HP Autonomy: Cloud Storage Scores, But Challenges Remain
Autonomy, the software business Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) acquired last year, “still requires a great deal of attention, and we’ve been aggressively working on that business,” according to CEO Meg Whitman. Those statements, delivered during an HP Q3 2012 earnings call this evening, show that HP’s most prized software portfolio still isn’t firing on all cylinders. So what’s wrong — and right — with Autonomy? Here are clues from Whitman.
On the one hand, HP’s Q3 2012 software revenue grew 18% year over year, including the results of Autonomy. Software revenue was driven by 2% license growth, 16% support growth, and 65% growth in services, HP said. Those numbers, however, did not impress Wall Street analysts. And Whitman conceded that there’s more work to be done.
“Overall, we have a very long way to go, but we are taking steps to fix the problems and help Autonomy succeed,” said Whitman during today’s earnings call. The VAR Guy’s question: Why should the Autonomy fix have “a very long way to go” at a time when Autonomy is still relatively new to HP? Hmmm… difficult to say.
HP first revealed concerns about Autonomy last quarter, changing its executive leadership and promising more business discipline. More recently, HP has launched a “global dashboard” to track Autonomy’s sales pipeline, and there’s now a single global sales methodology for the software. A new process also measures client satisfaction and service delivery progress. Those actions “are designed to help deliver predictable results and improve after-sale customer satisfaction” with Autonomy, Whitman said.
On the upside, Autonomy LiveVault, a cloud-based data protection service for content archiving, passing the 10,000 customer mark during the quarter, demonstrating great momentum for this HP cloud service.
It’s time for HP to brag more about Autonomy LiveVault’s success. And Whitman should avoid the temptation to say Autonomy fixes still have a long way to go. Those statements suggest Autonomy was broken before HP came along to buy the company. Or, perhaps HP broke Autonomy after the deal. Either way it sounds like the HP-Autonomy integration has been a one-year struggle so far.