Hewlett-Packard’s always had a hard time figuring out what to do with Autonomy, its data-analytics subsidiary. Originally acquired as part of former CEO Leo Apotheker’s abortive attempt to transition HP from a hardware manufacturer into more of a software-and-services concern, Autonomy proved a massive financial dud, with its former management team accused of accounting improprieties and misrepresentations.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Autonomy also failed to instantly transform HP into a dominating player in the crowded (and lucrative) data-analytics space, despite its software’s much-touted ability to analyze massive amounts of structured and unstructured data.
In the wake of that debacle, HP has quietly worked to integrate a portion of Autonomy’s analytics offerings into various software products, including its HAVEn converged platform. “We think there is going to be huge demand for this kind of [analytics] capability in a number of applications such as security and insurance fraud,” Robert Youngjohns, senior vice president and General Manager of HP’s Autonomy division, told Slashdot. “We see it as really augmenting domain intelligence in specific areas.”
HP is also folding its Autonomy assets into security and data-backup software, such as the new HP Data Protector 8.1, which it bills as an intelligent-monitoring solution for backend infrastructure. In addition to adding a proactive element to provisioning and utilizing backups, the operational-analytics software also suggests ways to reduce conflicts and ensure SLA objectives are met. The platform features a full set of automated backup and recovery-provisioning features; HP claims the system is “self-learning” and “self-healing,” thanks to its analytics capabilities.
Even the smallest companies wrestle with enormous amounts of data, and analytics can prove useful when it comes to figuring out how to best deploy limited IT resources to protecting and preserving all that information. HP still hopes that its Autonomy assets can give it something of an edge in all analytics markets, not just data backup; but in order to achieve anything like victory, it must face some extraordinarily strong competition from some of the biggest names in IT.