HP steals agenda setting crown from IBM
Playing with its big stick
Comment It took the well-dressed businessmen hanging upside down from the rafters, the acrobats with iPAQs and the data center porn to mush the concept all over my brain. HP has unseated IBM as the agenda setter in the IT game. Or at least that's what HP believes.
I'm ashamed to admit that it required the full force of HP's Technology Forum propaganda to sound the alarm. Many of you not present at HP's customer extravaganza held last week in Las Vegas may have already figured out what's up with the recent "Business Technology" marketing pushed by Hurd and Co. HP wants to define the next major data center movement, just like IBM did a few years back with the "On Demand" onslaught.
Having overtaken IBM as the world's largest technology company, HP apparently sees this market setting plan as its right. I happen to agree with HP and am impressed with the speed at which it concocted the Business Technology concept.
For the unfamiliar, Business Technology, as best as I can tell, means that HP is ready to talk to customers about more than the gigabytes of storage in an array, the ROI of a web server rollout or how many transactions per minute an Itanium box can crank. Instead, HP wants to discuss a "phase where IT assets are managed in only one way – just on the business results" they deliver.
HP wants to brawl with Nick Carr who
infamously asked, "Does IT matter?" and then more or less told us "No."
The argument makes sense given the recent fluctuations in technology spending. In the boom times, companies would pay anything to obtain the latest and greatest technology. During the bust times, they spent nothing. Of late, companies have turned to things such as VMware hoping to get the most out of the gear they're willing to buy.
The end result is an IT spending scenario where companies dish out most of their cash to maintain data center status quo and have just a small fraction of their budgets leftover for fresh, allegedly innovative projects. That's a horrible turn of events for companies such as HP and IBM that need to increase revenue $10bn to $20bn per year if they're to please investors.
Next page: Hurd's Fiorina impression
HP is the leader in ink not IT
HP's Business Critical Systems division continues to drop in revenue every quarter. If you take ink out of the revenue number they are a small IT company. Ink is five times the size of BCS and nine times the size of Integrity revenue. HP's got such a cash cow with ink it can actually charge for black ink twice the price of human blood. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/peripherals/hp-ink-costs-more-than-human-blood-booze-212444.php
It's all in the results, you know
Data center transformations are all huge, failure-prone undertakings. They are usually kept quite until after the termination of the project - then victory or blame are appropriately claimed or assigned.
HP has some leadership that has the history of getting big things like this done. Mark turned NCR around (well, for a while at least), and Randy was key in promulgating this type of change at Wal*Mart and (possibly - too early to really tell yet) at Dell.
However, HP's latest foray into IT management needs to be examined beside IBM's latest anouncements on their services offerings that, in the end, should lead to the same results as HP's. Both are claiming reduced costs, lower maintainence, more focus on business because of lower IT costs. Each is approaching the problem from a different direction: HP from data center consolidation and technology streamlining, along with services to perform this tranformation; IBM from cleaning up the maintenance and support first, then moving the efficencies back to the data center.
I'd really like to see the suggestion made by the anonymous poster above carried out: monitor HP over the next year and keep us posted. Also, monitor IBM over the same time frame: see how IBM takes its own medicine. And finally, I think we have two sumo-wrestlers about to go at it here: maybe the Reg can do a point-by-point comparison of the offerings by both companies so we can see just how each apporach weighs in before the fight.
However you slice it, the next year is going to be an interesting one in the data center. Hope Simon is sufficently prepared...
Technical content driven by Encompass?
For several years, I was on the conference committee for the now defunct HP World (sponsored by Interex, also defunct). The last two years Encompass joined forces and we had some strong technical content. Then HP announced the HPTF and Encompass switched over to it, with the promise of control of the sessions, very little marketing and 75% of the sessions would be from non HP presenters. I didn't see any mention of Encompass this year.
I expect The Reg to monitor these ambitious objectives.
HP are discovering what everybody else is discovering - consolidation is difficult, expensive and time consuming. Their statement of what they want to achieve is incredibly ambitious, and obviously designed to attract attention. I don't believe they have a rat's chance in hell of achieving it, and their punishment when they fail should be at least equal to the favour they are trying to gain now by over-claiming.
Can I ask The Reg to post regular updates on their progress towards these stated targets? Perhaps a quarterly update?
Sounds like ....
IBMs business model since about 1975.
IBM was (probaly still is) unique among the big computer manufacturers in that it has always concentrated on the "B" business bit of its name rather than the "M" machines bit.
From the first airline reservation system ( actualy the first TP monitor and the dawn of the "transaction") to the parts list for the Appolo program ( the first real database and the second TP monitor) IBM have always concentrated on complete solutions for a problem thier customers had, rather than create gee whiz technoligy and go off in search of problems.
The downside to this was they are rather c**p at consumer small buisness comodity stuff.
HP may look like the largest tech company but they now do little more than Dell -- stick procesors made by someone else into a box that runs software written by someone else.