HP announces AI PCs, printing, training and certification at Amplify partner conference

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

HP Inc.’s Amplify partner conference, held in Las Vegas March 5-7 under the “Future Ready – United We Win” theme, focused on converging hybrid systems and GenAI.

Several announcements came out of the three days in Sin City, including a broad portfolio of AI PCs, role-based artificial intelligence training and certification and AI data science for channel partners that use role-based AI training and certification program, a look at the results of a new AI-related worker survey, a new Color LaserJet and new services and software.

HP AI PCs on deck

Although there was a cornucopia of announcements, the lead was the arrival of AI PCs. In fact, Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Jensen Huang (pictured, right) felt strongly enough about the impact of AI PCs that he showed up, in person, at HP Amplify and, in a fireside chat with HP CEO Enrique Lores (left). He said AI PCs “are the first reinvention of the PC since Windows 95.”

HP introduces what it says is the largest portfolio of Intel and AMD-based AI PCs in the industry, including HP Elite PCs and Z by HP mobile workstations to unlock new levels of productivity and creativity.

The PCs come equipped with AI capabilities powered by Intel Core Ultra 5 and 7 processors or next-generation AMD Ryzen PRO processors with dedicated neural processing units for tackling AI tasks with more personalized performance. The lineup includes a wide range of notebooks and PCs, from small form factors to large workstations equipped with graphics processing units.

At the event, I did question why we need AI PCs, given there are so many cloud-based services. ChatGPT, Zoom AI, Microsoft Co-Pilot, and Adobe Firefly are just some of the mainstream AI services that run in the cloud.

I asked a handful of partners for their opinions, and they were excited about the concept. One partner from India mentioned that bandwidth isn’t as plentiful in emerging countries as in the U.S. The ability to run AI locally can make it run significantly faster, directly helping user productivity.

Another partner, who works primarily with regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, explained that many customers want to avoid storing data in the cloud. He expects AI PCs to have a huge upside in these verticals and with security-sensitive companies.

Although I don’t believe all PCs will be replaced with AI PCs, at least in the short term, I do believe HP’s early entry into the market, combined with the breadth of offerings, can propel it into the leadership position of its rivals, Lenovo Group Ltd. and Dell Technologies Inc. In the long term, if HP can create some “magical experiences” where its PCs and laptops interact with Poly collaboration equipment seamlessly, that should act as an opportunity to grab significant share as the combination of those assets is unique to HP.

Along with these PCs and workstations, HP announced the AI Creation Center, a workstation solution to foster AI development. This includes Z by HP AI Studio, which enables AI creation co-engineered with Nvidia NGC libraries.

Other notable announcements

AI PCs were the lead, ut there were several other announcements worth calling out:

HP WEX is dubbed as a “digital experience platform that unlocks the full potential of the workforce.” In layman’s terms, WEX is an AI-based platform that makes personalized technology recommendations based on analyzing employee usage patterns and requirements. The tool uses different employee personas to understand what employees need and then compare it to what they are actually doing. This lets information technology pros make recommendations to workers as to how to change the way they work to maximize productivity.

HP Color LaserJet 3000 series is HP’s newest printer line aimed at businesses that need high-performance printing in a small form factor. The printer uses the new HP TerraJet toner cartridges, which give you more printed pages but use less energy in a smaller form factor. At the booth, HP also showed some interesting AI features coming to print. When we first heard about “AI printing,” a few of the analysts and I rolled our eyes as we thought HP was slapping AI to print for marketing purposes, but the demo they showed at the booth did show the power AI brings to print.

Often, particularly when printing websites or spreadsheets, things do not print as they look on the screen, and we get 19 pages, all with one small column. This causes us to spend hours reformatting things to print in a way we can understand them. AI printing fixes that, as the printer will now do the heavy lifting and print what we see. The user can even designate parts of the page to be printed instead of all the noise around the important parts.

HP expands Amplify program

The most significant non-product announcement was the expansion of the Amplify Partner Program. Beginning Nov. 1, partners will now be encouraged to sell other HP brands, including HyperX, Teradici and Poly. The Poly inclusion is long overdue and extremely important in HP’s ability to take share in office redesigns as companies look to bring employees back to the office.

AI MasterClass training and certification program

HP rolled out a bevy of new AI-focused features for its Amplify Program, designed to help its partners capitalize on AI. Starting in May, the Future Ready MasterClass program will include several topics to help partners educate and advise customers on AI products and use cases. The first set of AI-focused training modules is being done in partnership with Nvidia.

Some final thoughts

This was my first HP Amplify event, and going into it, I was skeptical about how visionary a company that sells PCs and printers could be. I left pleasantly surprised that the company has a strong roadmap of products that leverage AI to fundamentally change how we interact with them.

Looking ahead, the company needs better integration between Poly and HP, where the devices interact, removing much of the heavy lifting that goes into using in-office technology today. Amplify 2024 provided insights on how AI can change PCs and printers, but there is so much more to come.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.