HP Halo: Telepresence Deployments Grow Larger
When it comes to telepresence deployments, Hewlett-Packard’s Halo team has noticed a rather interesting trend: A year and a half ago, customers were often purchasing 3 to 4 telepresence rooms on their initial purchase. Now, HP is seeing the average initial purchase grow to 8 to 10 rooms, with some customers initially purchasing as many as 30 rooms. Here’s the scoop, from The VAR Guy.
First, a little background. The VAR Guy believes Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems have been competing fiercely to win telepresence business from Marriott International. When Marriott a few days ago announced a major commitment to an AT&T/Cisco telepresence service, The VAR Guy offered HP equal time to find out how HP Halo was performing in the market.
Here’s the email exchange with Ross Camp, senior marketing communications manager for HP Halo…
The VAR Guy: Is Marriott working with HP Halo anymore? If so, how?
HP’s Camp: While we had a business model that was well received by Marriott International, the business model was not necessarily workable for individual franchise owners. We continue to have a positive relationship with Marriott and would definitely not be opposed to implementing a public access strategy with that hotel chain or other global chains in the hospitality industry.
That said, I do want to make it clear that public access remains a priority for the HP Halo business. HP Halo business managers have been doing a lot of work in this space, looking at locations, travel patterns, pricing, the “value” of time savings associated with public access, the type of configurations most suitable for public access and potential partners, both inside and outside the hospitality industry. We’ve also been talking to our customers who are residing in nearly 40 countries to see what type of public access strategy will work for them. This service, as you know, is still in its infancy stage and many telepresence vendors are seeing what will work. However, again, we feel we have a very good understanding of what it will take to be successful in this arena and look forward to sharing more news on this in the near future.
The VAR Guy: Either way, are there any recent HP Halo deployments you can point me to so that I can give equal time HP?
HP’s Camp: In terms of HP Halo deployments generally, we continue to see excellent growth. While HP guidelines prohibit us from releasing actual numbers, we will have rooms deployed in more than 40 countries by the end of the calendar year. Additionally, we’re seeing exceptional repurchase rates now. More than 80% of our customers who have had their rooms for six months or longer have purchased new rooms. Additionally, we’re seeing the number of rooms customers initially purchase grow as well. A year and a half ago, customers were often purchasing 3-4 rooms on their initial purchase. Now, we’re seeing the average initial purchase between 8-10 with some customers purchasing as many as 30.
Reading Between the Lines
Cut to the chase, and it sounds like Marriott isn’t moving forward with public access Telepresence systems from HP because Marriott franchise owners didn’t see/didn’t understand the potential business benefit.
But HP still made some interesting points. Telepresence seems to be moving (gradually…) from the early adopter stage, as businesses begin to build out multiple telepresence rooms to help network their executives (and customers) across the globe.
The big question remains unchanged: Are channel partners willing to get trained and certified to sell, service and support telepresence systems? Or is telepresence mainly a direct-sales play?
The VAR Guy will explore those questions in the days ahead.