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The New HP Way - Moving to the Clouds!

Technology companies are all announcing their cloud strategies these days

After a long trip planning and delivering CloudCamps in India and then Cloudy Awards at Austin, I finally got some time to comment on a big cloud announcement made by HP last week. I missed the Vertica acquisition made by HP in mid-Feb that was very relevant to the cloud space.

The announcement caught my eye because HP seems to be backing off on-premise software acquisitions that were repeatedly predicted. It also clearly states how HP wants to leapfrog the competition by going directly into the enterprise application marketplace space by providing service providers an infrastructure on which to build and sell their products. This is a game changer when you understand the challenges technology companies in building partnerships due to product overlap with cloud solution providers.

Ecosystems are of huge importance in the new IT market as evidenced by the Nokia CEO employee e-mail. Apple built an ecosystem providing app builders a great market to reach their iPhone and iPad customers. What I see as a parallel with Apple is that HP is providing system integrators, ISV's and startups a platform to be able to build their enterprise apps on. HP brings a wealth of customers into this equation. App providers gain the high availability and reliability that HP brings to the table.

With this announcement, I do see a possibility that HP takes advantage of their lack of software portfolio to build an ecosystem of solutions developed for and delivered over the cloud. Acquisitions like Vertica and ArcSight help solve some of the pesky data integration and security challenges. And you can expect additional HP acquisitions - pure play cloud companies like Mulesoft and Soasta come to mind.

HP does face a possibility that some large systems integrators may not align themselves with HP due to the large services portfolio overlap. However, in the new cloudy world, small solution providers may become the game changers. Time will tell if HP can execute this strategy in a way that will make them a leader in the cloud computing arena. Execution will be difficult given the large consumer portfolio, but leveraged correctly, it could benefit from providing an end-to-end capability to partners.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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