How will the Education Centre allow HP and MCAST to establish the groundwork for young professionals who in a few years time will help build Malta's IT infrastructure?
"Students will have access to the latest technology developments in the industry, this allows them to be ahead on their knowledge, providing state-of-the-art skills to Malta's IT industry."
What technology will the centre primarily focus on most for the time-being? Are training courses all tailored according to the country?
"The key technologies are around 'Cloud', networking, collaboration and mobility. All these topics are hot for any country, and especially for Malta it's important to be able to work across country boundaries. The Cloud is borderless and so Maltese companies can offer their services overseas in a much easier way."
Is this the first initiative of its kind or are there other countries who have welcomed such an initiative? Which are the countries and how many have joined?
"Today, the HP International Institute for Technology (HPIIT) covers 25 universities and colleges in six countries and is expanding fast.
"It is a mix of all kind of country sizes, from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and now reaching out to Malta, Romania, Kazakhstan and more to come in the Adriatic smaller countries.
"It is critical that young professionals have access to experts in the industry. HP IIT offers access not only to other universities through sharing developed curricula, but also to HP experts via onsite and remotely linked people from our development centres."
What changing trends have you been seeing in the IT industry?
"The key areas these days are clearly virtualisation, automation and hence leading to the Cloud computing concept. The other key trend is best utilisation of resources, generally and especially of existing data centre buildings.
"Usage of HP's leading technologies in server, storage and networking allow a massive reduction of data centre space usage, combined with extremely low-energy consumption while achieving multiples of throughputs. Savings typically can reach nine per cent."
How vital is the upgrading of IT in a company?
"Companies that stay ahead of technology can achieve not only huge savings but have typically much better success in their business as IT supports and serves the company's business best, to be flexible, adaptive and faster than competition.
"Responding to customer needs is the lifeblood in any successful business. IT that is agile to respond to these needs is an asset to any company."
What are the major challenges HP is facing in the PC business?
"HP is the leading provider in personal computing through consistent innovation and leading edge products. Through our rigorous execution we serve all types of consumers and businesses in a very consistent and reliable way. Very important as well is the full integration in all processes people are using through their personal computers. This is on top of best in-class technology - a key productivity differentiator."
Is enough being done to protect companies investing in IT? What is the biggest hurdle?
"Protection of investment is the long-term key to investment. HP is committed to help customers on the long term. Interoperability and simple upgrading paths combined with long-term support infrastructure are differentiators customers should see."
Focusing on large suppliers is not sufficient to raise social and environmental standards in the global supply chain. What is being done to target smaller businesses and educating them where IT infrastructure is concerned? How do you reach out to such companies?
"HP operates in a fully integrated stack which includes direct sales as much as a full partner landscape. HP has more than 300,000 partners worldwide with whom we interact directly, so does HP have key partners that represent HP in Malta (www.hp.com/mt).
"This further reaches out to many small businesses that build solution for their customers. With our channel development programmes we continue to give access to the latest technology offered a broad range of businesses and partners."
Rastbichler at a glance
Herbert Rastbichler currently serves as Vice President and Managing Director for HP Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). The CEE region includes Central and Eastern European countries (except the Baltic Republics), Russia and the CIS countries. In this role Rastbichler is chartered to drive revenue and market growth by leading with the HP Converged Infrastructure solution portfolio and leveraging the entire HP portfolio. HP has an ambitious goal to transform the industry, from servers, storage, networking and technology services all the way to the converged Cloud, while delivering the best customer and partner experiences. Rastbichler also chairs the sub-region's leadership team, bringing together the full range of HP's solutions for both the enterprise and consumer audiences. He assumed this role in June 2007.
Rastbichler joined HP Austria in1982 as a customer engineer, and has since held a variety of local and international management positions in HP's Enterprise organizations, including many countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Throughout his tenure at HP, Rastbichler has achieved a strong track record in driving revenue growth and client satisfaction.
One of Rastbichler's major areas of attention is the development of key talents to facilitate the future success of the organization.
Rastbichler is an Austrian national and holds a degree in telecommunications from the Vienna Technical University.
About the HP conference
New solutions about the latest developments in virtualisation, converged systems, Cloud systems, IT infrastructure, including servers and storage and networking, were discussed during an HP conference held at the Westin Dragonara Resort, St Julian's recently.
HP, with the support of Intel Xeon processors, highlighted the value of virtualisation with the power of converged systems.
Entitled 'HP solutions', the conference was open to customers, business partners, representatives and decision-makers from SMEs interested in finding out more about HP's technology products and solutions.
Herbert Rastbichler delivered the keynote address on HP, exploring the company's strategy and future outlook.