Hewlett-Packard is launching cloud-based analytics software tethered to its HAVEn Big Data platform.
The analytics-as-a-service offering will include tools for customer intelligence, supply-chain operations and sensor-data analytics. For example, HP’s Big Data Discovery Experience-as-a-Service (a rather unwieldy name) allows clients to apply analytics solutions such as pattern recognition and statistical analysis to structured and unstructured data.
Originally announced in June, HAVEn brings together HP’s analytics software and high-performance hardware on a single platform. It supports Apache Hadoop, which has become a popular framework for companies with a need to crunch massive amounts of unstructured data stored on large hardware clusters, and includes HP technologies such as HP Vertica Analytics Platform and HP ArcSight Security Event Manager.
HP’s overall relationship with the analytics market is a somewhat tortured one. In 2011 it acquired British analytics firm Autonomy for roughly $10 billion, with the intent on making a splashy entrance into the Big Data market. But that deal soon backfired; by November 2012, HP was accusing Autonomy’s management team of using “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company.”
In the wake of that little kerfuffle (HP alerted the SEC’s Enforcement Division and the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office to the possible transgressions), HP decided to reorient the Autonomy unit to focus on a few core areas, with data analytics the priority. “We think there is going to be huge demand for this kind of capability in a number of applications such as security and insurance fraud,” Robert Youngjohns, senior vice president and General Manager of the Autonomy division, told Slashdot at the time. “We see it as really augmenting domain intelligence in specific areas.”
Now HP faces the challenge of not only integrating Autonomy into the rest of its portfolio, but also strengthening that portfolio to the point where the company can effectively compete in the analytics space against IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and a growing number of innovative startups. Many of these companies have begun moving their analytics tools to the cloud, which is likely the impetus behind HP’s latest move.