The Autonomy Opportunity

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

HP is abandoning its $1.2 billion investment in WebOS by discontinuing its TouchPad tablet and its smartphones, looking to sell its PC business, and buying a big software vendor for $10 billion. What does it all mean to partners?

Autonomy:  Opportunity for Big HP Partners

The upside of the pending blockbuster acquisition of Autonomy for $10 million is a lot clearer for partners, Hine says.

"HP’s larger integrators and reseller partners can maybe consolidate some relationships, and it certainly expands HP's cloud portfolio," he says. "They've got some new offerings there that they don't have to go off and build themselves and it gives them some other interesting software pieces from that they can then translate into other types of managed services and cloud services."

According to Junab Ali, president of San Antonio-based Mobius Partners, a long-time HP partner focusing on the enterprise market, the Autonomy buy is good news.

"It is going to be really good for our business. We had decided to concentrate on HP software just over a year ago and we've seen a lot of momentum in that space, "As hardware becomes less and less of a value to customers and software and services become more valuable, these types of acquisitions are going to be very helpful for us. I would assume HP is going to invest heavily in resources to make this work."

webOS, HP Hardly Knew Ye

At the same time that enterprise services and software partners cheered  for the Autonomy deal, they were left scratching  their heads with the simultaneous announcement that HP would ditch its webOS hardware efforts just a year after it paid $1.2 billion to buy Palm for the well-regarded mobile platform. Some partners believe that HP started licking its battle wounds over webOS before the first salvo even started.

"After all that time and investment and they decided to call it quits after the tablet was on the market for a month? That seemed a little premature; they didn't even have all the fundamental pieces in place yet," says Julien Bassan, owner of Shiva Media, a software-maker that builds a do-it-yourself mobile development platform for non-techies." They had a really great operating system and I was really hopeful they'd be able to do something big with it."

More importantly, though, by abandoning webOS, HP is also abandoning the opportunity to offer an end-to-end cloud and mobility solution stack, Ali says.

"I'm surprised that HP made the Autonomy acquisition but then decided to drop webOS and the tablet," Ali says. "I am a bit surprised that they'd acquire something that would give them more cloud capability and then do this, because tablets tend to work with the cloud."