HP Discover 2011: All Steak, No Sizzle

Editor’s Note: this piece was written by Dave Cahill, an analyst from Diligence Technology Advisors.  Cahill was a regular at theCube during our HP Discover 2011 coverage (see more at SiliconAngle.tv).

There is meat here. There is a story here. Someone just forgot to tell HP to convey this message at Discover. Sure there is a new CEO with a lot on his plate, but I wanted to come away from this conference with a story and a vibe on where HP is going.

I wanted to hear Leo Apotheker stand up on stage and admit that HP has suffered from the decisions of the prior regime. I wanted to hear them acknowledge this, take a few shots at themselves along the way, and then show me all the ways they are investing aggressively to change this.

I wanted to hear a bold and aggressive strategy to reinvigorate the innovation engine at HP.  I wanted to hear how HP has a cohesive product portfolio and management framework spanning devices (notebooks, mobile, printers), desktops, data centers and the cloud. I wanted to hear that HP has you covered regardless of where, or how, you want to consume or deliver IT. Spanning various customer profiles and risk aversion levels, I wanted to hear that HP has the solutions to meet your needs. I wanted to see interesting customers on stage telling engaging stories about how they have found solutions to relevant problems that are common to a lot of customers in the audience.

If HP has the portfolio in place, which they do, then the logical conclusion to these problems should be some sort of HP solution. This message will surface without HP hitting me over the head with boring demos and product specs.


There is little question whether or not HP has the portfolio needed to be competitive. They also have the balance sheet to remediate any gaps. They have as good a chance as any to tell a story spanning technology at home, on the road and in the office. They have highly competitive assets in PCs, printing, servers, storage, networking, analytics and management software. The 3Par and Vertica products have great momentum. More importantly, these teams are infusing the company with fresh life and perspective. This passion was on display all week in theCube. HP needs to build off this bottom-up momentum and energy with a top-down story. The pieces are there, HP just needs to do a better job telling me about it.

John Furrier

John Furrier is founder, co-CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of SiliconANGLE, a new media company covering the intersection of computer science and social science. Furrier is also the co-founder and CEO of CrowdChat a social media platform for large-scale group conversations over hashtags. In addition to SiliconANGLE John runs Broadband Developments a private incubator and investment firm for creating new startups. Furrier lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife and four children.


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