Posts Tagged Mobile URL
Rahul Sood was working in a Calgary rug store when fate beckoned in 1991. A friendly customer saw him fixing a computer by the front desk, and suggested he take his skills into the PC business.
Sood borrowed $1,500 on a MasterCard and started Voodoo PC, buying high-end parts and building powerful workstation computers for clients in the local oil and gas industry. It didn’t take long for him to find a more appropriate niche: In the early days Sood and friends stayed up until 2 a.m. playing graphics-rich video games on the office computers, so it felt natural when Voodoo began building eye-catching rigs for fellow video game enthusiasts.
Now Sood is a key player in Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) push to create breakthrough new computer designs to push it further ahead of its rivals. Since HP acquired Voodoo in 2006, Sood and his team have been working to bring Voodoo’s artistic, high-performance culture to HP’s mass-market audience. HP’s latest efforts, which will be unveiled on June 10, could begin to establish the company as a provider of beautiful technology gear – an image that consumers had traditionally associated with competitors like Apple (AAPL) and Sony (SNE).
“Voodoo inside HP is very much akin to the acquisition of Lamborghini into Audi,” says Sood, a car buff who races in his spare time. “In the new Lamborghinis the quality is 100 times better, and in Audis, the styling has gotten more aggressive – it’s a win-win situation for both companies.”
HP’s moves are about more than looks. The PC wars have changed. In the 90s, victory meant building PCs cheaper and faster. Michael Dell (DELL) defined the era by establishing a build-to-order process at his Texas plants, tightly managing parts and inventory, then cutting prices to bleed his rivals. Since then, Dell’s competitors have largely neutralized its cost advantage, so today victory is more likely to mean building innovative PCs and selling them in a high-class environment. (Dell has responded by focusing more on retail sales, and courting gamers through its Alienware unit.)
That’s why HP has already been putting more focus on aesthetics. When PC unit chief Todd Bradley arrived at HP three years ago, he observed that business laptops had all the flair of military tanks and challenged his team to radically redesign them.
Since then, HP’s entire line of machines has begun dramatic changes. Many laptops now come with stylish, eye-catching engravings. A quirky touch-sensitive computer won raves from Martha Stewart, and a muscle-car desktop excited video-game enthusiasts with its precisely-engineered parts. The company even worked with the Pasadena College of Art to rethink computer packaging. A marketing makeover completes the package, with commercials featuring celebrities like rapper Jay-Z and snowboarder Shaun White. (By way of contrast, a recent Dell ad featured Burt Reynolds.)
Yes, HP has come a long way. In the spring of 2005, when Bradley first sat down with CEO Mark Hurd to talk about joining the company, HP was still struggling to digest its acquisition of Compaq and still trailed Dell in the marketplace. Over breakfast at the Stanford Park Hotel in Palo Alto, the two men talked about how to streamline the PC division and make it a winner. “I really believed in our ability to drive innovation into the core PC space,” Bradley says. “It was an interesting opportunity to change the way people viewed computing, and make it personal.”
Weeks later Bradley joined the company, and began to deliver. He quickly brought in a new leadership team and standardized the basic skeletons of HP’s computers to simplify manufacturing and speed innovation. Profit margins have steadily risen from less than 1 percent the year before Bradley took over to more than 5 percent now.
Now that Bradley has the mechanics down, more attention has shifted to marketing. Aside from the design of the PC lineup, his team is also working on a novel retail strategy.
I got a peek at the retail part a few weeks ago. During a conference for its reseller partners, HP built a mockup of its store-in-a-store concept in a room at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. The most impressive thing about the setup was how well everything worked together; computers, printers, displays and other items sat on polished white surfaces, organized by how they might be used. The packaging matched, too – from printer cartridges to laptops, everything sported a black background accented by bright colors.
Versions of the retail space will begin appearing in stores this summer and fall. Micro Center, a U.S. electronics chain, will test the concept ahead of the holiday season; and HP will set up a boutique in Harrod’s, the upscale department store in London, this summer. The stores will include specially trained workers, promotions to draw people inside, and a commitment to continually improving the experience based on customer feedback.
