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HP Delivers on March Announcement – Nice Job – How Can I Leverage This? July 29, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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HP speed and execution has often been compared to an aircraft carrier, but not in this case.  HP moves fast with the announcement of the gobal cloud research initiative. Last March I was predicting that HP Labs would move in this direction.  Well they did and fast.

This shows me that HP can move fast on their promises and with some sizzle and steak.  The partnerships of Intel and Yahoo show some real meat on the bone.  I’m not expecting any massive products soon out of this initiative but certainly some innovation.

The test bed will initially consist of six centers of excellence at IDA facilities, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Steinbuch Centre for Computing of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo!. Each location will host a cloud computing infrastructure, largely based on HP hardware and Intel processors, and will have 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores capable of supporting the data-intensive research associated with cloud computing. The test bed locations are expected to be fully operational and made accessible to researchers worldwide through a selection process later this year.

The test bed will leverage Yahoo!s technical leadership in open source projects by running Apache Hadoop — an open source, distributed computing project of the Apache Software Foundation — and other open source, distributed computing software such as Pig, the parallel programming language developed by Yahoo! Research.

With this test bed, not only can researchers test applications at Internet scale, they will also have access to the underlying computing systems to advance understanding of how systems software and hardware function in a cloud environment.

Researchers at HP Labs, the central research arm of HP, will use the test bed to conduct advanced research in the areas of intelligent infrastructure and dynamic cloud services.

This has a kind of DARPA feel to it.  I have many questions.  How will it be organized?  What will prevent it from becoming ‘vendorland’ of hidden agendas?  How can I as an entrepreneur use it?  What is the requirement to participate?

Final question:  Where is Google and Microsoft on this?

Silicon Valley Rumblings – Will HP Buy Seagate? May 30, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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HP has been on the move lately. Expanding on the services business by buying EDS. What should HP do next? Buy Seagate?

Seagate (NYSE: STX) would give HP access to a major cloud position with storage in the cloud. Seagate known for their OEM drive business and enterprise storage recently launched a consumer business over 1 year ago. Why this might be interesting for HP and Seagate – HP has been a big customer for years of Seagate but HP could gain a foothold in the ‘cloud computing’ sector with Seagate. Seagate’s consumer line would certainly get a ‘shot in the arm’ from HP’s massive consumer presence.

Although this isn’t a full fledged rumor, it certainly is a conversation around Silicon Valley according to sources. I will dig into this more but I would buy the consumer brand and cloud services from Seagate and leave the OEM business alone. Seagate’s market cap is currently $10 billion as of today.

It’s Official It’s No Longer the Hewlett-Packard Company May 13, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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It’s a done deal EDS is now the services arm for HP. Back when I worked at the Hewlett-Packard Company from 1988-1997 it was a growing company it was the ‘old school’ HP.  So much has happened in 11 years.  First iCarly came in and destroyed the Bill and Dave culture with massive changes to the organizations, failed PriceWaterhouse deal, and the bloated Compaq deal.  Here we have Mark Hurd in the midst of an operational turnaround pulling the trigger on a massive combination.  This might just be the end for many of the ‘old school’ HP execs.  I hope HP can retain some of that innovation legacy of Bill and Dave.  HP needs to keep folks like Ann Livermore.

HP is such a different company now and with this EDS deal – HP has officially transformed itself into a modern 800 pound gorilla in the computer business.  The old HP that I knew is gone.  Hello the new HP.

I think that this is a smart move and gives HP strength in numbers and service deliverables.  This will secure the enterprise business for a long time.  However, I still scratch my head at why HP isn’t being aggressive in the web services online consumer space.???

I wonder what’s next for HP on the consumer side???  hmmmm

HP to Buy EDS; Expect Massive ReOrganization at HP May 12, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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The big HP rumor is the contemplated buyout of EDS.

I was reporting this rumor on my blog last week. This will be a massive reorg for the computer giant HP. HP being a major player in the services business will buy EDS. Impact: massive reorg of the existing services organization. Remember the failed attempt by iCarly who tried to buy PriceWaterhouseCoopers to bolster the services offering to counter IBM. Question is will this deal be the same massive integration job as experienced with the Compaq deal. Unlike iCarly, Mark Hurd had the chops to pull this off. Word within HP is that Mark is in touch with the operational machinery of HP and has the respect of his management.

