Tag: HP

Former HP goddess aims for US president

6874335353_8791daf3a9_bFormer HP boss  and peddler of expensive printer ink Carly Fiorina is apparently going to have a crack at being the next republican president of the US and is standing on a ticket that she is the only woman candidate and the only CEO.

Fiorina has been talking privately with potential donors, recruiting campaign staffers, courting grass-roots activists in early caucus and primary states and planning trips to Iowa and New Hampshire starting next week.

She would be considered an outsider. She has sought but never held public office and her last campaign was in such a disarray it could hurt her current one.  After all how can you stand saying you are an effective manager when you owe nearly $500,000 to consultants and staffers from your failed 2010 Senate bid in California?

Republicans have spoken about Fiorina with disdain, saying she has an elevated assessment of her political talents and questioning her qualifications to be commander in chief.

However analysts say that she might make a better candidate than the suited men that the GOP traditionally chooses.

She is also a free-market advocate who would act as an antidote to the “left wing” views of Elizabeth Warren.

The GOP also has a problem attracting women voters with some of its prominent members favouring stances on issues like rape, abortion and glass ceilings which are so backward they were out of date when the book of Leviticus was written. The party claimed to supporting women during the mid-terms only to award all the committee chair roles to white men after the election.

Helping Fiorina chart her political future are consultants Frank Sadler, who once worked for Koch Industries, and Stephen DeMaura, a strategist who heads Americans for Job Security, a pro-business advocacy group in Virginia.

When Fiorina was CEO at HP she was famously described as more important than the King of Spain, by an aide.

HP sees profits plummet

meg-whitmanThe maker of expensive printer ink, HP, has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by telling them that its quarterly revenue fell in almost every business segment over the year.

The numbers highlight weaknesses in the company ahead of the company’s planned 2015 separation of its enterprise services from its traditional computer and printing units.

Sales fell 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter to $28.41 billion, from $29.13 billion a year earlier, HP said. Analysts had expected $28.76 billion. Profit declined 2.7 percent to $2.01 billion.

Chief Executive Meg Whitman cryptically told analysts that she said that “turnarounds were not linear” which will be news to any driver who uses a roundabout or attempts a three point turn.  She insists that after three years of her rule, HP is exactly where she thought it would be.

The enterprise group and enterprise services, areas that Whitman had previously flagged as growth drivers, showed revenue declines of four percent and seven percent.

On the call, Whitman said she expected a slower decline in enterprise revenue next year. Enterprise services would be the biggest “swing factor” in the company’s 2015 growth projections, she said.

The company’s personal computer division grew by four percent after a 12 percent jump in the prior quarter. Much of the growth in PCs was driven by a Microsoft decision to quit supporting older software, and Whitman said that was pretty much over now.

The high-margin printer business shrank by five percent.

Whitman is pinning her hopes on splitting the company into two next year, separating its computer and printer businesses from its faster-growing corporate hardware and services operations, and eliminating another 5,000 jobs as part of its turnaround plan.

“This separation was totally the right thing to do for this company,” Whitman said. “It is remarkable how it focuses the mind on overhead.” Well if turnarounds are not linear then you have to keep an eye on what is above you otherwise a turnaround might fall on you.

HP teams up with Wind River on Open Stack

founding_billDave_tcm_245_1630145Maker of jolly expensive printer ink, HP has forged a glorious alliance with Wind River to provide customers with a network functions virtualisation (NFV) solution based on HP’s Helion OpenStack.

Products which are spawned by the new alliance will enable carrier-grade   NFV capabilities.

The companies worked on the project jointly, taking the HP Helion OpenStack offering and Wind River’s carrier-grade technologies to further the already developing OpenStack NFV market. According to OpenStack-focused vendor Mirantis, telecommunications companies have been experiencing success with OpenStack-based NFV. Although still a new function, it appears that it is beginning to catch on with customers and vendors alike.

In a statement, the pair said that they wanted to create a product which allowed for the benefits of cloud computing, while meeting their rigorous reliability, performance and management requirements.

