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HP/Autonomy – I Wonder How This Meeting Went August 22, 2011

Posted by Lee Dallas in Acquisitions, Content Management, ECM.
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I can’t stop wondering what this meeting was like. The CEO gets up, looks lovingly in the webcam and announces:

  • we are going to scrap our previous investments in the mobile market (tablet, operating system, etc.)
  • we are going to sell off the product line we are most known for by the general public
  • we are going to ignore the results of our previous lackluster acquisitions in the space and buy a search company spliced together with records and WCM that primarily sells on premise software in the hope that it will take us to the cloud with higher margins
  • we are going to pay twice what the company is worth

Once everyone can breathe again the polite golf clap and head nodding begins in the conference room. The guy that gave the boss a copy of that Malcolm Gladwell book in the office secret Santa exchange starts using his soon to be discontinued tablet to update his linkedin profile and fish for recommendations.

Quite a set up for a case study. Wonder how it will turn out.

HPQ , LON:AU

HP Buys Autonomy

Comments»

1. Worthy L - August 22, 2011

Exactly, this is going to make a great story in the HBJ in a year or two. Would have made more sense for HP to buy into one of the MapReduce variants and/or OpenStack. They really should have leveraged their own commodity PC stack to show companies how to build their own internal cloud. Course HP quit innovating years ago and are acting more and more like a dinosaur.

I still like Michael Dell’s comment, what are they going to call their new PC spinoff? Compaq?

2. josephmartins - August 22, 2011

This is business as usual for HP in recent years. IMHO, the company is a political and organizational mess.

The front lines feel corporate is completely disconnected from their reality (just ask sales manager what s/he thinks of the HP marketing machine). The troops aren’t in alignment with their leader (storage folks could care less about Leo’s software aspirations). And rather than spend the time cleaning up its internal mess the company continues to sweep it under the rug and placate restless troops with new distractions.

3. Lee Dallas - August 22, 2011

I am just in awe over the price. good for the Autonomy folks and I understand offering a premium to avoid a bidding war but wars usually require opponents and I seriously doubt that there were a lot of serious suitors. Just who were they looking to block? Seems to me if HP wanted to be Oracle there were other more reasonable paths.

I suspect the acquisition was strongly influenced by former EDS leadership who pushed them to buy something they were the undisputed experts in inside HP. Throwing the mobile and PC manufacturing both over the rail also reduces the internal competition in organizational leadership as much as it redirects the product line


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