Hewlett-Packard Company, commonly referred to as HP, is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, and is now one of the world's largest information technology companies, operating in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise, and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers, and other imaging products. HP markets its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises directly as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also has strong services and consulting business around its products and partner products.
HP's posted net revenue in 2010 was $126.3 billion, in 2009 net revenue was $115 billion, with approximately $40 billion coming from services. In 2006, the intense competition between HP and IBM tipped in HP's favor, with HP posting revenue of US$91.7 billion, compared to $91.4 billion for IBM; the gap between the companies widened to $21 billion in 2009. In 2007, HP's revenue was $104 billion, making HP the first IT company in history to report revenues exceeding $100 billion. In 2008 HP retained its global leadership position in inkjet, laser, large format and multi-function printers market, and its leadership position in the hardware industry. Also HP became #2 globally in IT services as reported by IDC & Gartner.
Major company changes include a spin-off of part of its business as Agilent Technologies in 1999, its merger with Compaq in 2002, and the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com; with the deal closing on April 12, 2010. On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Palm for $1.2 billion. On September 2, 2010, won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion) which Dell declined to match.
On August 6, 2010, CEO Mark Hurd resigned. Cathie Lesjak assumed the role of interim CEO, and on September 30, 2010, Léo Apotheker became HP's new permanent CEO and Ray Lane, Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was elected to the position of non-executive Chairman. Both appointments were effective November 1, 2010.
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard graduated in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1935. The company originated in a garage in nearby Palo Alto during a fellowship they had with a past professor, Frederick Terman at Stanford during the Great Depression. Terman was considered a mentor to them in forming Hewlett-Packard. In 1939, Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard's garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. Hewlett and Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett Packard won the coin toss but named their electronics manufacturing enterprise the "Hewlett-Packard Company". HP incorporated on August 18, 1947, and went public on November 6, 1957.
Of the many projects they worked on, their very first financially successful product was a precision audio oscillator, the Model HP200A. Their innovation was the use of a small incandescent light bulb (known as a "pilot light") as a temperature dependent resistor in a critical portion of the circuit, the negative feedback loop which stabilized the amplitude of the output sinusoidal waveform. This allowed them to sell the Model 200A for $54.40 when competitors were selling less stable oscillators for over $200. The Model 200 series of generators continued until at least 1972 as the 200AB, still tube-based but improved in design through the years.
One of the company's earliest customers was The Walt Disney Company, which bought eight Model 200B oscillators (at $71.50 each) for use in certifying the Fantasound surround sound systems installed in theaters for the movie Fantasia.
The company was originally rather unfocused, working on a wide range of electronic products for industry and even agriculture. Eventually they elected to focus on high-quality electronic test and measurement equipment.
From the 1940s until well into the 1990s the company concentrated on making electronic test equipment: signal generators, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, frequency counters, thermometers, time standards, wave analyzers, and many other instruments. A distinguishing feature was pushing the limits of measurement range and accuracy; many HP instruments were more sensitive, accurate, and precise than other comparable equipment.
Following the pattern set by the company's first product, the 200A, test instruments were labelled with three to five digits followed by the letter "A". Improved versions went to suffixes "B" through "E". As the product range grew wider HP started using product designators starting with a letter for accessories, supplies, software, and components.
HP's global operations are directed from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, USA. Its U.S. operations are directed from its facility in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, near Houston. Its Latin America offices in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S., near Miami. Its Europe offices are in Meyrin, Switzerland, near Geneva. Its Asia-Pacific offices are in Singapore. It also has large operations in Boise, Idaho, Roseville, California, San Diego, California, and Plano, Texas (the former headquarters of EDS, which HP acquired). In the UK, HP is based at a large site in Bracknell, Berkshire with offices in various UK locations, including a landmark office tower in London, 88 Wood Street. Its recent acquisition of 3Com will expand its employee base to Marlborough, Massachusetts.
HP has successful lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers, workstation computers, and computers for home and small business use; many of the computers came from the 2002 merger with Compaq. HP today promotes itself as supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design, implement, and support IT infrastructure.
HP's Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) is "the leading imaging and printing systems provider in the world for printer hardware, printing supplies and scanning devices, providing solutions across customer segments from individual consumers to small and medium businesses to large enterprises." Products and technology associated with IPG include Inkjet and LaserJet printers, consumables and related products, Officejet all-in-one multifunction printer/scanner/faxes, Large Format Printers, Indigo Digital Press, HP Web Jetadmin printer management software, HP Output Management suite of software, LightScribe optical recording technology, HP Photosmart digital cameras and photo printers, HP SPaM, and Snapfish by HP, a photo sharing and photo products service. On December 23, 2008, HP released iPrint Photo for iPhone a free downloadable software application that allows the printing of 4" x 6" photos.