Saar Gillai, senior vice president and COO of HP Cloud and general manager for NFV at HP, in a prepared statement said the HP and Wind River project would provide a fully integrated and supported HP Helion cloud solution for carrier grade NFV.

“ We will also work together to enhance OpenStack technology to help ensure it evolves to meet carrier grade specifications,” Gillai said.

The new service will help cloud services providers compete better in a changing market. With the OpenStack NFV offering, HP and Wind River expect CSPs will be able to accelerate the transformation of their networks while also lower the total cost of ownership by adopting commercial, off-the-shelf hardware, they claim.

Carrier-grade NFV capabilities are not quite ready for customers, though. There is still some work to do to get the HP/WindRiver OpenStack NFV solution together, but the companies plan to launch in 2015.

Jim Douglas, senior vice president and CMO of Wind River said the telecom industry was eager to tap into the vast potential of NFV.

“By taking advantage of a virtualized or cloud environment, service providers can easily and quickly introduce new high-value services while reducing costs. In every case, maintaining carrier grade reliability is critical,” Douglas said.

 

Notebook PC sales slumped in October

notebooksOctober was always one of the months where computer vendors expected to do well.

But, according to research from Digitimes Research, shipments fell by an average of 15 percent.

The slump in shipments affected not only the branded vendors like HP, Dell and the like, but also the top three original design manufacturers (ODMs) – those are manufacturers which make unbranded machines.

The researchers believe the fall was caused because many companies released cheaper notebooks in September.

HP, in particular, suffered a decline in shipments while dell, Asustek and Lenovo also showed a fall compared to the same month in 2013.

The researchers believe that HP will see its notebook business suffer in 2015 as a result of the decision to split the company in two.

Workstation market continues to grow

hpworkstationDesktop PCs and notebooks might not be the flavour of the decade but the need for powerful workstations continues to grow.

IDC released figures showing that worldwide shipments of certified workstations rose in the third quarter by 7.6 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2013.

A total of 930,894 units shipped and IDC said that this is the sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth in what remains a competitive market.

Worldwide, the Middle East and Africa grew by 39.3 percent year on year, Latin America grew by 31.6 percent, and the US and Western Europe, with market shares of 39.2 percent and 25.1 percent grew by 6.7 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.

There aren’t that many vendors selling desktop workstations but HP continues to be the top dog with a 45.8 percent market share.

Dell grew by two percent year on year and has a 36.6 percent market share, while Lenovo has a year on year growth of 24.8  percent, growing its share 2.3 points and with an 11.7 percent slice of the market worldwide.

Fujitsu and NEC came in at fourth and fifth, showing only single digit market shares.

Dell counter attacks against rivals

Conan 1While Michael Dell was fighting to take his tin box outfit private, his rivals used the uncertainty to steal his customers – now he is counter-attacking.  

Dell opened the Dell World conference and wasted no time denouncing the “turmoil” his rivals in the industry are going through.

“They’re splitting away businesses, spinning off pieces of their businesses, and one has to ask the question: who is this for? Does this actually help the customers? Does it help them create the next great innovative products?”

It is deeply ironic for Dell. At the time HP Meg Whitman was calling Hewlett-Packard a “paragon of stability” compared to his company and IBM smugly told his customers that he was doomed.

Now Dell can point out that Whitman is breaking the the company in two. And IBM is selling its x86 server business to Lenovo and fighting to keep its profits above water.

Because the company is private, Dell does not have to worry about those quarterly targets and can plan.  He even had a dig at Carl Icahn who made him pay millions more to take his company private.

“Dell can focus on a future that’s “beyond the next quarter, the next year or the next shareholder activist,” he said.

Dell’s PC shipments grew almost 20 percent in the U.S. last quarter, Michael Dell said, faster than those of HP and Apple.

Today Dell is expected to announce a new “converged infrastructure” system called the PowerEdge FX, he said, which combines servers, network and storage in a new design that offers “the most density in the world.”

Datacentre automation market worth billions

server-racksA report by Markets and Markets estimated that by 2019 the datacentre automation market will be worth $7.53 billion.

The report said that demand for fast data access and storage continues to rise and that’s creating more and more datacentres.  Datacentre automation is sometimes known as Software Defined Data Centres (SDDCs).  Automation helps management deal with scalability, flexibility, manageability and reduced costs.

