Fiorina: Time to simplify with HP

Having convinced shareholders of the wisdom of merging with Compaq, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina used this...

Having convinced shareholders of the wisdom of merging with Compaq, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina used this week's HP World Conference & Expo in Los Angeles to try and do the same for users.

"It is time to simplify," Fiorina said in her keynote address. "We cannot expect you to invest in new technologies like mobility or Web services or multimedia applications until we make sense of what already exists.

"We're focusing on reducing cost and complexity of infrastructure," she said.

To achieve this HP is to develop more automated cross-platform enterprise systems through greater investments in its HP OpenView management platform.

Fiorina fleshed out company plans following the completion of the merger with Compaq in May.

Customers "want fewer strategic partners who can do more for them," said Fiorina, adding that competitors were already reacting to what HP has done.

"Think about Sun's about-face on Linux, going so far as to offer Linux on PCs," she said. "Meanwhile, IBM is returning to the integrated strategy of the [1980s]," Fiorina added, also citing Dell's investments in printing technologies.

The merger leaves HP with the leading platforms for high-performance technical computing and consumer technologies and as one of the leading enterprise companies, argued Fiorina. HP also is the largest partner for Microsoft, Oracle, KPMG and others, she said.

She listed the benefits of the merger, such as acquiring NonStop fault-tolerant technology, which had been developed by Tandem, Compaq Tru64 clustering, and the industry's leading Intel franchise.

Fiorina highlighted HP's drive in the outsourcing market, telling conference delegates "what we're talking about is partnering with you to understand how we can use outsourcing specifically managed services to help you accelerate business process transformation".

Conference delegates offered mixed reactions to Fiorina's pronouncement of the success of the merger. One user expressed concerns about the fate of his legacy Digital OpenVMS systems, which after a series of mergers are now HP technology.

"I guess I have my reservations [about the HP-Compaq merger] because I have some DEC equipment still. So the fish keep getting swallowed," said Keith Miller, IT director at aerospace products vendor Goodrich.

Fiorina tried to address this concern in her speech. HP has "never stranded our customers on legacy technology," she said. "We always provided a migration path to the future and to new business benefits that has been the hallmark of our systems business and will continue to be the hallmark of our systems business."

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