HP's Personal Systems Group (PSG) claims to be "one of the leading vendors of personal computers ("PCs") in the world based on unit volume shipped and annual revenue." PSG includes business PCs and accessories, consumer PCs and accessories, (e.g., HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario, VoodooPC), handheld computing (e.g., iPAQ Pocket PC), and digital "connected" entertainment (e.g., HP MediaSmart TVs, HP MediaSmart Servers, HP MediaVaults, DVD+RW drives). HP resold the Apple iPod until November 2005.
HP Enterprise Business (EB) incorporates HP Technology Services, Enterprise Services (an amalgamation of the former EDS, and what was known as HP Services), HP Software Division, and Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Group (ESSN). The Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Group (ESSN) oversees "back end" products like storage and servers. HP's networking business unit ProCurve is responsible for the family of network switches, wireless access points, and routers. They are currently a business unit of ESSN.
HP Software Division is the company's enterprise software unit. For years, HP has produced and marketed its brand of enterprise management software, HP OpenView. From September 2005 through 2010, HP purchased a total of 15 software companies between as part of a publicized, deliberate strategy to augment its software offerings for large business customers. The division markets its software in four categories: HP IT Management Software (also known as business technology optimization software), HP Information Management Software, business intelligence solutions, and communications and media software and solutions.
HP's Office of Strategy and Technology has four main functions: (1) steering the company's $3.6 billion research and development investment, (2) fostering the development of the company's global technical community, (3) leading the company's strategy and corporate development efforts, and (4) performing worldwide corporate marketing activities. Under this office is HP Labs, the research arm of HP. Founded in 1966, HP Labs's function is to deliver new technologies and to create business opportunities that go beyond HP's current strategies. An example of recent HP Lab technology includes the Memory spot chip. HP IdeaLab further provides a web forum on early-state innovations to encourage open feedback from consumers and the development community.
HP also offers managed services where they provide complete IT-support solutions for other companies and organisations. Some examples of these are: A large activity is HP offering "Professional Support" and desktop "Premier Support" for Microsoft in the EMEA marketplace. This is done from the Clonskeagh office in Dublin, Sofia and Israel. Support is offered on the line of Microsoft operation systems, Exchange, Sharepoint and some office-applications. But HP also offers outsourced services for companies like Bank of Ireland, some UK banks, the U.S. defense forces, etc.
According to a Business Week Study, HP is currently the world's 11th most valuable brand. Since its creation, the HP Logo has remained largely the same. Because of its extreme simplicity, the logo is recognized all over the world.
HP has many sponsorships. One well known sponsorship is of Walt Disney World's Epcot Park's Mission: SPACE. From 1995 to 1999 they were the shirt sponsor of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. From 1997 to 1999 they were sponsors of Australian Football League club North Melbourne Football Club. They also sponsored the BMW Williams Formula 1 team until 2006 (a sponsorship formerly held by Compaq), and as of 2010 sponsor Renault F1. Hewlett-Packard also has the naming rights arrangement for the HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team.
After the acquisition of Compaq in 2002, HP has maintained the "Compaq Presario" brand on low-end home desktops and laptops, the "HP Compaq" brand on business desktops and laptops, and the "HP ProLiant" brand on Intel-architecture servers. (The "HP Pavilion" brand is used on home entertainment laptops and all home desktops.)
HP uses DEC's "StorageWorks" brand on storage systems; Tandem's "NonStop" servers are now branded as "HP Integrity NonStop".
Agilent Technologies, not HP, retains the direct product legacy of the original company founded in 1939. Agilent's current portfolio of electronic instruments are descended from HP's very earliest products. HP entered the computer business only after its instrumentation competencies were well-established. When Agilent was spun off, items in the Corporate Archives were split-up along product lines, with Agilent retaining almost all of the original HP archives - only where there was duplication of material, was HP given early Test and Measurement material. Both companies retained an original 200A Audio Oscillator.
In 2011, HP Enterprise Business, along with participating independent user groups, combined its annual HP Software Universe, HP Technology Forum and HP Technology@Work into a single event, HP DISCOVER. There are two HP Discover events annually, one for the Americas and one for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). HP DISCOVER 2011 Americas took place June 6–10, in Las Vegas at the Venetian/Palazzo. The event offered nearly 1,000 sessions on application transformation, Converged Infrastructure, information optimization, mobile devices, webOS, global data centers, security, hybrid delivery and cloud computing. Approximately 10,000 customers, partners and IT thought leaders attended HP Discover 2011 in Las Vegas and approximately 5,000 are expected to attend the EMEA event. The Americas conference featured tracks designed for several industries including automotive and aerospace; communications, media & entertainment, energy, financial services, healthcare and life sciences, high tech and electronics, public sector, retail and consumer goods, and transportation and logistics. The nearly 1,000 sessions, hands-on labs and exhibits explored all areas of the HP Enterprise Business portfolio including servers, storage, networking, software and services. In addition, the company provided sneak previews of its new tablet device, webOS TouchPad which will be availble in July 2011.
The HP DISCOVER 2011 event in EMEA is slated to take place in Vienna, Austria, at the Reed Exhibitions, Messe Wien Congress Center, on November 29 through December 1, 2011.