The market research company said it segments the datacentre automation market by hardware such as network automation, server automation and storage automation.  It also values the secor by service including consulting services, installation and support.

The demand for data is forcing businesses to either build new datacentres or upgrade existing sites.

And the cost of datacentre infrastructure continues to increase at the same time as IT budgets continues to decrease.

Majr vendors in the industry include HP, Oracle, Dell, Brocade, Cisco, IBM, CA and BMC Software.

Dell takes aim at HP business

Andy Zollo, channel director Dell EMEAThe decision by HP to split itself into two will offer opportunities for Dell to take more business.

That’s according to Andy Zollo, director of channels at Dell EMEA, who said today that its own plans will allow it to sell software, services and hardware to a number of new customers.

Zollo said that Dell had embarked on a series of roadshows throughout Europe over the last several weeks to educate its partners on opportunities open to them.

Dell – formerly known primarily as a hardware company – now has a wide portfolio of products and has appointed partner development managers to offer one single “backside to kick”.

He said Dell now has a much closer relationship with a wide range of partners aimed at introducing them to enterprise customers.

Zollo said that any major change to an organisation – such as recently happened with HP – tends to have a disruptive effect, and Dell will feed on the changes that are bound to happen.

Chromebooks put pressure on Microsoft

winbookThe success of Chromebooks has forced Microsoft to drop its licensing fees on Windows 8.1 notebooks, in a move that is forcing down prices on the products and is good news for buyers.

According to financial analysts at Seeking Alpha, Samsung has decided to use an X86 processor for its Chromebook 2 – a win for Intel in the X86 stakes.

HP and Acer are already selling Windows 8.1 notebooks for less than $200 and that is likely to create something of a frenzy in the run up to the holiday period.

Seeking Alpha points out that Intel’s mobile chip unit posted an $1.04 billion operating loss for its financial third quarter, despite selling chips for 15 million tablets during that quarter.

Intel is attempting to make “significant reductions in contra revenues next year”, but the financial analysts say X86 mobile chips will carry on losing money.

Samsung has dropped using ARM based processors for its Chromebook in favour of Intel, but the bad news is that most market research shows that sales of tablets are slowing, particularly in mature markets.

Seeking Alpha said: “Intel is losing big money in its quest to sell 40 million tablet chips this year.”

Chromebooks start to shine brightly

google-ICNotebooks using the conventional Wintel model seem to be past history, but Chromebooks are selling like there’s no tomorrow.

That’s the conclusion of research by ABI Research, which said that shipments of Chromebooks soared by 67 percent in a quarter.

Acer is the top dog in the sector, followed by Samsung and HP – those three accounted for 74 percent of shipment share during the first half of this year.  That isn’t going to change in the second half of this year, said ABI.

So-called vertical markets like schools are a driving force, and Chromebooks also sell well in emerging markets. But ABI said that North America will account for 78 percent of the Chromebook market and other regions such as Asia Pacific and Western Europe are set to grow shipment market share over the next five years.

Stephanie Van Vactor, an analyst at ABI, said that while Chromebooks might be a temporary fad like the netbook, but the price and design mean that it’s attractive to the world+dog.

“People are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provide the versatility and functionality of a laptop,” she said.

PC shipments still shrinking

A not so mobile X86 PCWhile Intel turned in remarkably buoyant financial results last week, the news remains somewhat gloomy on the PC front.

Figures released by IDC showed that shipments to consumers in the potentially lucrative Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of this year fell by five percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Sales were up compared to the previous quarter by eight percent and totalled 26.6 million units.

China and India showed better than expected shipments in the quarter.

Handoko Andi, research manager for client devices at IDC said: “[Windows] XP migration helped boost commercial PC spending earlier this year.  But in recent quarters, we have seen Microsoft add a lot to the entry level segment by launching the Windows 8.1 with Bing programme.”

Lenovo is numero uno iin the region, followed by Dell, HP, Acer and Asus.  HP showed a decline of 16.1 percent in shipments in the region compared to the same quarter last year, while Acer showed an 11.2 percent decline.

