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The R&D and product development landscape: HP Inc

Michael Brinkman, VP of R&D, advanced compute and solutions at HP Inc tells TVBEurope about how the pandemic accelerated the company’s development of remote collaboration software, and how it is focusing on virtual production and generative AI.

What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development? 

The pandemic accelerated many trends that were already in progress, such as hybrid work. With knowledge workers now working more from home and on the go, it has made HP and the industry re-examine how our core customer’s workflows have changed. It accelerated our focus on remote collaboration software, culminating in the acquisition of Teradici; augmenting HP’s in-house remote access software (HP RGS/ZCentral Remote Boost) to form HP Anyware. This acceleration will also redefine the future of workstation hardware to be more compact, flexible, and capable of using remote resources.  

What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape? 

The pandemic has required workstation R&D shops to pivot their priorities away from the known next generation roadmap of hardware offerings to a more rounded set of hardware and software solutions that allow customers to operate the way they want to, which is in a more accessible, flexible, and remote fashion. This requires the acquisition of new skills and partnerships to deliver to these needs.  

Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development? 

The landscape of workstations and the jobs to be done is rapidly changing and growing. Traditional workloads such as M&E, PD, and AEC are embracing AI in their workflows, but whole new workflows surrounding AI are emerging. Data Science led the charge by unleashing the value of data with powerful tools to find insights in vast arrays of data. AI is now taking insights to the next level with meaningful recommendations and near finished work products. As AI-optimized silicon comes to market, the ability to deliver AI-powered solutions will become more common, while driving down cost.  

What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023?  

At IBC we’ll be showing our completely refreshed line of Z workstations, including the G5 range of advanced workstations featuring Intel Sapphire Rapids CPU architecture and the latest NVIDIA Ada graphics. Our flagship machine, announced earlier this year, is the HP Z8 Fury which offers up to 56 CPU cores and up to 4 high-end graphics cards, making it highly suited to the demanding workloads that we have been focused on – virtual production and generative AI.