Last week I attended the HP Industry Analyst Summit, a two day event in Boston to tell industry analysts what is going on at HP. This year’s summit had a very different feeling from the last one I attended two years ago.
The differences were clear right from the beginning. Meg Whitman took the stage and gave a forthright and honest assessment of where HP was and what they needed to do. A couple of key takeaways included her bringing back some of the founder's culture – more specifically, HP innovation. This year they actually increased the R&D budget and are dedicated to driving more innovation from within HP. She also admitted that there is still more work to do and laid out their 5 year plan (now one year into it). Most refreshing was her energy and genuine enthusiasm for HP, something that, throughout the week, one couldn’t help but notice seemed to permeate through the entire company.
The morning presentations included overviews from all the businesses and a collection of customers that leveraged HP to transform their businesses. The morning sessions concluded with a presentation from HP Labs – to reinforce the innovation theme no doubt – which was quite impressive. NDAs prevent me from going into detail, but clearly HP is working on developing some game-changing technology and will be highlighting their innovative and transformative solutions over the coming years.
As an example of how they are leading transformation, one only need to take a look at HP Networking and their approach to SDN. They currently have 29 devices OpenFlow-enabled, the Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller in beta, and have been able to demonstrate multiple services via this controller, including HP Sentinel Security, HP Virtual Clouds, and load balancing (customer-written app). New converged wired and wireless solutions should help accelerate BYOD initiatives and the same SDN solutions can be applied here as well. Many of these solutions take advantage of tightly integrated services to accelerate the transformation process.
Clearly there is still a lot of work to do, but if they can bring back the HP innovation, motivate the employees and GTM channels, and execute against the plan, HP should be back on the right track.