HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

Summary: Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker outlined a new strategy that relies heavily on analytics software and being a cloud platform. In addition, HP will launch a public cloud platform that will serve multiple languages and services.


Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker outlined a new strategy that relies heavily on analytics software and being a cloud platform. In addition, HP will launch a public cloud platform that will serve multiple languages and services.

"We will build an open marketplace," said Apotheker, speaking in San Francisco at HP's analyst summit. He said this marketplace will cover consumer and enterprise apps.

On the software front, HP will focus on management and security, information management, analytics and cloud computing. "We are increasingly moving toward software as a service." He cited digitization software, airline ticketing and other applications delivered as a service.

HP will also partner with large transactional systems. That comment indicates that HP is aiming to position SAP and Oracle as software plumbing. Apotheker said that HP will focus on analytics. In fact, the CEO argued that HP can leapfrog in software since it doesn't have a legacy business to protect. Apotheker touted the recent acquisition of Vertica and how HP will become a business intelligence player with a focus on so-called "big data," structured and unstructured information and everything in between.

Indeed, HP has Veritca-powered appliances set in half-rack and full racks once the deal closes. Vertica will be sold as software, a cloud service and as an appliance.

What's unclear is how many parts HP has to acquire to nail its vision. Apotheker said that HP will have a disciplined acquisition strategy. Listening to this talk it sounds like Teradata could provide a big bang.

Apotheker said:

Hewlett-Packard has a storied history of innovation. Over the past 70 years HP has innovated and provided leadership at inflection points. Today we also stand at an inflection point. Yes, HP is strong, but we recognize that the world is changing faster than ever.

From there, Apotheker talked about data and how developers trust open innovation and how every transaction (information and data) can look personalized. "It is a vision that requires leadership in consumer, small businesses and enterprise," said Apotheker.

Part of HP's new strategy revolves around information access. The subtle changes were clear in the company's handouts. HP's new terms revolve around cloud, connectivity, digitization, security and services. Out: Things like printers and PCs.

HP's new mission: Provide seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world.

Apotheker said customers were looking for a simple elegant technology as enterprise and consumer markets meld. "At the heart of all of this is cloud computing and connectivity," said Apotheker. HP will aim to be a tour guide to "optimizing the traditional stack" for the future.

The HP CEO also seemed to recast the traditional stack pitch pushed by former chief Mark Hurd. Apotheker positioned HP more as services and integration player that can evolve technology ranging from traditional devices to mobile categories to the cloud.

Key points:

  • HP will push the WebOS and in multiple devices. "WebOS will provide one user interface across home, the business and the enterprise," he said.
  • PCs and printers aren't going away. "People like to use PCs and printers," said Apotheker. "Traditional technology is where we create a lot of value."
  • HP's current assets position the company for the future.
  • The new stack will feature connected devices, open cloud marketplace, cloud services, platform services and hybrid infrastructure.
  • Enterprises will have hybrid technology---cloud and their own infrastructure---for the foreseeable future.
  • Services will be used to position HP as a trusted partner.
  • HP's cloud strategy will build a cloud services and public cloud offering "in the near future."
  • Security will be an enabler for all of the above items.

Following Apotheker's talk, a bevy of HP executives were on deck. One notable point from the schedule: HP's PC chief Todd Bradley was on tap to talk about connectivity. There was no mention of PCs anywhere on the official documents at HP's Summit 2011. Given the slow-growth and commodity nature of the consumer PC business today, that omission is understandable.

Topics: CXO, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Printers

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  • Oh good

    It sounds like he is cautiously optimistic that HP will leverage multidisciplinary synergies to create global customer value.

    By the way, which analyst won the Buzzword Bingo?
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

      @Robert Hahn

      "At HP, our mission is to deliver seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world."

      Um. Yeah. So what is their strategy?
      Rich Miles
      • If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...

        @Rich Miles

        If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...
        Baffle them with bullsh1t...

        You know.. In a synergisticly multidisciplinary, seamless, secure, context-aware kinda way.
      • typo

    • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

  • Wow!

    Let's watch hp stock hit the skids after this load of hot air about the future of the company from their main man. Dang good thing they raised their dividend or investors would be jumping ship in droves!
  • Because you know that strategy worked SO well for Sun...

  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    A bit too late to the party IMHO.

