Computacenter boss savages HP

'What does HP do?' asks Mike Norris, CEO of the British services firm

The chief executive of UK IT services firm Computacenter delivered a scathing attack on HP on Tuesday, claiming the IT giant delivered little of substance to customers.

Speaking after his firm announced a £67m profit on annual sales of £2.46bn, Mike Norris warned that falling hardware prices — and HP's reliance on other companies to build many of the key components it resells — means the HP business model is flawed.

"What do they do? What's their job? The software is made by Microsoft, Intel make the processors — that's where the value is. They don't make hard drives, memory chips or the casing itself. They certainly don't assemble themselves… what is it that HP do?" said Norris, according to The Independent on Wednesday.

In response, HP said in a statement that it "does not disclose information about its operations or business partner organisations. This information is company confidential and is a matter for HP and its channel partners."

Computacenter is itself a reseller of IT hardware, software and services — including HP's own offerings — but Norris claimed that it was in a solid position because it installs and manages these systems.

The rapid decline in the cost of products such as PCs and flat screen monitors has had an impact on Computacenter. Late last year it had to issue a profits warning after HP cut the commission it paid Computacenter for selling its products.