Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

HP Gives Up on Business Intelligence and Analytics Markets

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2010 10:38:43 PM

No one has seemed to notice that in the last several months, Hewlett-Packard has quietly made changes to its participation in the enterprise software market; this will significantly change HP’s value for CIOs and IT organizations in regards to business intelligence (BI) technologies.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Software, HP, HP Neoview, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM)

Oracle Expands Its Playbook at OpenWorld

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 28, 2010 3:16:12 PM

At its annual conference Oracle OpenWorld this year Oracle flexed its muscles as a technology giant. The company has been steadily growing through acquisitions to expand its database, middleware and applications, and the recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems gives it a way to sell hardware for servers and storage. This momentum is enabling Oracle to develop new streams of revenue, which were on display at OpenWorld in offerings such as a new generation of appliances from Oracle Exalogic for transactional computing and Oracle Exadata 2 for analytical processing along with the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. This move into database appliances provides a route to capturing market share, particularly from Hewlett-Packard and IBM. As well its market and technology consolidation efforts are paying off in strong financial growth, as shown in its results for the first fiscal quarter of 2011. The conference had hundreds of announcements and insights delivered in breakout sessions or customer presentations regarding all aspects of Oracle’s portfolio of applications, middleware and database technologies. Seeing the former CEO of HP, Mark Hurd, on stage as President of Oracle added to the sense that the company is making dramatic steps for the present and future (See: “Oracle Hopes Mark Hurd Brings New Herd of Business“). And while there were few references to the previous president, Charles Phillips, it is clear that his hard work sowed the crop for Hurd to harvest in marketing, sales and services.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Intelligence, Enterprise Software, Information Technology, Business Performance Management (BPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM)

Oracle Hopes Mark Hurd Brings New Herd of Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 28, 2010 3:01:06 PM

At the eye of the tornado of accusations, rumors and gossip in Silicon Valley that began with CEO Mark Hurd’s departure from Hewlett-Packard are the internal politics and lack of management procedures and oversight at the company. I have pointed out a connection not discussed elsewhere to issues around the enterprise software efforts at HP (See: “HP Scandal Reflects on Enterprise Software Issue“). Now with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s hiring of Hurd as president and appointment of him to the company’s board of directors, this topic comes up again because Mark will bring energy and ideas for advancement of Oracle’s technology portfolio. Larry continues to deliver interesting one-liners to the media, beginning at the time of the firing (“The HP Board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple Board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”) and continuing as HP sues Oracle over Hurd bringing proprietary knowledge from there (“The HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The HP board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace."). Larry is right that his move will impact the Oracle/HP partnership at many levels, but the war of words also shows the personal nature of high-stakes gamesmanship in Silicon Valley.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Enterprise Software, Information Technology, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

HP Scandal Reflects on Enterprise Software Issue

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 28, 2010 2:50:19 PM

The recent turmoil at Hewlett-Packard that went public with news of the resignation of CEO Mark Hurd is only superficially about the facts of the scandal or the question of who will be the new CEO, sexy as those issues may be. What it really shines a light on is the performance of the company itself. I wrote earlier this year (See: “HP Takes Technology Portfolio to the Clouds with New Growth Strategy”) about the challenges HP faces in building its brand credibility and gaining traction to advance its enterprise software business. Then in May, HP hired Bill Veghte from Microsoft to run its $3 billion software business unit. Bill and his boss Ann Livermore stated at the time, not surprisingly, that software is a strategic part of delivering innovation to customers. In my view that’s more a description of their goal than the then-current reality. In fact, HP has had a low profile in the software segment. Though the division gets its place on its Web site, many of us close-in watchers question claims that HP is a leader in any enterprise software category beyond data center and network management. Convincing us otherwise will require more than fancy words and sales collateral; Mark Hurd or no Mark Hurd, it’ll require walking the talk: having the people and products companies want – products that will make a difference.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Intelligence, Enterprise Software, HP, Information Technology, Business Performance Management (BPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM)