HP Fuses Data Management Assets for Internet of Things Play

2014-8-22 HP Strealines Data Business.jpg
The pieces are finally falling into place. Over the past two years since that acquisition, HP has been building up Autonomy’s portfolio and pushing it in a million different directions. Late last night the master plan became clear.

HP is pulling Vertica, HP Autonomy’s core IDOL business, and all of the HP Autonomy Information Management and governance businesses to form the Big Data business group.

It is also taking its Aurasma augmented reality software and tying it into HP Autonomy’s customer engagement solutions to form the Marketing Optimization business group.

Between the two groups, HP will be making a major play not just for the lucrative big data market, but also for a giant sized slice of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) business.

HP’s Autonomy Business

While the announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, when you join the dots it all makes perfect sense. Since Meg Whitman took over at the helm of HP, she has insisted that the turnaround in the fortunes of HP would be predicated not just on building on the existing business units, but also on innovation within the company itself.

While there was considerable media coverage of the incomprehensible price paid for Autonomy and subsequent $6 billion write-down, less attention was paid to the technologies that came with Autonomy, especially its IDOL (Intelligent Data Operating Layer) server and the Aurasma augmented reality platform.

Over the past two years, HP Autonomy has been building around both these technologies, especially in the information management, governance space, as well as examining Aurasma for its possibilities across digital marketing and customer engagement.

However, if HP Autonomy was incredibly productive in the number of releases and upgrades that it announced during that period, it aslo corresponded with other developments across HP, particularly the acquisition of Vertica and its big data capabilities.

The potential of this became apparent at the beginning of this year when HP announced the release of  a connector that tied Autonomy IDOL’s server and its unstructured data capabilities with Vertica and its massive structured data big data analytics. The result was an extremely powerful platform that could wrestle with any data management or analytics issues that even the biggest enterprises could throw at it.

A further development outside of HP was also going to put this into perspective. Over the past two years, the concept of the IoT has really taken shape and the possibilities that HP’s technologies offered in terms of pulling all the different data streams that are already beginning to emerge from connected home technologies, for example.

On top of this, HP has been developing technologies since the 1980s that are only starting to come into play now as the IoT emerges (we will be looking at this in more detail next week).

Streamlining the Business

The only thing that remained to be done to turn this into business opportunity was reorganize the different, disparate elements that HP was holding and streamline the business models, something that Robert Youngjohns, Autonomy general manager and HP executive vice president of software, had hinted at in an interview with CMSWire when this process began.

This morning, in a blog post about this business model Youngjohns explained how all this would come together and where his “big data changes everything” mantra fits into all of this.

At the heart of all these developments is the way data and the growth in data sources has occurred in recent years, Youngjohns says. There are three types of data that enterprises need to manage now.

Machine data and the Internet of Things is still in its nascent stages, and will yield entirely new ways of running businesses and serving citizens.

What is new for many enterprises is the realization that to hold any kind of competitive edge in their business space they will have to be able to manage and analyze data from all these sources.

Together, these three data types are disrupting everything -- how businesses market to customers; how they govern, store and backup and protect data; and how they build and deliver applications at scale. HP Software has a powerful set of modern software assets that uniquely address these challenges,” Youngjohns said.

The result is that HP Software is reorganizing five business groups, or three business groups if throw all of the big data business together. Those three groups include:

1. Big Data

This will pull HP’s core big data assets together and develop clear and cohesive roadmaps for the different elements as well as go-to-market strategies. Those elements include:

  • HP Vertica: Its platform provides structured and semi-structure data analysis
  • HP IDOL: Autonomy’s original Intelligent Data Operating Layer server, it provides users with the ability to analyses unstructured data by understanding and learning the context
  • HP Compliance, Workflow and Data Management: This is the entire set of Autonomy applications for archiving, data protection, e-discovery, information and Enterprise Content Management which are being continuously upgraded.

According to Youngjohns this group will be led by the Colin Mahony who has lead Vertica for the past three years and ensured consistent growth across the business despite ongoing global economic problems.

2. Marketing Optimization

This is the second new business group and will be focused on developing customer engagement, marketing and segmentation technologies and will pull together HP’s existing technologies in augmented reality, analytics, customer and digital experience management.

It will be led by Andrew Joiner, who Youngjohns says has a wide understanding and experience of the use of big data in marketing departments. Youngjohns also hinted at a number of announcements from this groups which will be made at HP’s Engage conference at the end of September.


The third group will be the Enterprise Security Products (ESP), IT Operations Management (ITOM) and Application Delivery Management (ADM) businesses and will be led by the current managers Art Gilliland, Ajay Singh and Raffi Margaliot, respectively. Their focus for the moment will be on plans to deliver innovative and differentiated solutions that leverage deep analytics at extreme scale.

The coming together of these three different groups is just the latest move from HP and HP Autonomy that moves both companies way beyond the troubles that blighted the early days of the two companies together. And for the future? We’ll be looking at that in more detail next week. 

Photo: HP Autonomy