HP Software: Oxymoron or Really Big (Data) Deal?

Hewlett-Packard Co. executives this week will talk up the company's overall enterprise software strategy while focusing heavily on big data opportunities. The big question: Can HP deliver the right mix of messaging and solutions to build some enterprise momentum ahead of the company breakup this fall?

Much of the chatter involves HP Big Data Conference 2015, which runs today through Aug. 13 in Boston. (For day-to-day coverage of the event, keep an eye on Information Management.) Among the sessions to track, according to the agenda:

  • Robert Youngjohns (pictured), EVP of HP Software & member of HP’s Executive Council, will unveil the "new Hewlett Packard Enterprise" and "how the company is betting on big data."
  • Colin Mahony, SVP & GM of HP Software Big Data BU, will describe how big data can potentially transform all industries.
  • Shilpa Lawande, GM of HP’s Big Data Platform Business, will reveal "the latest releases of the HP Haven Big Data Platform" while describing what's ahead for HP Vertica, HP IDOL, Hadoop, predictive analytics, big data cloud-based APIs and services, analytical applications, and more.
  • Chris Selland, VP of Business Development for HP’s Big Data Platform, will describe the company's strategy for big data ecosystem developers.

Bigger Picture

Each announcement comes at a critical time for HP and its customers. Indeed, HP is set to split into two companies in November 2015.

After Nines Inc. has already mentioned potential concerns about HP's focus on SMBs. But there are also some urgent needs in the enterprise space.

Although HP's infrastructure business (particularly servers) remains on solid footing, the company isn't exactly known as a software or cloud powerhouse. The company is set to announce Q3 2015 results on Aug. 20 -- looking to improve in such areas as software (where revenue dropped 8 percent in Q2), license revenue (down 17 percent in Q2) and SaaS revenue (down 5 percent in Q2).

HP -- like IBM, EMC, Oracle and just about every other enterprise player -- is betting that big data applications can boost hardware, software and cloud sales. HP certainly has some intriguing big data offerings -- particularly the Vertica analytics platform. But the company needs to put a brighter spotlight on existing and forthcoming big data offerings.

It's a safe bet much of that spotlight effort will start this week at HP Big Data Conference in Boston...