Autonomy the jewel in HP’s Crown

Autonomy the jewel in HP’s Crown

How little the US stock market understands about what most European pundits call “the world’s hottest technology company”. Autonomy’s acquisition by HP deserves to be hailed as the best decision ever made by Leo Apotheker and the HP board. The second best decision ever was the announcement is that this transaction combined with the sale of the PC business should insulate HP investors from the worst of the current economic and technological downturn for at least a couple of years to come.

Regarding the withdrawal from the PC business we can only say what took you so long? There is no question in our mind that the timing and the structure of the Lenovo PC business sale by IBM in 2005 was brilliant and equally that the PC business today is a very low value distraction to a firm such as HP. And in that vein we think that HP is totally sober when it abandons racing after Apple in the tablet or PDA markets. IT is not about hardware, at least at the consumer level. Why did it take so long for HP to realise this is a question but let’s rejoice at the fact HP is waking up and taking serious action.

We applaud the Autonomy acquisition even though ownership will leave London (which saddens us greatly) but the 50% premium paid by HP is not unreasonable in light of the extreme “intelligence” of the Autonomy solutions and the fact that HP will have an absolute imperative to drive value to justify the dilution. While Leo Apotheker carefully predicts difficult quarters, Autonomy will provide an absolutely unique, tested and strategic solution which will allow HP to generate substantial value at the business level with many private and public clients on a worldwide basis.

It remains to be seen as to whether HP has the wherewithal to fully capitalise on Autonomy’s under exploited market. Can HP’s scale and sales force bring new life to HP’s MOD and Security divisions. Are they capable of exploiting the huge opportunities in pharma and drug research, where Autonomy’s best-in-class engine can cross correlate disparately different data sources and establish links and crossover benefits no other engine can? There are literally billions of sales possible if HP swiftly use their muscle and client knowledge to forge new markets, uses and products around the world.

Last and not least the success of Mike Lynch and his teams shows that British universities and firms can succeed at the highest levels. Rather than sulk we should be elated and hope that such a success will fuel interest in British and European intelligence and demonstrate once more why London can compete with the best of Route 128 in Boston and the Bay area.

Posted in Technology Comments: one


One Response to Autonomy the jewel in HP’s Crown

  1. Jonathan Charley says:

    The acquisition of Autonomy appears to be a smart move on HP’s part, however whether this turns out to be the case will all be down to the execution of the integration. As has been seen by the likes of Oracle the acquisition of software products can be value destroying when managed badly.

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