HP has confirmed the consolidation of its Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and Personal Systems Group (PSG) and also has disclosed details about other unification moves within its corporate infrastructure. Is HP just streamlining or do these moves signal something more? Super-quick analysis coming right up ...

The rumors were true! HP has merged IPG and PSG, with Todd Bradley heading up the new group and Vyomesh Joshi retiring. The reason? HP wants to focus in two key areas: improving company performance and boosting company expansion. HP is focusing on "branding, supply chain and customer support worldwide. This will lead to a better customer experience and drive innovation across personal computing and printing," according to the company.

But HP is not just reworking IPG and PSG -- the company has taken its unification campaign across its entire portfolio, looking to "rationalize" its go-to-market strategy. For instance, HP is shifting the Global Accounts Sales organization into the new "HP Enterprise Group," and is simultaneously focusing on unifying marketing functions across all its business units. HP believes this unification eventually could cut costs for the company, allowing HP to reinvest in (and potentially reinvent) itself. Naturally, CEO Meg Whitman heralded the changes, noting how the shakeup could make HP more nimble to act on critical company decisions.

So that's the secret then. The deeper meaning to this unification love is competition. HP's plan of attack is to make itself quick to respond to ongoing moves from Cisco Systems, OracleIBM and other competitors, real or perceived. HP may be feeling the heat, especially as it anxiously looks to claim more territory inside enterprise data centers. One thing's for sure: you haven't seen the last big moves from HP in 2012, so stay tuned.