SiliconANGLE CEO John Furrier and Wikibon principal contributor Dave Vellante HP Discover have spent all day interviewing industry insiders at HP 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany. They wrapped up Day 1 with a recap session about storage (full video below), analytics and everything else HP has been working on.
Furrier starts off by providing some background on the recent Autonomy news: a couple weeks ago CEO Meg Whitman revealed that HP had to make an $8.8 billion write down on the deal, a loss that adds up with the multi-billion write off on the EDS acquisition in 2008.
This may all seem a little dire, but Vellante thinks otherwise. He puts things into perspective by stressing that while the Autonomy butout may have had a big negative impact on HP’s bottom line, the company is standing on very solid financial ground in terms of its cash reserves. And its enterprise group is growing like crazy: the unit accounted for a quarter of Hewlett-Packard’s revenue and 40 percent of its profit last quarter.
Furrier picks up from here and looks at how HP is situated in the market. He says that the vendor is very well positioned for a comeback: it has a solid foundation in the server, storage, network; it does a good job at integrating these three areas; and it has a strong vision of where the modern data center is heading. But it’s not making use of one vital asset: the sheer scope of presence.
IBM, one of the company’s biggest rivals, managed to resolve its own internal difficulties by tapping into its reputation and resources. And HP has all these things – it has a strong client base and made several successful acquisitions such as 3PAR – but the company is just not pushing hard enough. Or at least not yet.
The ball passes to Vellante once again. He shares his optimism by noting that HP managed to reduce its debt by 5 billion last year, and that its current head (the former head of eBay) is bent on tapping into the “founder DNA” that got the hardware giant to where it is today.
The two analysts see a big opportunity for HP in several areas. Furrier says the company must get involved with Android and offer added value by bundling the open-source platform with webOS and other pieces of its portfolio. Consumerization is driving the transformation in IT today, and if HP wants to serve as the catalyst it needs to have a product for the mobile worker.
Vellante sees an opening in services: EMC’s services group is growing faster than its product sales, a fact that reflects a market circumstance Hewlett-Packard should exploit.