|By Paul Miller||
|December 10, 2012 10:21 AM EST||
The Hewlett Packard marketing machine was busy last week, assuring the world that the company’s £7.1bn ($11.7bn) acquisition of Autonomy still made sense despite an eye-watering financial write down and unseemly public squabbling with the Cambridge company’s former management. HP CEO Meg Whitman used her keynote at HP Discover in Frankfurt to assert that the technology giant was “100% committed to Autonomy’s technologies,” whilst almost everywhere we went in the Messe‘s halls we encountered Autonomy pixie dust spread liberally across HP’s portfolio of products and services.
That Autonomy powers fraud prevention and e-discovery services is no surprise. Its apparently pivotal role in augmented reality magazine ads, fault diagnosis in laptops, and something elusive in the printer division was, perhaps, more of a stretch. And yet, it was here that HP staff got excited. It was here, too, that the benefit of tight integration within a hardware, software and services behemoth could make real sense. And yet, the beauty and logic of this match at times appeared just a little too perfect. Is HP and Autonomy really the match made in heaven that was implied? Do Autonomy and HP Vertica really fit together like peas in a pod? Are there no rough edges and mismatches at all? That seems unlikely.
Is Autonomy really the answer to all of the challenges that HP points it at? Or is the company taking some undeniably smart technology and applying the Autonomy hammer to everything in sight, from nails to grapes… and thumbs?
To recap, former HP boss Léo Apotheker surprised observers in August last year when he announced plans to acquire Autonomy for more than many thought it was worth. This was part of his bold (and broadly correct) plan to transition from low margin hardware sales to higher margin software and services relationships. But the plan was half-baked, and resulted in Apotheker being shown the door. Oracle claimed that Autonomy had been offered to them first, for much less. Autonomy denied it. Oracle produced a powerpoint deck. New HP CEO Meg Whitman pushed ahead with the Autonomy acquisition, whilst back-tracking on some of Apotheker’s other plans (like his intended sale of HP’s still-profitable PC division, without a buyer or an understanding of the knock-on implications on the enterprise hardware business). Autonomy boss Mike Lynch left HP in May this year, claiming the company was (and given its size, is this surprising?) “too bureaucratic.” And then, last month, HP announced dreadful financial results and accused Autonomy’s management (including Lynch) of various failings. Whilst some (or even all) of the accusations may be true, the very public name-calling has conveniently diverted attention from rather more serious structural concerns lurking within HP’s reported financials. Pull up a chair, enjoy the fight, and don’t look too closely at the crumbling walls or the circling wolves. By coming out fighting, so visibly and so aggressively, Lynch may well be doing exactly what the HP board hoped he would; diverting attention from the real story.
Whether or not it’s the panacaea the HP hype machine implies, the Autonomy acquisition is already being put to good use within the company. Andrew Joiner, General Manager of Emerging Technologies and Marketing for Autonomy, told SiliconAngle’s John Furrier and Wikibon’s Dave Vellante that “Nothing aggravates me more than seeing companies throw away data.” The solution? Buy Autonomy, and a whole heap of profitable HP storage. In another SiliconAngle/Wikibon double-act, HP VP of Converged Application Systems Paul Miller (no relation) was reported to say that “[Autonomy eDiscovery] is usually purchased by a legal or compliancy department within a company and not IT,” getting HP ever-closer to budget holders and decision makers across the enterprise.
We were surprised when HP spent so much on Autonomy. We were unsurprised/resigned/amused/despairing/bemused when the financials unravelled. Now we’re being told that Autonomy is a pivotal piece in the new HP. The company has begun to roll out Autonomy-infused solutions, and some of them look pretty compelling. Elsewhere, though, there’s the almost unmistakable aroma of a company trying just a little too hard. Whether they’re desperately trying to justify the price tag, continuing the tactic of using Autonomy as a distraction, or simply throwing Autonomy at everything in order to see where it sticks remains to be seen.
Although I’ve tended to think it was over-priced, I’ve always been impressed by Autonomy’s technology. Inside an HP that really recognises the value of combining software, hardware and services as well as the value of compelling software-only propositions? In an HP like that, Autonomy’s IP could be put to work in some remarkable ways. But watch out for the grapes and the thumbs, whilst merrily whacking away at business nails with your shiny new Autonomy hammer.
And if Autonomy really does deliver so much value across so much of HP, how long is it until the ‘Intel Inside’ stickers on HP laptops, servers and more are quietly replaced with ‘Autonomy Inside’ ?
Up shortly, some thoughts on HP’s cloud strategy…
Disclosure: acting on behalf of Hewlett Packard, Ivy Worldwide invited me to Discover and covered travel and expenses associated with the trip. There was no requirement that I write about HP, and no requirement that any coverage be favourable.
- Former Autonomy CEO Calls on HP Board to Explain Claims (bloomberg.com)
- HP Unveiling Software From Embattled Autonomy Unit – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,633
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,614
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,474
"We have several customers now running private clouds. They're not as large as they should be but it's getting there. The adoption challenge has been pretty simple. Look at the world today of virtualization vs cloud," stated Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,182
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,651
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,778
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,983
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captu...
Sep. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,088
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,246
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,485
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,961
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,789
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,114
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,180
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Sep. 27, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,323