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HP: Article

Hey HP When You Have to Shoot...Shoot! Don't Talk

I’m starting to see a lot of common cultural ground between HP and RIM

Apple really has nothing to do with the problems firms like RIM and HP face. I wrote a month ago that the move to the Cloud would result in major vendor extinction. While HP is building Next Generation Data Centers for some large enterprises, I’ve found it difficult to accept HP as an enterprise software company, a storage company, a networking company, or anything but a printer company. Granted the company has made some acquisitions over the years notably Compaq, Mercury, EDS, yet for each of these product lines I have tried really hard to see where HP has in any way added value to the business. Beyond placing the HP logo on the product these firms ship, I see HP as having done more harm than good. For example after acquiring Mercury, HP has essentially frozen research and development to the point that an entirely new generation of competitors has grown out of HP’s overarching need to milk as much cash as possible from that acquisition. Similarly, the server lines still use the same naming convention as that used by Compaq. I remember the Compaq server DL line from as far back as 2000. And I get the sense that HP relies more on its incumbent status as an enterprise vendor than it does on innovation, competitive products, or customer service. When I read that HP had purchased Palm and was going to market with a tablet based on “WebOS” I laughed aloud at the tunnel vision, reinforcing internal culture, and at the idea that after Palm had completely failed to thrive after the 3Com acquisition, that HP cloud piece together anything more elegant than a Frankenstein monster by combing some HP hardware and a WebOS. Who is supposed to use such a device? The consumers who HP cited as one its core competitive advantages? HP has no relationship with consumers other than to sell them expensive ink and toner cartridges. Nobody ever cared about HP PCs or would seek an HP brand product other than a printer. I’ve made rash predictions that HP will be one of the first casualties of the Cloud and I’m fascinated at just how large of a gaping hole and husky enterprise HP has just revealed.

More Stories By Brian McCallion

Brian McCallion, founder of New York City-based consultancy Bronze Drum focuses on the unique challenges of Public Cloud adoption in the Fortune 500. Forged along the fault line of Corporate IT and line of business meet, Brian successfully delivers successful enterprise public cloud solutions that matter to the business. In 2011, while the Cloud was just a gleam in the eye of most Fortune 500 firms Brian designed and proved the often referenced hybrid cloud architecture that enabled McGraw-Hill Education to scale the web and application layer of its $160M revenue, 2M user higher education platform in Amazon Web Services. Brian recently designed and delivered the JD Power and Associates strategic customer facing Next Generation Content Platform, an Alfresco Content Management solution supported by a substantial data warehouse and data mart running in AWS and a batch job that processes over 500M records daily in RDS Oracle.”