|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)
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
May. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,167
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
May. 3, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,025
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
May. 3, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,030
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
May. 3, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,212
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
May. 3, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,192
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
May. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 933
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will shares the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
May. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,143
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
May. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 958
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
May. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,231
As the rapid adoption of containers continues, companies are finding that they lack the operational tools to understand the behavior of applications deployed in these containers, and how to identify issues in their application infrastructure. For example, how are multiple containers within an application impacting each other’s performance? If an application’s service is degraded, which container is to blame? In the case of an application outage, what was the root cause of the outage?
May. 3, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,028
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
May. 3, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,220
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
May. 3, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 768
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
May. 3, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,157
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,579
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 3, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,344