Outlook: HP's Jim Zafarana looks at workstation trends
Jim Zafarana
Issue: December 1, 2015

Outlook: HP's Jim Zafarana looks at workstation trends

As the media and entertainment industry continues to evolve, with higher expectations from the audiences around the world, the need for more realism, better stories, inspired creativity, higher resolutions, and tighter deadlines increases.

With 2015 over, we reflect back on an exciting year. In February, we were honored with HP’s first ever Academy Award for our DreamColor displays. We announced our first Z Turbo Drive with even faster NVMe-based storage, following that with our Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro card with 4x the capacity and 16x the performance of SSDs. We introduced our first Skylake-based Z240 workstations, and we re-invented our entire line of HP ZBook Mobile Workstations, including the introduction of the world’s first quad-core workstation Ultrabook.
What does this mean for our customers? It means better performance, more productivity for the artists, unfettered creativity… 

So, what do these insights lead us to believe about 2016? 

An Insatiable Demand For Performance

Workstation customers are under immense pressure to be more creative, to inspire their audiences, and meet ever-tightening deadlines. This means they can no longer wait for Apple. They need immediate access to the latest and greatest technologies. At HP, we pride ourselves on delivering new CPU, graphics, and storage technologies as soon as they become available.

With Nvidia’s introduction of their new Maxwell graphics, the performance gains nearly twice the performance of the previous Kepler generation. On the storage front, we are getting messages from customers nearly every week sharing how the latest Z Turbo Drives are enabling them to do things in their 4K workflow that they never could before. 

It’s not about switching from Mac to HP - it is about performance and productivity. With the latest developments in software compatibility, it’s never been easier to operate in a mixed environment of Macs and HP Workstations.

Acceleration Of Mobility

We’ve seen it year after year. The mobile technology continues to get faster, more powerful, more capable. With the third generation of ZBooks, this trend just experienced a major step function. The new ZBooks now offer a choice of Xeon CPUs for the first time, and with Xeon comes support for ECC memory, up to 64GB of system memory. Customers can double-down with two lightning-fast Z Turbo Drives for amazing storage performance. The new displays offer 4K/UHD resolutions with DreamColor capabilities. The best part of all of this is that the new ZBooks are up to 27 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter than our previous generation, and we introduced the new HP ZBook Studio which comes in at 18mm and 4.4lbs. Truly an acceleration of performance and capability for increasingly mobile workflows.

The Rise Of The Performance Displays

Arguably, the technology surrounding displays is one of the most rapidly changing components of the entire creative workflow. Yes, of course, we have a line of, ahem, Academy Award-winning DreamColor displays, all the way up to our 32-inch 4K DreamColor display. But we’re also seeing advancements in higher resolution displays with 4K and 5K. 

For us, it all boils down to three key elements: Workflow-altering performance, customer-driven innovations, and an unwavering commitment to quality and reliability. I believe this is why we are the global leaders in the workstations industry.  

Jim Zafarana is the VP/GM, Workstations and Thin Clients, at HP Inc. in Fort Collins, CO (www.hp.com/zworkstations).