HP CEO Léo Apotheker has talked to customers, media, investors, and employees around the world since announcing his plans to reposition HP’s business for the future.
We had a moment to follow up with him today and discussed the technological trends driving his thinking, HP’s Imaging and Printing Group, and the relationship between hardware and software.
Tell us about one of the market forces driving these decisions, and how they relate to HP’s proposal to acquire Autonomy
The majority of data being created today is “unstructured”. This means the information is not naturally found in the rows and columns of a database but in more human friendly items such as documents, Web pages, presentations, videos, phone conversations, emails and IMs. That makes it difficult to analyze, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. Quite the contrary.
Customers see tremendous value in the ability to make sense of this data. And HP has an opportunity to lead in this area, transform unstructured information into meaningful insights and deliver it to customers better than anyone else.
This kind of “information and document management” opportunity with Autonomy seems like it would relate to the imaging and printing business
Yes, that is true. IPG is the market-defining player in printing and content digitization and would be able to do some amazing things with Autonomy’s technology.
And let me say this: VJ and his team are tremendous innovators who have built one of HP’s most profitable businesses from the consumer to the enterprise – full stop. IPG is an integral part of our future and we will continue to invest to profitably grow IPG.
So it’s fair to say that hardware businesses are still core to HP’s future?
Absolutely. We’ll continue to develop and market the powerful hardware, software, and services that we have. We are embracing the hardware business and building on it.
We are getting much more deeply into the business of combining our discrete technologies into solutions. Hardware is critical to that vision.
Take the “unstructured data” example I just spoke about. People are calling this “big data,” because there’s a huge quantity of it. Well, all that data has to be captured. It has to be processed. It has to be shared. Storage. Servers. Networking. Printing.
After we closed the Vertica acquisition this year, we were in the market with an integrated hardware/software appliance in a matter of days. That is the kind of solution and speed-to-market customers want and which HP can deliver better than anyone else.
You need hardware to run software and there’s fantastic opportunity for innovation and profitable growth in both areas. This is accelerated when they are combined.