|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)
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
Jan. 21, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 716
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 5,279
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 5,785
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 21, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 4,382
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 21, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 3,744
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Jan. 21, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,780
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 21, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,852
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Jan. 21, 2017 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,816
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Jan. 21, 2017 11:15 AM EST Reads: 6,132
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Jan. 21, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,682
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 21, 2017 07:30 AM EST Reads: 1,324
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 21, 2017 07:15 AM EST Reads: 960
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Jan. 21, 2017 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,968
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Jan. 21, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 2,113
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 depl...
Jan. 21, 2017 03:45 AM EST Reads: 2,008
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Jan. 21, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 5,840
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, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
Jan. 21, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 6,585
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Jan. 21, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 2,904
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 21, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 4,945
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Jan. 21, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 5,077