HP Discover Conference
If the run-up to HP’s bi-annual Discover conference in Las Vegas has been quiet, it is possibly because no one really knows what to expect. However, there’s already indications of significant product releases and pointers to HP’s plans for the coming year.

As a taster of things to come over the next four days, HP has announced new cloud solutions including a very neat Salesforce integration for easy document creation in the Salesforce platform. But more on this later.

First...

HP Discover

Discover kicks off properly today in Las Vegas and runs over the next three days during which the IT and business world will be watching to see if there are any signs that HP is pulling up its bootstraps and getting back to business after the nastiness of the past two years.

The line-up is impressive with many of the HP big guns presenting keynote sessions, including Robert Youngjohns who has been charged with integrating Autonomy into the HP portfolio, as well as sessions on information management, virtualization 2.0 and big data.

However, until CEO Meg Whitman makes her entry, it’s hard to know what the focus of this event is going to be.

HP Innovation

Whitman has stated on many occasions since she took over that HP’s recovery will be built on smart business decisions and innovation.

We know there are new products on the way, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy by the press office that has said they’d have to kill us all if we revealed anything, so watch out tomorrow for some really interesting news for marketers as well as developments with TeamSite.

But these are not the only things that are on the way and there will be lots more over the coming days. The other element of the turnaround, according to Whitman, is intelligent business decisions that will convince the markets that HP is doing okay.

Whitman has said already that HP is considering dumping some of its business units and already, as the PC market tumbles, we have seen it shift towards software and cloud services.

In fact, only yesterday it announced that it has achieved Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) status for its cloud services.

This is a significant step forward for HP as it provides easier access to public sector institutions for its cloud products. FedRAMP is a U.S. federal government standard to accelerate security assessments, authorizations and adoption of cloud solutions across the entire range of Federal institutions.

HP’s Meg Whitman

And while the markets have been kind to Whitman even when HP figures have been bad -- and the recent figures were very bad but still resulted in a share price rise -- she does have to show that she is on top of the game.

While it is unlikely that she will make any direct announcements around the business units here -- after all, this is about technology and product releases -- she will have to provide pointers for the year ahead and possibly a clearer indication of where HP’s focus is going to be.

News about Autonomy will also be a key element of this Discover conference, but there are less concerns around the technology here than there is about its ongoing legal problems around the acquisition itself.

While some of the related product releases or insights will be interesting, Robert Longjohns has been very public about where he is taking Autonomy under HP so there should be no surprises.

There’s a full line up for the next three days with all kinds of interesting sessions -- not to mention a performance by guitar legend Carlos Santana during the Wednesday night bash -- so keep an eye out. More over the coming days.