HP CloudSystem Attracts 850 Customers (But Don’t Ask About Autonomy)
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) announced disappointing Q4 2012 results today, which included bombshell claims about the Autonomy business. But amid all that disappointing news, HP's cloud computing business showed signs of hope.
HP CEO Meg Whitman, during an earnings call today with Wall Street financial analysyts, said:
"We are seeing strong growth in our cloud systems business. HP CloudSystem is the industry's first complete integrated and open cloud platform that enables customers to build and manage technology services across traditional, private, managed and public cloud environments. We continue to grow our customer base which now stands at over 850 customers."
Whitman also touted HP Service Anywhere, a cloud-based SaaS IT service management solution. Overall, HP saw SaaS bookings grow at mid-double-digit rates in the fourth quarter.
HP has been striving to position its servers for private clouds, while also building out the HP public cloud. But the strategy faces intense competition from entrenched and emerging rivals in the PC server market (Dell, IBM, Oracle) and the public cloud market (Amazon, Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace).
But HP's biggest cloud competition likely involves internal distractions, including the massive $8.8 billion write-off for Autonomy. HP now claims Autonomy made misleading accounting moves and witheld important information ahead of the 2011 M&A deal.
Bottom line: HP's progress in cloud computing is overshadowed — at least for the short term — by the Autonomy debacle.