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HP -- more than hardware?

HP this week staged its first software forum for the Asia Pacific region at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.ZDNet Australia  went along and observed that it seemed to be fairly well attended, with a high proportion of the delegates travelling in from overseas.
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Written by Steven Deare on

HP this week staged its first software forum for the Asia Pacific region at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.

ZDNet Australia  went along and observed that it seemed to be fairly well attended, with a high proportion of the delegates travelling in from overseas. Obviously HP recognises the APAC region -- and its software business -- is not to be taken lightly.

The conference revolved around HP's OpenView management suite; I didn't see any mention of HP-UX or ProLiant software. Although there was some time given to HP's StorageWorks.

HP also used the event to update customers and partners on recent announcements -- such as the integration of Peregrine Systems' AssetCentre. There was also a meeting for the international OpenView user group, which was terribly small, I might add.

In Australia, OpenView customers include Telstra Business Systems, Optus, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, WA Police, Transurban and Worsley Alumina.

Todd DeLaughter, HP's vice president of OpenView, was adamant that the company takes its software business seriously -- despite the fact that software accounts for only around US$1 billion of the company's US$88 billion revenue. However, software seems to be finally turning a profit at HP.

HP's software group has traditionally struggled, but DeLaughter said that on the back of the fourth quarter of last year, it had achieved two consecutive quarters of profitability.

Apparently this is due to the company's acquisition strategy.

"We'd gone down a path of acquiring about 8 companies -- all, with the exception of Peregrine, came pretty much as technology buys," DeLaughter said.

"[Those companies] had a high R&D cost, they weren't generating much revenue. Our goal was to acquire the technology, scale it to a point where it was producing revenue -- profitable revenue," he said.

More acquisitions would come, he said.

I wonder if ZDNet Australia  readers share DeLaughter's optimism of HP's future in the software business?

When you think of HP can you see beyond printer cartridges and hardware? Will you consider them next time you need some software?

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