    Perhaps HP can do a joint venture with Amazon Web Services, and pull something out of the fire, if Cloud does become something.

    WebOS - needs 'KIN'd', as is repidly becoming an irrelevance, and Palm was efferctively $1bn down the toilet.
  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    This may sound like techno-babble buzzwords and hot air, but with Apotheker at least there is a vision, which includes improvement of product quality and customer service, and including WebOS in all of their products.

    By contrast, Mark Hurd's only vision was to fire thousands of workers and cut costs, causing zero innovation coming from HP, and product quality and customer service to nose-dive, and employee morale to go into the toilet.

    HP's stock went up during Hurd's reign of terror. But any trained monkey can increase the stock value through layoffs and cost cutting. That is very low hanging fruit.

    A CEO that is actually somewhat worth the millions (or billions) they get paid, is one that has vision, that cares about innovation and product quality and customer satisfaction. Hurd didn't give a flying leap about those things. He cared about firing employees.

    Typical American corporate drone. There are not many American corporate leaders, like Page/Brin, that have vision.

    So HP had to go get a German to come pick up the pieces of the Hurd Holocaust, and make HP relevant again.
  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    I personally find HP's direction refreshing. I have been selling their product's for over 30 years and have had the chance to watch them eviolve into the largest IT company on the planet. There are plenty of the naysayers out there. Please understand that no one else in IT is close to HP at the moment.
    • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

      @vangeaux@... Thanks for pointing that out. Thirty years ago, HP was a 1B$ company... and IBM a 50B$ one. Yes HP may seems irrelevant as it has been pretended to be by individuals for the last 30 years, but they continue deliver. And they will this time too. Watch out.
  • Stick to what it knows

    HP should stick to hardware and get it right...why is a company like Apple on the creative edge for hardware when a company like HP used to be. They've lost their edge and moving from being a hardware company to being a software company is only a move in the WRONG direction. They could own the entertainment space if they would focus on making decent hardware...so like HP / Compaq servers that were everywhere, they could also make HP monitors, TVs, audio/video equipment etc... Stick with the bread and butter rather than chasing dreams where they have done so poorly in the past.
  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    I don't want to say any more,just time away
    renee walker
  • To boldly state the bafflegab

    I had low expectations, and Apotheker managed to live down to them. The brain trust at HP really can't think up anything new, I don't see anything innovative in this.

    Innovation would have been something like a deep partnership with Amazon and becoming the enterprise commerce face of the Web. Or buying up a trove of consumer-facing software companies like Adobe, Intuit and Symantec and making a solid consumer platform of WebOS plus apps.
    terry flores
  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    Better late than never-- having the world hear Leo call cloud computing "the future of information technology" is a big step forward for the entire industry, and there was a lot to like in the presentations coming out of HP Summit. But Appirio's enterprise customers have a "we'll believe it when we see it" attitude about this upcoming HP Cloud. Here's our take: goo.gl/BPK6v
  • RE: HP's new strategy: Public cloud, analytics, big data appliances

    What he didn't mention is they are a company that is fueled by two products, PC's at $40B a year and Magenta Toner at $51B a year. He's running a PC and Toner company and he wants to turn them into a professional software company. He has no idea how to effectively do that from the trench up, from the sales and services floor up. They are not a professional software company. They buy companies slam them together and try to make it work. But they do not have a unified software architecture like SAP or Oracle which everything is built off of and against. Wall St. will not put up with the massive loss in their top two revenue streams Magenta ink and PC's once they redirect their core business against this strategy. They still will have to make their numbers against their core businesses that of course being magenta and PC's. If they don't Wall St. will throttle them. And then the layoff's will come and restructuring, and job reassignments and on and on. It's a vision all right, but they don't have one iota of an idea of how to pull this off and execute in the eyes of the customer. They are driving their customers nuts with this kind of talk, customers want things that work from companies who know their space and products cold. That's why they buy switches from Cisco, PC's and Printers from HP, big enterprise software and analytics from IBM, Oracle and SAP, desktop O/S from Microsoft, strategic and scalable databases from SAP, Oracle, Teradata, IBM, and networks from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Big companies who run their businesses know what they want from each vendor and what they are good at. Good luck HP you are about to embark on an interesting journey with the outcome being an enormous destruction of market capitalization.