HP partners can exploit the vendor's acquisition of Autonomy to position themselves at the vanguard of a new "information revolution", according to Autonomy founder Mike Lynch.
In his hotly anticipated keynote to partners at HP's Global Partner Conference last week, Dr Lynch outlined how HP is evolving to address the explosion in "human-friendly" information.
The summit, held in Las Vegas, was also the first opportunity for UK partners to see how Autonomy's information management software is being folded into HP's wider hardware portfolio since HP bought the UK-based firm last October.
Dr Lynch argued that a "fundamental revolution" is occurring in the IT world, with traditional relational databases unable to deal with the explosion in information across a variety of media, including text, voice and video.
Meaning not machines
"We have to deal with 100 per cent of the information, and not just the 15 per cent we can stuff into a database," said Dr Lynch. "It is the highest-growth area in software and an area where you have fundamental differentiation as HP partners.
"It is not about data; it is about meaning. It is not about machines; it is about people, and their thoughts, hopes and fears. It is not about the status quo, but a new opportunity – and you can be part of that opportunity as HP partners."
Dr Lynch said HP had understood this change when it bought Autonomy and Vertica, describing the latter as a "database on steroids". The new platform that draws on those two acquisitions, IDOL 10 (which Dr Lynch is seen showcasing above), can take questions that combine human- and machine-friendly information, he said.
"HP has a system that handles 100 per cent of the information, both unstructured and structured, and is revolutionary," said Dr Lynch, who is now executive vice president of HP's Information Management division.
Autonomy is working with HP's hardware teams to create a new set of enterprise search appliances aimed at SMBs. Dr Lynch hinted that joint efforts with HP's IPG group are also underway.
"We have always worked with the channel. But we see an incredible opportunity to take our technologies with these other areas of expertise [HP has] and open up areas of the channel with which we have not traditionally been in a position to work," said Dr Lynch.
In a reverse of the strategy of predecessor Léo Apotheker, HP's new chief executive Meg Whitman signalled that HP will not become a software- and services-led firm and should be proud of its status as a hardware player.
Having said that, HP's software business – which generates half its revenues from the channel – grew an impressive 34 per cent in its most recent quarter. And every dollar spent on software sees $89 spent on services with the channel, said Bill Veghte, executive vice president of software and solutions for HP.
Veghte told attendees: "[The core of HP] is about world-class server, storage, networking, PCs and printers. But the opportunity for me in software is to fully realise the value of those – to optimise, to manage, to monitor, to provision.
"There is only one company on the planet that has the breadth and depth of portfolio we have. That's an opportunity for you as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
Tom Kelly, UK managing director at HP Gold partner Logicalis (pictured right), said HP's information management and software offering is a future growth area for partners.
"Overall, it was a great event and Meg was open about endorsing the importance of partners," he said. "HP also wanted to show how software has an increasing part to play. The Autonomy presentation was fantastic and it was the first time HP had told partners what Autonomy is. But I think very few partners will be able to understand and take on the Autonomy piece in the next few years."
Whitman told partners: "I hope [Autonomy] will grow faster than it otherwise would have – because it is part of HP. I want you all to think about how you can present Autonomy to your customers in a way that will turbo charge what they are trying to do in their businesses."
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