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HP hardware sales slump but software side offers firm glimmer of hope

23 Aug 2012
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However, there was one glimmer of hope for HP to cling to, and that was from its software unit, where revenues rose by an impressive 18 percent, a part of the business now boosted by the acquisition of Autonomy.

This revenue growth was due to rising sales in licences, up two percent, support growth of 16 percent and software service sales up 65 percent.

Clearly, Apotheker was on to something, as it was his decision to splash out some $10bn on Autonomy, and it appears businesses are lapping up HP's software offerings, with Autonomy's technology helping with this increase.

Of course, since taking the firm onboard HP has lost Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, who is currently without a role anywhere in technology, although possibly not for long.

But it's too soon to know exactly how integral the Autonomy buy has been to bolstering HP's software figures, as HP didn't break out the details in its results, but Forrester's Gillett said it was likely this trend would continue.

"Software is increasingly important for managing infrastructure and information and will continue to grow faster than hardware," he explained.

However, Illsley said that for many firms, Autonomy's software offerings are still considered a "luxury", rather than a must have set of tools, but agreed this may change over time.

"Autonomy's vision deserves merit, and will continue to attract attention as more companies recognise the disruptive business insights and benefits locked away in an emerging tidal wave of unstructured data sources (such as social media)," he told V3.

"Here 'softer' notions of sentiment, meaning and relationships hidden within information can provide even deeper analytic insights than traditional hard-wired business intelligence tools."

So, perhaps there's some hope for HP looking to the future when it comes to software services, but on the hardware side it'll have to pull some impressive kit out of the bag, perhaps taking advantage of Windows 8, to improve its financial health.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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