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HP study reveals optimism among SMB business owners

SMBs that are focused on digital transformation are the most confident. HP offers new services and solutions to help SMBs accelerate growth.

Photo by Roberto Cortese from Unsplash.com

HP Inc.’s latest study on SMBs in Asia-Pacific, “Survival to Revival”, surveying 1,600 SMBs across in Asia reveals over 50 percent of small-medium business (SMB) owners expect not just to survive but thrive following the pandemic and feel that digital transformation will be a key part of this revival. In response, HP is introducing integrated services-based print solutions including an HP Roam for Business bundle to make it easy to print on the go and enhanced HP SecurePrint a flexible, cloud-native solution that releases documents only to authorized users.  

Some 60 percent of respondents see digital transformation as key with innovation in work processes, flexible work options and customized products and services identified as future strategies. However, cost effective solutions are required given cashflow remains top of mind and SMBs are unclear where to look or what such solutions are available. This is especially key where only 4 in 10 SMBs have a department or person responsible for innovation.

“SMBs are the lifeblood of every economy in Asia but the pandemic has hit SMBs hard. As the engines of growth for Asia and the Philippines, they must move past survival to revive their businesses,” said Christian Edmond Reyes, Philippines Managing Director, HP Inc. “This study provides us with the insights to provide practical help for Filipino SMBs and give access to an ecosystem of devices, tools and technology. We believe these resources will help SMBs unlock innovation for customer and employee-centric experiences and upskill talent to rebound from the pandemic and prepare for the future.” 

The study found:

  • Companies most confident of bouncing back place high importance on digital adoption. Across the region, nearly 60% view digital adoption as very important or essential. Indonesian SMBs are particularly sensitive to this need, with a full 74% believing it is essential or very important, as is Thailand, also at 65%. 
  • Growth projections are significantly adjusted post pandemic. Across the region, 46% of SMBs expecting growth prior to the pandemic but that figure has dropped dramatically to just 16%. 
  • Disruption to productivity is a common experience during COVID. Only 6% of SMBs recorded higher levels of workplace productivity compared to pre-COVID period while 43% recorded lower productivity.
  • Skills was identified as an issue: The pandemic amplified the lack of digital-first mindsets and skills within existing SMBs that hamper growth, affecting nearly half (44%) of respondents. 
  • SMBs are unclear on where to look for assistance: Financial institutions rank high (31%); 60% of SMBs consider government support to be insufficient and/or are unclear on what support is available; only 19% of respondents turn to IT companies for help.

A need for Talent

Underpinning all of this is a need to identify digital talents who can help SMBs to transform the business. The majority of SMBs do not dedicate resources and/or invest in innovation as a discipline; it is more common to ask customers what they want, or simply mirror what the competition is offering. Only one in five SMBs have customized offerings, looked for new sales & supply-chain channels or introduced new lines of business. 

Empowering SMBs in the Philippines

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To support Filipino SMBs in adapting to new agile working environments, HP has introduced a suite of integrated services-based print solutions to enable SMBs to stay productive and effective no matter where they work. HP is now offering a one-year license for HP Roam for Business with a compatible HP LaserJet Pro 400-series, making it easy to print on the go from a mobile device and to retrieve the job touchless at any HP Roam-enabled printer within the company network.

In addition, HP has enhanced HP SecurePrint which now supports all network types, including traditional networks behind a firewall as well as serverless print environments, helping customers simplify IT infrastructures. To empower workers the HP Workpath ecosystem, which enables workers to connect to cloud-based platforms directly from the Multifunction Printers (MFP), has expanded rapidly since it launched in November 2019, with 100+ apps available on the platform and thousands of apps deployed.

To meet the demands of the SMB worker’s multi-task, multi-place workday, HP Elite, Probook and Prodesk PCs are designed to enable them to work anywhere when inspiration comes, giving them the performance that matches up to their creativity, and allowing them to collaborate seamlessly and effortlessly to bring their ideas to life.

Security is a top priority in agile working environments. From the moment the PC is switched on, the security products in the HP Security Stack are working together in the background to protect customers and partners:

  • HP SUREVIEW – an integrated privacy screen which ensures any confidential data are not exposed from prying eyes, minimizing the risk of visual hacking
  • HP SURECLICK – isolates key applications in their own virtual containers to trap and delete any malware
  • HP SURESTART – can automatically detect, stop, and recover from a BIOS attack or corruption without IT intervention
  • HP SURE RUN – hardware-enforced application which continually monitors presence of critical services and applications
  • Webcam kill-switch – helps to keep private moments safe

HP is making it easy for SMBs to get their hands on the latest technology by offering affordable bundles to ensure small businesses and the Filipino workforce are equipped with the right tools for remote working, and enable uninterrupted work and sustained productivity.

Some of the latest WFH promos available from the official HP flagship store at Lazada and Shopee include:

  • E-voucher worth PHP 1,500 for every purchase of HP Neverstop Laser, HP LaserJet Pro, HP Ink Tank and HP OfficeJet Printers until April 30. 
  • GCash Credits of up to PHP 6,000 for every purchase of participating HP PCs until April 30.

Continuous upskilling is also critical for SMBs to revive and grow. The HP LIFE program offers free online self-paced training courses designed to help entrepreneurs and SMBs acquire new skills to grow their business, such as business communications, having a success mindset, social media marketing, and design thinking. In the Philippines, HP provides free online consultations, application trainings and software webinars to further support and help partners expand their IT skills.

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