Saturday, August 14, 2004

HP: The adaptive enterprise that can't adapt

For quite some time now, HP has been trumpeting its Adaptive Enterprise idea to anyone that would listen. The basic concept being that companies need to use technology as a tool for making quick, fluid changes in their businesses. But after HP blamed a disastrous SAP roll-out for its third quarter failings, you have to wonder exactly how adaptive HP's own enterprise really is.

HP seemed to place more blame for the weak third quarter on an SAP implementation. The company struggled to get new SAP supply-chain software up and running with the process taking six weeks instead of the predicted three. HP's ordering system became chaotic. HP had to tap the channel to make sure deliveries were met and even missed some sales. "The migration was more disruptive than we'd anticipated," Fiorina said. All told, HP's hardware and software failings cost it $400m in revenue and $275m in operating profit in Q3.

On one hand, you have to believe the SAP problem did have a material impact. HP and SAP work together on numerous large revenue deals. One would think this relationship would prevent HP from outing SAP publicly as a culprit unless it really had no where else to turn.

On the other hand, starting at HP's third quarter in 2002 the hardware units' results are as follows: a $422m loss, a $152m loss, a $83m loss, a $7m loss, a $70m loss, a $106m profit, a $108m profit, a $120m profit and yesterday's $208m loss. These results don't compare terribly well with Dell's consistently massive revenue gains over the same period or IBM's solid gains. This isn't one quarter of poor execution; it's a tradition of poor execution with blips of success.

If HP is an Adaptive Enterprise, it's one heading toward extinction in its current form. Fiorina cannot afford to keep fingering others for HP's failings much longer. Read on...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Swinging radical C.

Have you ever tried to teach an old dog a new trick? It’s not an easy task. As Management Consultant Rich DiGeorgio describes, its not just old dogs that are resistant to C. !
DiGeorgio documents the business struggles of a company attempting to put a new swing on Golf, in his article The Strategic Challenges of Bringing a Radical Idea to the Market Place. DiGeorgio uses the struggles of the Natural Golf, Inc., and its attempts to C. a traditional sport as a metaphor for business C. He starts with his new Natural Golf swing’s encounter with Tiger Woods, an encounter that humorously highlighted many questions about the challenges Natural Golf faces. “Research and common sense suggest that people prefer the status quo to C,” writes DiGeorgio. “Only about 30% of people embrace C. If you are embarking on a mission to change the way the world swings a golf club, you need to understand, at a very deep level, that golf is very traditional.”DiGeorgio connected with the Natural Golf Company and became interested in the massive challenges it has been facing to gain credibility in the market place. Many business leaders and managers will find the article’s message enlightening and interesting. How will Natural Golf gain credibility in the market place when none of the top pros uses it? What market niche is this very different golf swing going to appeal to first, to allow Natural Golf to get a foothold and survive financially? What is the best way to reach this market niche? I recommend this interesting and humorous article. Perhaps a new 'swing' is just what your own organization needs...