Notebook shipments creep up

notebooksSales of notebooks in the third quarter of this year are only up by 2.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, despite bullish talk by vendors like Microsoft and Intel.

Digitimes Research said shipments for the calendar third quarter amounted to 45.198 million units, with HP being the top dog worldwide.

HP had a market share of 21 percent, Lenovo 20.9 percent, Dell 12.5 percent, Acer 9.7 percent, Apple 8.5 percent, Asustek 8.3 percent and Toshiba 6.2 percent, the Taiwanese research unit estimated.

These of course are the brand names, but many of the notebooks are made by original design manufacturers (ODMs) based in Taiwan.  These ODMs accounted for a significant 36,958 notebooks in the quarter.

The ODM battle is fought between Compal (34.5%), Wistron (15.7%), Inventec (6.7%) and Pegatron (5.7%).

Digitimes Research also breaks out the shipments in terms of screen sizes with 8.2 percent being sub 12 inch models, 13 percent 12 inch notebooks, 13 percent 13 inch units, 22.7 percent 14 inch units, 47.2 percent 15 inch notebooks and 6.1 percent 16 inches and above.

The market research unit does not, however, appear to have provided figures for touch and non touch screen machines.

“Odd couple” HP and EMC refuse to merge

Tony_Randall_Jack_Klugman_Odd_Couple_1972The maker of expensive printer ink,  HP has ended merger talks with EMC after months of useless negotiations.

Reuters reported that its deep throats in HP said hopes to merge two of the tech industry’s largest enterprise-oriented firms had been dashed.

Pressure is building on EMC to do some spinning off  in an attempt to unlock shareholder value, become more agile, and capitalise on faster-growing businesses.

Executives from the two companies were still trying to hammer out a deal as recently as last week, but talks bogged down on price.  We guess EMC really could not believe that printer ink had the same value as gold.

HP suspended its stock buyback program ahead of its November 25 earnings because the company said it is in possession of material non-public information. Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak noted on a conference call that the non-public information pertains to a possible acquisition.

It is not clear what the two were thinking of merging.  A straight-up merger of the two companies would have created one of the industry’s largest providers of data storage, and created a computing giant with deep penetration in the business of providing computing hardware and services to corporations.  However last week HP announced its plan to split off  into HP Enterprises, a tech infrastructure, software and services business, and HP which will play in the PC and printer markets.

Elliot Management, which owns 2.2 percent of EMC, has been vocal about wanting EMC to merge or spin off some of its assets, such as software subsidiary VMWare. EMC has said that it wants its company to stay together.

 

Internet of things: it’s trouble

Internet of ThingsThe much touted internet of things will bring a world where just about everything has microcircuitry from lightbulbs to coffee machines.

But, according to a report from ABI Research, there are enormous security and other risks associated with its implementation.

Those include safety, consumer privacy and data protection, the firm said.

Further, this type of network has risks in all of its core layers and when manufacturers create devices they are cost conscious and may not implement the safeguards that are the ideal.

“Manufacturers are still trying to find their feet and justify investment in secure design, development, and product lifecycle,” according to Michela Menting, a director at ABI Research.

Nevertheless she cites some companies that are taking the lead in making the internet of things safe rather than sorry.

Those include Arrayent, Hewlett Packard, Microchp, NXP Semi, Sonatype and Wind River.

Notebook players change their focus

server-racksA few weeks back we reported that the lucrative datacentre market could well be the target for new vendors to enter the fray.

Now there’s some hard evidence for that. Taiwanese firm Quanta Computer, which previously played in the original design manufacturer (ODM) game, and made notebooks for the major brands, has branched out into the server market.

Digitimes reports that Quanta has completely re-invented itself and is positioning itself to sell into the European datacentre market.

It is offering servers and services to European datacentres and has hired a sales team specifically for the territory.

It faces stiff competition from the likes of HP and Dell. But the advantage it has is that it has its own manufacturing and further has played the very slim margin game when it made notebooks for multinational brands like HP and Dell.

The move is likely to be good value for the datacentre buyers because there’s no doubt such moves will prompt something of a price war in the sector.