working to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of our own operations, and making substantial gains there. The commitment is to reduce our own energy consumption by around 25% by 2010. That is not far away. Our CTO does regular global roadshows to educate CIOs on what we are doing and how it can be translated in their companies," says Hoonhout.

As ProCurve becomes more integrated, Hoonhout believes that the networking business is also set to grow.

"The ProCurve networking business is now exceeding people's expectations. It is a very successful business," he says.

He adds that ProCurve will eventually come into the fold and become part of TSG, though he can't say when.

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