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HP joining the club of enterprise schizophrenics?

There I was thinking that 200 would end with SAP being crowned the split-personality company of the enterprise apps world and within the space of five minutes I read about how HP/EDS is at serious risk of wresting that crown.First up we have Vinnie Mirchandani talking about EDS and a tipping point regarding cloud computing.

There I was thinking that 200 would end with SAP being crowned the split-personality company of the enterprise apps world and within the space of five minutes I read about how HP/EDS is at serious risk of wresting that crown.

First up we have Vinnie Mirchandani talking about EDS and a tipping point regarding cloud computing. I must admit that whenever I hear about tipping points in the same breath as cloud computing the eyes roll heaven ward but let's just see what EDS has to say:

The service-oriented nature of Cloud Computing, coupled with reliability, availability, and serviceability, is very compelling to businesses, particularly those looking to maximize purchasing power and business value from IT.

Impressed? Sounds like the prelude to a sales pitch to me. But then our own Colin Barker blows the EDS Fellows away with this piece where he says that top HP execs are tempering expectations:

Talking at the HP Software Universe show and conference in Vienna, Tom Hogan, senior vice president for software at HP, said the company had taken time to weigh up the promise of cloud computing, which provides web-based access to remote enterprise applications and storage.

"Rather than jump in to the hype [around cloud computing] out of the gate — you can't pick up a newspaper or a technology magazine today without reading about the cloud — we have been very deliberate over the past nine months, assessing where we think the cloud can help us", Hogan said.

The result of that period of assessment, Hogan told ZDNet UK, was the conclusion that "just like a lot of things in technology, the cloud will not be a panacea."

Of course what we might have here is a failure to communicate. After all, EDS Fellows are the company's top thinkers and strategists, dispensing wisdom from on high and often making a fine job of it.

Joking aside, it is good to see a company like HP/EDS taking positions that sometimes seem confusing to the outside world.  It indicates a healthy debate going on inside the business. As for cloud computing, this is just the latest battleground for enterprise spend. Yet I am seeing a solid dose of caution as well as enthusiasm entering the debates as vendors realize this could be an incredibly complex landscape for which they will be on the hook. The stakes are high, but so are the risks.

Hat tip to Merredith for pointing up the inconsistencies in a private Tweet.