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HP Enterprise Group in 2015: Igniting Organizational Transformation

HP Enterprise Group in 2015: Igniting Organizational Transformation

Robert A. Burgelman, Debra Schifrin
2015|Case No.SM246| Length 28 pgs.

This 2015 case is about the internal organizational transformation of the Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise Group (EG), which brought in $28 billion in annual revenue and had 50,000 employees.  “EG Ignite,” led by a small team of 10 people who reported directly to the head of EG, was designed to be the catalyst for the transformation and provide both a framework and problem-solving support for the most critical transformation initiatives.  These included: 1) accelerating growth, 2) simplifying company processes, 3) becoming more customer-centric, 4) driving down costs, and 5) driving go-to-market changes.  EG’s leadership was especially focused on transforming the front line sales force.  The EG Ignite team served as the interlock point between functions, business units, and regions, and it helped with the execution of the initiatives.

At the same time EG Ignite was in full swing (18 months in), Hewlett Packard was in the process of splitting the $111 billion, 75-year-old company into two independent, publicly traded companies: HPI (Personal Systems and Printing business segments), and HPE (Enterprise Group, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software, and Financial Services).  The split came out of HP’s desire to act with greater speed and agility so it could better compete in an environment in which technology, market, and customer expectations were rapidly changing.  As a critical part of HPE, the Enterprise Group had to be sure its transformation was speedy, successful, and aligned with the imperatives of the company as a whole. 

Learning Objective
The objective is for students to learn about the opportunities, challenges, and complications of executing transformation in a large company. Questions for students include: What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a small team such as EG Ignite (positioned just below top leadership) leading execution? What are the potential pitfalls of a program such as EG Ignite? Would such a program be effective in a smaller company as well, or is it more specifically suited to large companies?
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