Editorial: HP's Restructuring of VoodooPC

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ravenware

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“HP is working on a plan to better leverage its existing resources to bring Voodoo products to market faster and make them more accessible to consumers”
Translated as: "We at HP feel that quantity will always come before quality. Why have nice $3000 when you could have a piece of shit for $1500?"
 

ravenware

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It’s always unfortunate when someone loses their job, but HP didn’t buy VoodooPC for their manufacturing operations. And while it’s also true that all of VoodooPC’s employees contributed to the company’s success, the people who designed last year’s Blackbird http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird 002 desktop rig and this year’s carbon-fiber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fiber Envy 133 deserve a much larger share of the credit than those who screwed the machines together.

That’s a harsh assessment, but it’s true.
You need a good smack in the head. The people who put the machines together may not be as important as the designer but their more important than you apparently realize. If the above statement were actually true then the products made or assembled in China and Mexico wouldn't be recognized as the poor quality pieces of shit that they truly are.
 

klondack

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As a former HP employee for 20+ years. I can tell you HP does not give a crap about "their" high-end PCs. They want to reduce headcount so they look good to wall street. HP is not calling the shots. Never has since Compaq bought out HP. That was the biggest cover-up in corp history. After the "merger" more HP'ers where laid off than Compaq employees. All the HP infastructure was changed to reflect the way Compaq did things. I just wish Voodoo would have never sold out to Compaq.
 

havo

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So by your argument since you do not do the "Most Important" job at Tom's you should be fired, as a "semi skilled" writer, and they should hire someone a lot cheaper.


This is the exact type of stupid idea that has killed many an American company. It is exactly the "Semi Skilled" employees that make Voodoo different than HP. You put any system by "people who designed last year’s Blackbird 002 desktop rig and this year’s carbon-fiber Envy 133" and build it in the same high volume mass produced minimum QA environment that HP uses for their PCS up against a hand built system using high end of the shelf parts and your "People" will get smashed flat, spit on, buried, and have a condo built on them.
 

Theydrick

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First of all, as long as there are "industry standard" components, everyone selling you any brand of PC is the same - they just throw together different packages, but from the same pool of parts. The only innovations are the cases, and while I think the Blackbird is at least the "prettiest", the only selling point to consider is the extra time that the system integrators (those "semi-skilled" guys) put in to making everything INSIDE look neat and orderly.

Case design and the quality of integration and wiring are the only things that differentiate any PC manufacturing company, and maybe a proprietary BIOS, or componant "certification".

Yes it's sad that people will probably get laid off, but that's the nature of things when we're progressing more and more towards technology making the human element in any process unnecessary.

Maybe we're all wrong and Voodoo will take over the world like Microsoft once did... who knows?
 

kitsilencer

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What boutique manufacturers can give you that you can't get from building yourself is aesthetic: neat cabling, custom artwork, automotive paint, etc.

Most of the people who regularly comment or post on this site would never dream of buying from Voodoo or Alienware. The premium is exorbitant. These people make GREAT computers, but at jacked up prices. Meanwhile, Dell, HP et al. make crap computers at jacked up prices. To make the pc literally PERSONAL, it makes so much more sense to build it yourself.
 

Acethechosenone

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I agree but the custom paintwork offered by Vodoo is pretty awesome,and I feel it is more about the aesthetics and service then the actual PC itself. You could build an awesome PC and even do the cabling yourself but if something goes wrong you know that you have to diagnose it yourself. So I guess what these companies are offering is peace of mind.
 
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Voodoo Omen is the best looking PC I have seen so far and the inside design and the assembly executions blows everybody else out of the water. Unfortunately, HP will not allow this kind of "excessive" attention to detail to continue.
 

ailgatrat

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And then there are VoodooPC’s employees to consider. It’s very likely that the semi-skilled folks will be getting pink slips, while the key employees responsible for designing the high-end systems VoodooPC has long been known for will be retained.
I guess Rahul better make sure he is still involved in design of these systems or he may also find himself unemployed along with all other redundant positions there at Voodoo. Eh?
 
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Voodoo was dead when they were bought out. If you speak with one of the reps they steer you to Blackbird and virtually refuse to talk about anything Voodoo brand. Try it yourself.
 

Evolution2001

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[citation][nom]klondack[/nom]As a former HP employee for 20+ years. I can tell you HP does not give a crap about "their" high-end PCs. They want to reduce headcount so they look good to wall street. HP is not calling the shots. Never has since Compaq bought out HP. That was the biggest cover-up in corp history. After the "merger" more HP'ers where laid off than Compaq employees. All the HP infastructure was changed to reflect the way Compaq did things. I just wish Voodoo would have never sold out to Compaq. [/citation]
Well, I have a slightly different viewpoint from you. I'm a current employee of HP and I have been for over 9 years now, which was pre-Compaq buyout. I'm not sure if you were HP or Compaq or DEC before your departure, but I can tell you that just about every single person below the NA Ops people wishes they still ran things like Compaq. Compaq was very good to their employees. HP now? Big thumbs down. All that aside... I do agree that HP is going to integrate (re: whack) the Voodoo brand sooner or later. Mark Hurd ("CEO") chops headcount where ever he can. Look at the current EDS takeover. Just about the entire North American EDS employee base is being let go. Only the EMEA people are being kept. And yes, I highly doubt that HP cares much about high end gaming rigs. That's not where the money is. (Even if they sold 2000 per year, which they don't, that's not even on the radar.) The money comes in expanded business services and expendables (re: printer ink). The corporate environment of HP is no different than any other company. All that matters is the bottom line that gets reported to wall street. If it looks good to cut 100 heads from the payroll, the upper mgmt will do. Period. HP can take any in-house group and assimilate the Voodoo group into it. And then it'll slowly be taken out of service.

