Outlook 2015: HP's Jim Zafarana - Influential hardware innovations
Jim Zafarana
Issue: December 1, 2014

Outlook 2015: HP's Jim Zafarana - Influential hardware innovations

Jim Zafarana
Vice President/General Manager, Commercial Solutions Business Unit
Palo Alto, CA

Over the past 30 plus years, HP has been privileged to be an active part of the media and entertainment industry. We have seen a lot of changes since our first oscillators were used for audio in Disney’s Fantasia in 1940. Today we get the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most innovative studios in the world, and are honored to get a peek into what they have planned in the future. These sneak peeks give us, as technology innovators, the opportunity to plan ahead for the needs of the industry. 

As we look ahead to 2015, we see four hardware innovations that will help shape the year.

Mobility: It’s no great revelation that we live in a mobile world. Increasingly, we can do almost anything from a smart phone or tablet. This overarching trend in society is carrying over into our workflows — creative professionals want to be able to create, edit and produce content from anywhere and they are demanding platforms that will allow them to do so without losing productivity. Thin and light workstation Ultrabooks will play a larger role on-site and in-studio in the 2015 workflows. 

Multiplatform Workflows: PCs (HP Z Workstations specifically) have filled a gap for creative professionals, providing the increased system capacity, speed, performance and reliability that was missing in the Apple environment. As a result, we have started to see multiplatform workflows popping up in studios around the world. The integration of PC workstations and Mac Pros allows creative professionals to use the platform they are comfortable with for everyday tasks, but gives them the power they need to push the limits of creativity. The key for customers is to have partners with hardware and software vendors that have an unwavering commitment to the creative community.

Solving Storage and Speed Bottlenecks: Just a few weeks ago in the creative districts of New York City, I had a chance to spend time with creative professionals who are Apple Mac Pro customers. You know the single word I heard the most around the room? “Bottleneck.” 

“My workflow is bottlenecked; my designers and creative professionals are frustrated... my deadlines are in trouble.” They don’t have the time or the expertise to understand if it is CPU, graphics, memory or I/O are bound.  All they know is that they want to be more creative in the time allotted to develop the highest quality solution — and their current environment is not meeting the grade.

Storage innovations, such as HP Z Turbo — a PCIe connected solid-state storage solution — and Thunderbolt will make significant strides to eliminate the bottlenecks and revolutionize how we access large files. Together these two solutions already are changing how workflows are managed for independent moviemakers and large studios alike.  

Performance Monitors for Color-critical, 4K and 5K: Color accuracy has been important for this industry since color film was created. The HP DreamColor Display revolutionized the color display market and has become the standard for most studios. In 2015, we see more and more studios moving to 4K, 5K and beyond. This move requires monitors that can handle the ultra-high-definition format. In the next year you’ll see more professional display products that to address this increasing need at prices that will make creatives smile.