Rob Hof reports “With the big exception of that pretexting scandal in 2006, Hewlett-Packard has kept a remarkably low profile under CEO Mark Hurd. That may be about to change shortly, as the Wall Street Journal reports HP is close to a deal to buy Electronic Data Systems. (UPDATE: HP just reported it’s in talks but said an agreement hasn’t been reached yet.) At about $12 billion to $13 billion, or a 30% premium to EDS’s stock as of Friday’s close, the deal would be HP’s largest since the much-debated $20 billion Compaq purchase in 2002 under former CEO Carly Fiorina.”

This is a big blow to the existing services business at HP. Here is the spin from HP…. A deal would bolster Hewlett-Packard’s competitive position versus rival International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) as a provider of services such as tech consulting and customer support. The transaction could spark further large deals in the technology sector as cash rich, mature companies such as Hewlett-Packard look to acquisitions for growth.

These mega mergers just don’t seem to make sense when you see the massive integration. I could be years for an organization like HP to digest the culture of EDS. If HP and Mark Hurd can pull it off it will be a coup.

Update:  It’s Official – It’s No Longer the Hewlett-Packard Company

HP Rumor: Big Org Shakeup at HP Next Week May 2, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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(Disclaimer:  I worked for HP from 1988-1997).

Where is HP these days?  While Microsoft and Yahoo battle and the Amazon and Google battle for the cloud, where is HP?   They recently announced that they want to leverage HP Labs (which I’m a big fan of).  They are running advertising campaigns about the PC being personal again and they have dominated the printer business for years.

What is their plan?   We’ll see next week.   Rumor in Silicon Valley is that HP is planning a big organization shakeup in an effort to be more competitive and profitable.

This story is developing … I have some idea on what it is but need to confirm a few things.

HP Trying to Leverage HP Labs – A Good Strategy March 7, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Eric Savitz has a great blog post on HP Labs new focus.  According to a release the company is issuing today, HP Labs will zero in on 20-30 large research projects, rather than the 150 or smaller projects which marked the company’s approach previously.

This interests me because way back in the day when I spent 9 years at HP I interviewed for a job to commercialize new technology out of the labs.  My supporter was Dwayne Zitner who ran the server group at the time, but corporate development poo pooed it.  At that time HP Labs was out of touch with how innovation got done.  Now it looks like HP has a great vision. 

This announcment makes me think that HP could implement an ‘Amazon’ model of leveraging their core assets in IP and open it up.  Key to success is how they work with entrepreneurs like me.  If they can help me I’m interested in embedding their technologies in my ventures. 

Here is what I think are important points made today:

  • They have a plan to sharpen the focus on 20-30 big bets, away from the smaller projects they used to work on. Place entire resources of HP Labs on these big bets. Target is solving most pressing problems facing customers in the next decade.
  • Dynamic cloud service: based on location, preferences, calendar and communities. One approach: Cloud Print: store documents in the cloud and then retrieve and print on any printer in the world. Also Cloud View, which allows you view stock quotes, weather, sports scores without a browser on a mobile phone.
  • Content transformation: transforming analog to digital, from device to device, from digital to physical. Researchers working on technology to seamlessly transfer information from device to device. Also digital content to physical products.
  • Intelligent infrastructure: designing smarter, more secure devices, networks and architectures, that connect to rich content and services.
  • HP Labs is committed to “open innovation,” to work with VCs, startups, partner companies, etc. “We realize that not all the smart people work for HP Labs,”
  • Another: an entrepreneur-in-residence program. VCs in touch with the marketplace. Form partnerships with VCs. Know what the business trends and market development opportunities are.
  • “Everything as a Service.”
  • Merger between business intelligence and the Web. BI not just for top executive anymore. Prediction systems will be common places. Challenge is getting right information into the right hands. Business will use a radically different approach to reach business decisions. They have an approach they call BRAIN to make business predictions.
  • Speed is everything.

Kudos to HP for this approach.  Like Eric Savitz says “speed is everything”.  Lets see if HP can walk the talk.

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