The following is just my guess and in no way any type of official statement...
IF Voodoo was as big as Compaq was, they'd keep the name around. Notice, you can still buy Compaq laptops and desktops how many years after the merger? But Voodoo wasn't that big. I don't expect Voodoo to remain for very long. If it does, it will only be in name. If this Sood guy isn't a slave to the money (few aren't), then he'll likely leave on his own and start up a new venture.
HP has very little reason to get in on the gaming market. They bought up Voodoo when Dell bought up Alienware. Dell was the big PC vendor on the block. HP felt the need to compete. But Dell has sinced learned what HP already knew and has changed course. Dell is now in the services providing business as well. I expect Dell to still push their gaming rigs more and longer than HP because Dell already had a better home user presence and rapport with home users. HP didn't and isn't going to go to great lengths to focus on areas that don't generate enormous revenue.
 
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You guys are arguing whether or not the screws get turned in the US or China as if it makes a difference? Wake up, the much harder components to make, ie the video cards and motherboards, etc, are mostly made in Taiwan, China, S. Korea, etc. Keep this in mind, CyberPower and Ibuypower are made here in the Good Ole' USA! /sarcasm
 

ravenware

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I highly doubt that HP cares much about high end gaming rigs. That's not where the money is. (Even if they sold 2000 per year, which they don't, that's not even on the radar.)
Then why acquire Voodoo in the first place?

And their attitude towards Gaming rigs would explain the low sales numbers.

If you do not respect or recognize the products that you manufacture or sell, then no one will buy them. This is actually the same problem that a lot of retail outlets have with selling enthusiast hardware and PC games.
 

Evolution2001

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[citation][nom]ravenware[/nom][/citation]
More guessing on my part:
I'd guess that it was a low-risk investment for HP. "Maybe Dell is on to something, as they have a pretty good track record with home users." So HP bought up Voodoo on a hedge that boutique rigs might pay off in some capacity. It's not, IMHO. Thus, "Well, it was a low-risk bet that didn't pay off. No long term harm in 86'ing it. Lesson learned."
 
You could build an awesome PC and even do the cabling yourself but if something goes wrong you know that you have to diagnose it yourself. So I guess what these companies are offering is peace of mind.

LOL yea and look what HP and Dell`s tech support is. nothing but a bunch of monkeys who barely or haven`t used a computer looking at pre-typed instructions for only a handfull of problems and can`t speak english
 

New world101

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I've worked for Dell for over 2 years now. I hope that we won't eventually do the same thing with Alienware. For what it's worth, I've been very impressed that Dell, by and large, leaves Alienware to do their thing, while contributing valuable design input into our XPS gaming line. In return, Alienware benefits from the excellent component pricing that Dell commands from it's vendors. The bad taste that's in everyone's mouth, regarding Voodoo, is that a very special company is about to be destroyed. Ten years ago (or so) a process called Six Sigma became very popular (borderline cultish) in corporate America (you know what I'm talking about, hell, you might even own a belt.) I've observed this first hand, and while I see the benefits of some of the philosophies, I also see how devastating it is to our creative base as an economy. In a quest to become leaner and more efficient, and harvesting "the low hanging fruit" (yeah...you've heard that crap too) we sometimes destroy our ability to create. Consider having a reasonably stocked cupboard, and cutting off your own feet to save the energy usage that your feet require, while adding additional stock to the cupboard. Screw the fact that you can no longer walk to the cupboard to get something to eat, that's irrelevant, unless keeping your feet can be financially justified. This is the same thinking that's shipping all of our jobs to Asia and wondering what went wrong with our economy. If we continue to bleed the middle class, this way, there won't be a middle class for companies like HP and Dell to sell goods to, and Dell is no better than HP in this regard. Voodoo is a sad story, but by and large, an increasingly common one.
 

gpfear

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[citation][nom]klondack[/nom]As a former HP employee for 20+ years. I can tell you HP does not give a crap about "their" high-end PCs. They want to reduce headcount so they look good to wall street. HP is not calling the shots. Never has since Compaq bought out HP. That was the biggest cover-up in corp history. After the "merger" more HP'ers where laid off than Compaq employees. All the HP infastructure was changed to reflect the way Compaq did things. I just wish Voodoo would have never sold out to Compaq.[/citation]

As I remember it, it was HP that bought Compaq. Layoffs? all of the people near retirement were given golden parachutes. As far as infrastructure, everything Compaq was out and everything HP was in. They don't stamp Houston, Texas on the system boards anymore now do they??
 

twelch82

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HP bought VoodooPC to have a boutique brand with a reputation for quality. There are a lot of assumptions and beliefs attached to that, and among the important factors there is, yes, how the machine was built. The brand is meaningless if people learn it no longer stands for what it once did.
 
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