For Satjiv Chahil, who heads up marketing for the PC division, it’s a reflection of how computing has gone mainstream. These days electronics stores aren’t really competing with each other – they’re up against chic fashion shops like Hollister, Louis Vuitton and Miss Sixty, competing for disposable income. “The purchasing power that people have is going to go somewhere,” Chahil says, and he has a point. Visit the mall, even during tough economic times, and you’re sure to see plenty of money being thrown around. Why shouldn’t HP get more of it?
“They’ve taken a stronger look at the experience of shopping for their product, versus just having their product available at multiple outlets,” says Kevin Jones, vice president of merchandising at Micro Center, who has been working with HP on the in-store concept. “This is about getting the cool factor into the PC product.”
That’s a tall order, since few computer makers have managed to make a strong case for why their machines are better than the competition – and in an economic slowdown, it can be harder to entice consumers to buy. But with it’s number-one global position, the backing of HP’s huge research labs and new ideas coming in from folks like Sood, HP may be better positioned than any other company to define the battlefield in the new PC wars.
New device allows you to display PC imaging wirelessly to an HDTV, great for ‘real estate client interaction’ or webinars / RealtyGo blog |
The Altona AT-HDAir ($219) enables you to display content from your PC to an HDTV (HDMI or VGA connections) Completely wirelessly, no cables needed, much like RealtyGo’s Mobile Real Estate Application. The Device uses wireless technology to transmit content you are currently looking at on your PC (laptop or desktop) to an HDTV, within range. (needs to be within 30 feet but can transmit through walls).
Great for Agent-client relations in any real estate office or networking area. Review contracts or properties on RealtyGo/MLS/Realtor.com/Zillow etc not to mention the great value add for your clients, to have a larger display vs. huddling around your laptop or desktop computer in your office. With the prices of HDTV’s continuing to drop you could pick up an HDTV monitor/display for anywhere between $149 and $500 depending on how large of a display you want. Then simply put it on the desk next to you or better yet mount it on your office wall with a bracket that is adjustable and pull it out when you need it.
In the past this was available in lo-res but now it’s available in HD (720p) and it also will broadcast audio along with the video. You simply plug a small USB transmitter into your laptop/desktop PC (Windows only at this time) and then have the receiver located near your larger HDTV.
Great for the office – integrate this with a large HDTV in your near-bye conference room so Potential Buyers/Agents/Brokers can take advantage of a webinar together?
RealtyGo.co – Your Real Estate Listings Best Friend!
Special thanks to Max Pigman for turing us on to this new technology.
Visit RealtyGo’s- Trulia Blog, helpful functionality tips from RealtyGo.co http://www.trulia.com/blog/RealtyGo
Step by step Real Estate information in regards to your Mobile URL’s – Mobile Listing TAG’s and more…
RealtyGo is a user friendly software service for anyone promoting real estate listings.
Using our SmartCode or Mobile text message gateway, Potential home buyers, new customers and business professionals can receive immediate real estate listing information, pictures, contact info, virtual tours, your personal website, etc.. .
Listing with RealtyGo is affordable and easy. Your first listing is $9.99 (per month) and each listing thereafter is $4.99 (per month) We also provide you with a Mobile URL to TAG all your listings and create a robust keyword search term that becomes specific to your real estate listing(s)/business. An example of a Mobile URL is the word “DEMO” in the 4′ by 2′ Printable Label TAG, shown here in the photo; We chose a generic Mobile URL – “DEMO”, however imagine your Unique Mobile URL; Example “VonRealty” – any time a potential buyer or new customer searches for the term “VonRealty” your current and archived real estate listings are presented and your Mobile URL will become your online resume of all your real estate activities, real estate listings, personal contact info and much more.
RealtyGo’s real estate listings are properly TAG’ed and index with all major Search Engines, like Google,Yahoo, Bing for premium SEO. What this means for you and your real estate business is your Mobile URL “VonRealty” becomes a unique “KeyWord” for search engine optimization and becomes relevant when a potential buyer is searching for you and your real estate listing(s)/business.
Many times potential buyers or new customers may forget the address or listing agent of the vacation home or real estate listing they liked; Mobile URL allows any lister, Agents/Brokers, FSBO,VRBO,etc.. , to TAG their listing(s) with one easy to remember Mobile URL. The best feature of the Mobile URL is its specific to the listing and your “type” of listing – which is well organized for easy search and delivers your listings with accurate SEO and keyword search on all major search engines. It’s like having your own WWW for each one of your real estate listings, that all sync together under your professional membership account with RealtyGo.