Apotheker forecasts cloud and connectivity in HP's future

In a strategy speech, HP's chief executive Leo Apotheker says that cloud and data services will help the company meet the demand for an environment that bridges work and personal life
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

HP will launch a public cloud service in the near future as part of a refreshed strategy for the technology giant that puts cloud, services and big data to the fore, its chief executive has said.

Leo Apotheker HP

Chief executive Leo Apotheker has outlined his vision for HP's future. Photo credit: HP

In a strategy update speech on Monday, HP's newly installed chief executive Leo Apotheker outlined plans for a public cloud service "in the near future". This will appear alongside a soon-to-launch cloud app store and marketplace that will deliver developer services, consumer applications, and enterprise services and applications in the same place.

"Data is the world's most valuable raw material and information is the world's most valuable commodity, and it is created, consumed and delivered in 'always-on' connectivity," Apotheker said. "In our enterprise business, we recognise cloud as the new design point."

Apotheker pointed to HP's announcement of its CloudSystem turnkey product, along with infrastructure-as-a-service clouds to its largest customers, as evidence that the hardware giant has begun making moves toward cloud services.

A hybrid environment that combines traditional, private and public clouds will be the prevailing technological mode for a long time.
– Leo Apotheker, HP

"For many large enterprises, a hybrid environment that combines traditional, private and public clouds will be the prevailing technological mode for a long time," he said.

"Not only will we help our customers to transition to cloud through hybrid architectures, HP intends to build and run an HP cloud," Apotheker added.

He did not mention which operating system will be used to run the cloud service. However, HP partnered with Microsoft in 2010 to develop a Windows Azure Platform Appliance, though this is yet to be released.

Personal cloud

Apotheker said that HP wants to provide people with a "personal cloud" that brings together their work and personal lives. For example, an individual would be able to use the same smartphone to access files on a corporate system or to post to a social network.

"The old paradigm of separate consumer and professional lives is over," he said. "People want a seamless, secure, context-aware experience at home, at work, at play or on the road."

Apotheker noted that HP's public cloud will be "device aware", so it can configure and send services to the specific devices used to access it.

Alongside this, the planned cloud app store will provide applications and services for consumers, developers and enterprises. It will vet applications only for "security and interoperability to facilitate an environment that is both trusted and open", Apotheker said.

HP has also made data analytics a priority, specifically for structured and unstructured large datasets. Apotheker said that HP's acquisition of analytics specialist Vertica should close by the company's second fiscal quarter, and the company expects "to have an HP-branded appliance ready for the market thereafter". The appliance will combine HP and Vertica IP to provide a real-time data analytics appliance.

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