The one product that is solidly focused on the digital future is Halo, HPs stunning Telepresence offering. But the strongest competitor is Cisco which, with their Visual Networking initiative, is chasing this opportunity with their entire massive telephony/networking company, which is better positioned for it.
Cisco is able to give their product away for free, is capable of out-marketing and out-selling the rest of the segment and they havent even hit their true stride yet. Although HP and Tandberg likely have the better near term solution, long term they are massively overmatched right now by a company that has successfully put down every major competitor theyve ever had (anyone remember 3Com?).
Much like the US was blind to the (to some of us) obvious collapse of the sub-prime housing market, HP and other entrenched vendors probably dont see the massive change coming. And the trigger event could well be the current world financial crisis as company after company, in an effort to save themselves, suddenly starts thinking and doing things differently to conserve cost.
The last depression drove massive change and the dominant companies standing after it was over were not the same ones standing before it started. Crisis brings opportunity or disaster and the difference is anticipating accurately, or responding rapidly to, the changes that are to come.
Applying this to the US Election
Ive been on the fence with regard to the latest US presidential election and frustrated with how much the candidates both attack each other with less than honest statements. I think there are two primary problems that need to be solved. The first is trust in government and the second is the economy.
To solve either will require doing things differently. One question jumped out at me during the latest debate that catalyzed my own thoughts and got me to make a choice. This was the question asking the candidates to rank the energy, healthcare, and social security in order of priority.
McCain said all of the above, which while nice and probably popular, seems impossible under the current economic conditions. Obama said energy has to come first which should fund the ability to do the other two and he tossed in education which protects the future of the nation.
Thats not the popular answer but, to me it was both the most honest, and the most likely to be a successful path to assuring we dont ever have this financial problem again. If the US can stop being addicted to foreign oil a lot of things we cant now afford suddenly become affordable and we potentially stop being a debtor nation. To me, if the nation has no money, it doesnt matter what we want to do we cant afford to do it.
Crisis brings change. With AMD crisis has potentially changed them into a company that has a chance to become dominant from a company that was going to fail. For HP Printing and Imaging the lack of crisis may cause them to miss a future they would have otherwise dominated. And for the US, crisis may give us the first real chance to end our oil dependency and become a real superpower once again.
Lets hope for the best outcomes in all cases.